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High school office assistant by day, porn video star by night – she was terminated

In the first part of this post, I told you about a Quebec school board that suspended a high school office assistant with pay after discovering, thanks to Facebook, that she also happened to be a porn video star on the side. At that time, I was wondering if there should be ramifications. Well, a decision has been made by the school board to terminate her employment because of her off-duty conduct.

Image: www.cbc.ca

Image: www.cbc.ca

School board chairman Leopold Castonguay said in a statement, “We believe that the facts and the actions that led to this incident are inappropriate, unacceptable and incompatible, not only with our mission, but also with the values that we hope to convey to our young students.”

According to a recent Globe and Mail article, the school board decided to terminate the high school office assistant after they were unable to reach agreement on her transfer to another job. Although, during their talks, the employee had offered to immediately stop her pornography career.

The long-time employee plans on appealing the school board’s decision.

I viewed a lot of the comments made on this article, and many believe that the school board made a mistake when it terminated the employee. They argued that the employee should not have been punished for trying to make ends meet during her free time, and it was none of the school board’s business.

Others believed that there was nothing in her employment contract restricting her off-duty activities, or defining what the school board considered “incompatible” with its values. One commenter even proposed that the student who revealed her secret be expelled, and the assistant be promoted for being a hard worker.

Though I take their point, I can also see that the school board has a responsibility to promote particular values among students and adhere to its own mission statement. I am curious about the discussion that took place between the parties about potential alternative jobs in the school board where there may have been less student interaction, and why that did not work out.

Also, with the state of the economy in the last few years, many employees are moonlighting (holding second or third jobs to make ends meet). Some of these second jobs emerge out of hobbies.

When does moonlighting become a problem?

Does your employer have to support your after-hours vocation?

Do you think the office assistant will be successful in her appeal?

Let me know what you think!

Christina Catenacci
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Christina Catenacci

Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002 and has since been a member of the Ontario Bar Association. Christina worked as an editor with First Reference between February 2005 and August 2015, working on publications including The Human Resources Advisor (Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions), HRinfodesk discussing topics in Labour and Employment Law. Christina has decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Western Ontario beginning in the fall of 2015. Read more
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