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Terrifying HR horror stories revealed

Monsters lurk in the shadows, witches laugh on their flying brooms, candy prices skyrocket – it can only signify one thing. Trick or treat!

The popular holiday generated billions in consumer spending every year, with offices everywhere being decorated with cobwebs and pumpkin pie. As a seasoned professional in the field, I have witnessed my fair share of HR horror stories that have plagued unfortunate employees throughout the years. These tales range from embarrassing online recruitment blunders to costly data errors.

Proceed with caution

Mistake in online hiring
Recruitment technology is a permanent fixture in the industry. Online job boards and digital hiring are the way forward for resourcing, providing extensive reach and efficient automated responses. Unfortunately, when something is posted online, it becomes nearly impossible to remove, as many people have experienced.

An employer who learned this lesson through experience was the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust. The hospital advertised a job opening for a trainee anaesthetist, seemingly poking fun at HR jargon. At the end of the online advert, the section that typically addresses equal opportunities and diversity was replaced with a dismissive phrase about being an equal opportunities employer.

The advertisement provoked a strong reaction from Twitter users, leading to the initiation of an inquiry.

The Morrisons data breach

Last week, Morrisons, a supermarket chain based in the UK, faced a setback in the High Court as it was held responsible for an employee data breach.

An earlier decision issued in December of last year was upheld by the Court of Appeal. Andrew Skelton, an internal auditor for the company, was responsible for leaking the personal information of 100,000 employees, which included sensitive details such as salary and bank information. Skelton received a prison sentence of eight years following a conviction for fraud in 2015.

A representative from Morrisons stated: “An individual who previously worked for Morrisons misused their authority to unlawfully obtain and disseminate personal information of our employees. This individual has been convicted for their actions.” Morrisons has not been held accountable by the courts for the manner in which it safeguarded colleagues’ data. However, it has been determined that the company is responsible for the actions of a former employee, despite the fact that his criminal activities were directed towards the company and our colleagues.

According to the BBC, this data leak class action is said to be the first of its kind in the UK. It is likely to have caught the attention of global organizations, potentially leading them to reevaluate their methods of storing employee information.

Unpleasant texting

Texting employees has become a widely accepted method of HR communication, with an increasing number of employers utilizing apps like WhatsApp for conferences and note-sharing. However, it’s generally not recommended to terminate an employee through messaging. A manager was recently fired for terminating an employee through a text message, even after being informed that the employee’s son had been hospitalized.

Crystal Reynolds Fisher quickly took her child Jason to the hospital when he became sick. She promptly messaged her manager, referred to as ‘Dawn’, at service station PS Food Mart in Albion to inform her that she would be unable to make her scheduled shift.

Dawn proceeded to inform Fisher that they were let go, citing an excessive amount of drama occurring.

“This isn’t our usual approach, so I understand that you’re resigning,” Dawn wrote. If you are unable to attend work, it can be considered as resigning…There is absolutely no justification for not being able to work, and I have zero tolerance for any kind of drama. That’s all for now…If you’re not available for your shift tomorrow, I’ll assume you’ve resigned.

Fisher responded firmly, emphasizing the gravity of the situation: “This is not just a routine medical appointment. We’re discussing the life of my child here.” I have never resigned from my position.

Can you imagine being able to go to work and function while your child is on life support?

Folk Oil Company, owners of PS Food Mart, issued a statement expressing regret for Dawn’s behavior and informing the public that she is no longer employed by the organization.