Some of the strangest fails in the human resource world

The definitions of “fails” in the digital world is to do something so strange and so out of focus that it becomes a reference of things that you shouldn’t  do. Yes, it is the same a big mistake or an innocent mistake, and with  social media and this connected world, a little, innocent mistake can become a funny fail if it goes viral on the internet.

In the human resources world, fails happen almost every day. From managers not understanding their employees to employees that publish their pay-check and create an amazing fuss, fails are the daily bread in every aspect of life and in the corporate world too. We now have 3 of the strangest fails that have been recorder in the human Resource world.

Fired for publishing secret information about the company: his pay-check.

Yes, it seems almost funny to think that if you publish a picture of your income or the actual pay-check you receive, this will get you fired. Of course all of us talk about our income, not with everybody, but with our close friends and family. The thing is that today the social media makes it easier for “everybody” to see the “picture” and it is not as innocent as showing it to only your close friends. The case happened in Lacoste when an employee, Wade Good was his name, published a picture of his pay-check on Instagram. Lacoste appeared to be very worried that confidential information was being disclosed, but forgot that that information actually belonged only to the employee; they also forgot that employees and people talk, and they talk on the internet, which in turn is public and of easy access to everyone. The dispute was settled because federal laws allow employees to discuss their salary with their co-workers, and if employee Wade Good had at least one co-worker as a follower on his Instagram account, the discussion was protected speech. It could be a better idea to pay employees what they deserve, so when that happens the company acquires free press on the way.

The interns fight back.

And again, we all know that sometimes interns are treated unfairly in many areas and they have to do a lot of annoying tasks before they really start working for the company. It is almost a social norm that we all accept, as a matter of fact, we have all been there. But companies crossed the line when they didn’t pay the interns what the law said they should. And the interns fought back in 2013 and won the battle. To illustrate this case, here are two little examples. Fox Search Light lost a case in which interns said they were illegally unpaid and the company had to appeal. The road was rough for the company to not have a bad publicity out of the problem. The other case is when publishing Giant Conde Nast announced it was ending its internship program in 2014, due to the amount of law suits from former interns who said that Conde Nast paid them less than minimum wage and made them do much more than they were required. All this fuss created a lot of anxiety and many companies ran to correct their intern programs. Companies know the rules for intern programs since long time ago but decided to abuse just a little bit more than normal, and they got caught.

Hooters and their bald waitress.

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Image courtesy of Mike Mozart at

Yes, the title of the case sounds hard, but it is even a bit more annoying how the waitress was treated by the human resource department in the company. The corporate world is a harsh one when it comes to keeping a business alive and keeping an identity in the market. Waitress Sandra Lupo had to live this first hand when she had a brain tumor removed, which meant her head had to be shaved in order to do the procedure, and wanted to return back to her job in Hooters. She was promised that she could work with a hat but later was told that she had to work with a wig because the company claimed their restaurant sells not only food but “sexuality” and that a waitress’s appearance is critical to the restaurant’s mission. Sandra sued the company for disability discrimination, although it was a long shot because the company did act insensitively but not illegally. We count it as a fail because these practices need to be stopped and human resource suffer more from the aftermath in social media than from the actual dispute.

Some of these fails are common practices and some are just fails that human resource departments fall into without noticing. Either way, they should be avoided, especially with social media nowadays.