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Dismissal of iMart cashier raises eyebrows

The Labour Department is said to be looking into the recent dismissal of Tammy Edwards, who is now popularly known as the Eyebrow Girl, by iMart convenience store.

About two weeks ago Edwards posted a video of herself on social media which went viral.

In it, she was seen wearing makeup on just one eyebrow, and could be heard complaining about having to vacate the mall with her makeup incomplete during a fire drill at Sheraton Mall, Christ Church.

The next day she was reportedly sacked by iMart but was immediately embraced by prominent members of the entertainment community, including Peter Ram and Gorg, who have since taken her in studio to produce a ‘bashment soca’ song about her experience.

This has sparked public debate over whether the company and the former employee both went too far in terms of their actions.

Asked by reporters Monday if the matter was before her department, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo responded: “I think it is at the Labour Department. And like any other case the Labour Officers, they are following up on it.

“I know that they would have gone in and had discussions and so on. So there is a process that would be followed,” she said in a brief comment on the issue.

Meantime, one local trade unionist has described the practice of employers using their employees’ social media postings to pass judgment on their work as “a dangerous precedent”.

Acting Assistant General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Wayne Walrond said even in cases of lewd and unacceptable behaviour, the employer was “duty bound to give that employee the opportunity to remove the post in question.

“This is called natural justice. The first recourse should be to call the employee and ask them to remove the post,” Walrond said.

He referenced the recent Eyebrow Girl video, saying there was need for a clear protocol.

“As it stands, a dangerous precedent is set because an employer can go on a profile of their employee, see something they don’t like, then become judge and jury and dismiss that person,” the veteran trade unionist said.

Pointing out that digital profiles could be hacked and videos or photos could be manipulated, he said: “To rely on sites like Facebook could be dangerous because people have been known to frame persons.

“A persons face could be placed on another image, so the media is open to manipulation. People have already been damaged and harmed wrongfully,” he contended.

 

Source: (CM)

22 Responses to Dismissal of iMart cashier raises eyebrows

  1. Nyckee Mack
    Nyckee Mack October 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Well looka this here now, eyebrows get raise. So ya done kno….

    Reply
  2. Brien King
    Brien King October 25, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Is there a law for being malicious ? In relation to work, unless that person has done something AT work to merit being dismissed, they shouldn’t be dismissed.
    It would have to be shown that she was warned on other matters relating to what she was dismissed for because if memory serve me well, cautions, warning , then dismissals is how it is to go according to the law.
    What could have been done by her is to remove the incomplete makeup from her face and then when the all clear given, go back and complete your goal. Just stating.

    Reply
    • Frank Taylor
      Frank Taylor October 25, 2016 at 9:11 am

      So, who owns the company? Is it private or public?
      That’s another mindset with us — we show up at private organizations with the veneer of being protected by unions that are governed by public policies.
      Dude, if I owned that company, and a union forced me to re-hire her — I would shut the company down first, re-organize under another name and go from there — how yuh like them apples?

      Reply
    • Tyrone Smith
      Tyrone Smith October 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

      You’ve ever had to vacate any premises when a fire drill alarm was sounded?

      Reply
  3. Helicopter(8p) October 25, 2016 at 9:17 am

    For employers to use Social media as a grounds of employee dismissal there must be a clear understanding and signed disclaimer to that understanding in the employment contract. In regard to an employee using the employer’s work site to publish and broadcast during work hours there is a difference in protocol. Invasion of privacy is an offence so limitations should be adhered to. A published ethics code of conduct should be posted for all employees to read that can be clearly see on a notice board.

    Reply
  4. Kimberly October 25, 2016 at 9:20 am

    What she do in her free time is her business. She didnt say nothing bad about imart, never once mentiin the store name. People only found out where she work because Imart say so… this was done before 9am, her behaivir outside of work dont have n1crap to do with her job.. It should be against the law for you to fire someone on what they choose to post. I can understand of she did a video on the con of imart.. gove her back her job.. use her for marketing.. give her, her unemployment

    Reply
  5. Lennox hewitt October 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    So Imart if that was her free time then i think u better start writing cheques cause u get rid of 3 now so she may be laughing all de way to de Bank so u next step f u find out u wrong is to hire back but if u do dat i would say keep your job and give me my Cheque 5 years and wrongfull dismisal ?

    Reply
  6. Smiley October 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    NO BRAINER IMART WRONG AND COMPENSATION DUE ASAP!

    Reply
  7. Donild Trimp October 25, 2016 at 11:06 am

    When I first heard the story I was of the opinion that the employee was on company time.

    Now that the facts are revealed, the employee may have a case of wrongful dismissal but she is caught up in a technicality.

    If her start time is 9.00am and she punched in at 8.30am she is technically under the employer’s rules and regulations so if the fire drill occurred between 8.30am and 9.00am as it did, she is out of luck.

    Where she would have been in the clear was if she did not punch that clock until her start time of 9.00am.

    Good luck to her winning this one.

    Reply
  8. Coralita October 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

    A lot of smart mouth people making comments and do not have a clue what iMart’s policy is or what contents are in the employee’s contract.

    I don’t know and will wait to hear the outcome once all investigations are completed.

    Reply
    • Donild Trimp October 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Coralita, nothing to do with what iMart’s policy is.

      The moment you punched that clock, you are under the employer’s rules and regulations.

      Plenty of case law to reference.

      Reply
  9. harry turnover October 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    The woman was doing her makeup,not at home BUT at I MART …one doesn’t do a fire drill when employees are not at work or arriving for work.
    She was AT WORK… BECAUSE she said SHE HAD TO LEAVE WORK..so it looks as though ” the dog dead “…for 2 reasons…..doing makeup DURING the Companys’ time…..and using social media DURING the Companys’ time….it is as simple as that.
    This is not a case of an Employers looking at what someone does in their free time on Social Media to fire someone ALTHOUGH in my opinion Employers SHOULD have that right as long as it places those Employers at a disadvantage,
    ……but in this case what was done WAS DURING IMARTS TIME….harsh in my opinion for something as petty as this.

    Reply
  10. Adrian October 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    What I do in my free time on my posts on social media, so long as I am not insulting my employer or causing him to lose business should be my business and up to me… like my money, which I choose not to spend with iMart anymore. Let them consider the lifetime values of a lost customer and a good employee. All now them should have a one eyebrow promotion instore. No imagination.

    Reply
  11. Richard Braithwaite October 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    It’s obvious……!
    I – Mart is in the wrong..!
    Lucky they ain’t in England…I would have sued them to
    kingdom ..come..!
    Eyebrow girl we with you girl..!
    Give her job back….now…!
    Look at the bad publicity …i Mart have
    brought on themselves….!
    Who is …idiot who signed ….her dismissal ?
    Go on social media and explain your reasoning ?
    Bet you won’t …!!!

    Reply
  12. Aneta October 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Bajans always put their mouths in motion their brain. Always damn judge and flipping jury. She was on the job. She is a representation of the company. She was using profanity. She was making up on the job. A fire drill is all part of the expectations of any company in operation as part of a preventative measure in the case of any perils. So yes, she was on the job. I personally think she should have been counseled on her behavior and a not place on her file signed by her and the employer in the event of a similar occurrence. Barbadians cannot work anywhere else except bim.we are a law unto ourselves and have no kind of behavior

    Reply
    • Coralita October 25, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Aneta of course Barbadians can work other places, but they shut the hell up and do as they are told and tow the line.

      Fire drills are extremely important and I think more so in big complexes where large numbers of employers, employees and the public can be found at any given time.

      Fire officers/wardens also gauge the time taken between the alarm going off and the complete vacating of the building. It helps with proper planning and closing any gaps in the safety and security protocols. Even though some see it as a disruption it is a necessary disruption and should be taken seriously. You just never know when something may actually happen and people display the same bad attitudes that may cause lost of life.

      Reply
  13. Observer October 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    What she did wasn’t the smartest thing but it’s still not grounds for termination that too hash

    Reply
  14. D. Harrison October 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    All I will say is this as soon as you don the uniform of a company you become a representative of that company and may be subject to their rules and regulations. The same way we tell our school children that when in uniform no matter where they are or what they are doing they must respect that uniform and what it means. So just because it was not her “official” start time she was on site wearing the IMart uniform .

    Reply
  15. Tony Waterman October 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    FYI:- Several Farm Boy employees in Ottawa have been fired over the past week after the company learned of their postings on a popular Internet networking website.
    The employees were dismissed from Farm Boy locations across the city after posting comments in the “I Got Farm Boy’d” group on the Facebook website.

    University of Ottawa assistant professor Karen Eltis, an expert in Internet law, said employers are entitled to terminate workers with just cause, but employees are also entitled to free expression. The stickiness of the situation comes into play when employees choose the publicly accessible Internet as their forum.

    It is becoming more and more clear that an em-
    ployee’s use of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace may lead to justifiable discipline by an employer. On October 22, 2010, the B.C. Labour Relations Board released its decision in West Coast Mazda (d.b.a. West Coast Detail & Accessory Centre) and UFCW Local 1518 [2010] B.C.L.R.B.D. No. 190, in which it dismissed the union’s unfair labour practice complaint and agreed that the employer’s decision to terminate two employees for their Facebook postings during certification was appropriate.

    In a 2007 Ontario arbitration decision,the “for cause” termination of a personal caregiver was upheld when she posted confidential information about patients and managerial decisions on her personal blog.

    Similarly, in a 2009 decision from Alberta,an arbitrator upheld a “for cause” termination on the basis that the grievor’s expression of contempt via her personal blog for co-workers and management “seriously and irreparably damaged the employment relationship” (although this decision was overturned for other reasons). Taken together, these decisions happily confirm that Canadian employees can be disciplined for inappropriate use of social websites (or, at the very least, that employees should be careful who their friends are!).

    A Chicago area car salesman has lost an unfair labor practices case that contended a dealership improperly fired him for his Facebook posts.

    A Swiss woman in 2009 was playing what would normally have been a simple case of hooky, claiming that she had a migraine and could not work in front of a computer screen. Unfortunately, her employer noticed that she had signed in to Facebook that same day. Saying that this had “destroyed its trust in her,” company management decided to let her go. In defense, the woman did claim to have been accessing Facebook from her iPhone, but she was fired (or sacked, as they say abroad), regardless.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article89491017.html

    Reply
  16. Tony Waterman October 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    @Brien King!!!There is an OBVIOUS reason for holding Fire Drills during Working Hours, so that everyone is aware of what to do IF/WHEN a real emergency should occour, her walking away and complaining about it being a “JOKE” on social media was not only insubordination for not participating in a LEGAL FIRE exercise, but then posting her abhorrence of it on Social Media.

    @Helicopter(8p) NOT true, if what you say/do on Social Media impacts on the Organisation/Store, no signed Contract can save you

    @Kimberly!!! absolute Hogwash, why would a fire Drill be held before the Complwx was Completely Operational when the reason for the Drill is to make sure tha all get out safely, what was happenoing eas that she was using her employers time to fix her eye brows, and got annoyed when the fire Alarms went off as she was not finished. Get the story right and use your own Brain to think.

    @Lennox hewitt!!! Don’t be foolish Man!!! it’s 9.30 AM haw can it be her free time, no!! she was actually STEALING her employers time to fix her Face. Sorry No Cheques here.

    @Smiley!!!Thing again, no cheques for being “HArd EARED” and FOOLISH.

    @Donild Trimp!!Somebody is comprehending what they are Reading, you must be living outside of Barbados, otherwise you are one of the few thinkers left in Barbados, everyone else seems to let sympathy work for them, instead of reality.

    @harry turnover!! I whole heartedly agree with what you have said, except at the end “.harsh in my opinion for something as petty as this.” actually it is NOT petty, considering that her being at the drill and paying attention could possibly save the life of shoppers who would NOT be aware of fire exits etc, IF she had paid attention to the drill and NOT her Eyebrows.

    @Richard Braithwaite!!!The Idiot is YOU, and you are NOT being truthful,because in England Fire Drills are by LAW NOT by Request, so everyone MUST participate, come on you know that is true. please don’t say anything if you can’t say something truthful.

    @Aneta!!!Unfortunately, most Businesses in Barbados do NOT have Files on their employees, so that one is out the door, Bajans always boast of the Education Levels, but some one should add “COMMONSENSE 101 to the Cirriculum”

    @Coralita!!! I can see that wherever you went to School Taught “Commonsense 101”

    @Observer!!!! Unfortunately you are wrong, this is now happenong all over the World, and like in Canada, has already even ended up at the doorsteps of the Supreme Court who ruled in Favour of the Employers. they can now fir any employee who Post anything Detrimental to their Company/Business.

    http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article89491017.html

    Reply
  17. chardayna impressive October 26, 2016 at 2:35 am

    How can you practice a fire drill before the start of other workers being there to learn what to do very very stupid in my opinion which is why the employee is by suprised her job does not start until 9 am and she didnt once mention the companies name so it is malicious damage that lead to a wrongful dismissal for a fire drill practiced before workers could actually be at work. Wont be suprised if it was a fire drill cover up seeing that this country got a lot of snags that are not mentioned . Applause for bim lets celebrate 50 on no independent thinking

    Reply
  18. chardayna impressive October 26, 2016 at 2:49 am

    @Tony
    Dont applaud an employeer for malicious damage wronful dismissal no proper protocol was followed whether are not you deem it to be a foolish act she being fired instantly was dead wrong she was not given a warning.

    Im very sure that Imart doesnot have a do not post on instagram your self before work rule.

    And as for fire safety dont applaud them for trying to be ediots how can u teach ppl that will not arrive until 9 a drill how tell me how seriously I want to know.

    And as for Imart you should be glad that your employee that u ket go always early for you they r very few bajans who go to work early are care about punctuality and she as said in an interview previously is always early and never had a warning who fires a good worker without issuing a warning I hope you are sued big!!! Time.

    Reply

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