fired for office gossip

ENCA interview: Can you be fired for office gossip?

Nicol Myburgh, the head of human resources company CRS Technologies, explains the intricacies of what is appropriate in the workplace. Courtesy

JOHANNESBURG – Three male colleagues were fired for commenting on their female co-workers during a company outing.

A co-worker reported the men — who had been ranking their female colleagues on a “hot list” — to the company’s HR department.

They were subsequently dismissed.

Employers have a right to a harmonious workplace

Nicol Myburgh, head of human resources company CRS Technologies, said, “employers have a right to a harmonious workplace, anything that disrupts that harmony is actionable and can actually lead to a dismissal.

“I’m not saying to the extent of a dismissal, everything is on a case-to-case basis but anything that affects the harmony at the business, that’s definitely actionable.”

Myburgh referred to the example and pointed out that the conversation between the men could have been exacerbated by the kind of comments they were making, which could be interpreted as sexual harassment.

Watch the interview:

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