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Hydro One rehires man fired after defending vulgar heckling of TV reporter

Shawn Simoes had been fired by Hydro One for defending use of ‘FHRITP’ phrase with City News reporter Shauna Hunt


 
Shauna Hunt interviews a Toronto FC soccer fan in Toronto on Sunday, May 10, 2015, in this video frame grab. (CITY NEWS/CP)

Shauna Hunt interviews a Toronto FC soccer fan in Toronto on Sunday, May 10, 2015, in this video frame grab. (CITY NEWS/CP)

TORONTO – Ontario’s largest electricity provider says it has rehired a Toronto engineer fired after soccer fans yelled sexually explicit taunts at a TV reporter this spring.

Shawn Simoes lost his job as an assistant network management engineer with Hydro One this May in connection with an incident at a Toronto FC game that was captured on camera and widely denounced on social media.

The company said at the time that he was terminated for violating its employee code of conduct.

Hydro One said Monday that the matter “was resolved through the arbitration process” during which the company “made its views very clear.”

Social media tips had identified Simoes as one of several hecklers caught on video hurling obscenities at CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt.

Hunt fought back by questioning the men about their conduct, but the video shows the men dismissing her questions.

She later said the confrontation came about after almost a year of nearly constant harassment.

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Hydro One rehires man fired after defending vulgar heckling of TV reporter

  1. Firing was too extreme a measure. He was not in the workplace; he was not the one who said the offensive phrase (though he was a fool to defend the guy who did). He was not wearing anything – nor did he say anything – that connected him to Hydro One. I doubt very much that anyone saw him as representing – or being representative of – the company. There were disciplinary measures that could have been taken that were less extreme.

    In this case, the person was foolish enough to talk to a reporter – so he knew he was being filmed. But what happens when someone captures a video on a cell – unbeknownst to the person – and it goes viral? Something intended to be private is then available for the world to see – should the person lose their job in such a situation? I know if that happened to me, I’d be pursuing action against the person who posted it.

    • I had figured at the time that we’d be hearing more about this. Surprised it took this long, but not terribly surprised he was reinstated (presumably with back pay). Hydro One wanted to be seen as taking a hard line and wasn’t worried about the legalities of its actions nor whether those actions would be reversed (like a certain ex-PM). It’s no skin off Hydro One’s apple if Simoes gets more than just back pay (e.g. for pain and suffering or some such), as the taxpayer picks up the tab.

  2. Ok, he’s got a job, now time to get a life. If harassing women is a fun or funny pastime in his mind, he’s pretty shallow, and most likely single.

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