The woman who was filmed shouting racist comments at a group of men in an Alberta restaurant has lost her job as a result of the incident.
Kelly Pocha was identified as by her former employer Dave Girling, owner of Cranbrook Dodge – an auto dealership.
Writing on the company’s Facebook page, Cranbrook Dodge explained how they had become aware of a ‘disturbing video’ involving one of their employees. They went on to explain how the woman has been fired and apologized for her action. The post has since been deleted due to an ‘outpouring of hate’ for
the former employee.
Wiring on Facebook, the post reads: “Hate breeds more hate and that is not what our community, country, and society need at this time. What we need is forgiveness, education, tolerance, love, and acceptance.
“How are we going to move forward? We are going to look at our culture and address any undercurrents of racism or intolerance.
“We urge our peers to do the same and ask our community to forgive this person, and instead of breeding more hate and more intolerance. Let's figure out how to be better, together.”
The original video, uploaded to Facebook by Monir Omerzai, saw Pocha shouting at three men in a restaurant.
At one point, Pocha shouts: “Because you know what? You’re dealing with a Canadian woman right now, and I will leap across this table and punch you right in your f-----g mouth.”
She then asked if the men paid taxes, to which they replied they all did – reiterating the fact that they were Canadian. Pocha replied: “No, you are not Canadian…You’re not dealing with one of your Syrian b---s right. You’re dealing with a Canadian woman, and I’m not going to be talked down to by you.”
The video caused mass outrage and was viewed 370,000 times. Which begs the question; can an employer fire a staff member for bad behaviour outside of working hours?
“It is important to note that an employer can dismiss an employee for almost any reason or no specific reason at all,” Ryan Watkins of Whitten & Lublin told HRD Canada.
“Hence, an employee could dismiss an employee simply because that employee did not like the employer’s favourite hockey team (as silly as that sounds). The caveat to this is that an employer cannot dismiss an employee for discriminatory reasons.
“Human rights legislation across Canada protects employees from being discriminated against based on human rights grounds. So, the short answer is yes, an employee can be fired for something they did outside of work on a without cause basis. The employer would only be required to provide the employee with sufficient notice or pay in lieu of notice.”