Labour & Employment Law Blog

The Tweet That Cost Roseanne Her Job and Employee Online Behaviour

Zeilikman Law

Zeilikman Law

The Tweet That Cost Roseanne Her Job and Employee Online Behaviour

After Roseanne Barr made provocative comments about a former senior advisor to former President Obama on Twitter two weeks ago, her show, which had just been renewed for a second season by ABC, was swiftly cancelled.

The tweet that cost her not only her job on Roseanne, but also the jobs of the entire cast and crew, said of Valerie Jarrett, who identifies as African-American, and former aide to Obama, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”

After ABC cancelled her show, Barr deleted the tweet and apologized for her conduct.  ABC upheld their decision arguing that Barr’s tweet was, “repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”

Most corporations, especially those as large and public as ABC, have a code of conduct in place that would be part of an employee agreement, and Barr’s comments here would likely be in breach of such a policy.

However, even in the absence of an existing code of conduct, in Ontario an employer is justified in firing a worker for off-duty behaviour for cause, if the employer can prove that said behaviour is damaging to the corporation’s reputation.

Employees need to be aware that their conduct both in and out of work can affect their employment.  Before posting online, keep in mind that anything you say may be seen by present and prospective employers. At the same time, employers should be aware that not every “post” or “tweet” may justify dismissal for cause and less draconian measures, such as progressive discipline or warnings, may be used first before summarily dismissing an employee from their job. As always, the analysis is case-specific and contextual.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.