An exec who posted a video where he berates a hapless Chick-Fil-A drive-thru worker over the company’s position on gay rights was fired for the indiscretion.
Adam Smith, the CFO of an Arizona-based based medical supply company, took video footage earlier this week as he drove through a Chick-Fil-A, ordered a free cup of water, and then verbally harassed the young woman who was working the window. Smith stated that he objected to the position on gay marriage publicized by Chick-Fil-A’s president. The company president, Dan Cathy, had recently announced in an interview that he supports “traditional” marriage only, which he defines as between a man and a woman. The company also financially supports conservative groups that are hostile to gay causes.
But unfortunately, Mr. Smith felt that humiliating a young girl on YouTube was the best way to set the company straight. He told the employee that she should be ashamed to work for the company and her “evil employer.” He also boasted about getting only a free glass of water to take some money from the company’s coffers and therefore undermine their mission to spread hate. He also went to great lengths to inform the drive through worker that he was a nice guy, and completely straight, saying “I don’t have a gay in me”.
Vante, Mr. Smith’s employer, was dismayed by their CFO’s public performance, and quickly fired him for his conduct. In a press release on the company’s site, Vante almost suggests that they barely knew the guy.
The video is included below.
To the young lady’s credit, she very politely faced down a bully who chose to belittle a young, entry level employee who can hardly be held responsibility for the president’s social and political views. Some are suggesting that she use the video for future job interviews.
At this past summer’s RIMS conference on Social Media and Risk in Naples, FL, attendees assessed the challenges that social media presents to employers. Experts agree that it is critical to develop a response plan for such incidents. Clearly, the days of getting out in front of an issue and controlling the story are over. Companies are advised to develop a plan on managing risk after a story breaks.
If you have experienced harassment of any form of illegal employment practice (such as discrimination, wrongful termination, or unpaid wages), an employment attorney with Emery Reddy will represent your rights. Call our Washington employment lawyers for a free consultation today.