In a world where job security no longer exists, employees go above and beyond to excel in what they do – whether they’re flipping burgers at McDonald’s or the President of the United States of America. You work the graveyard shift, you work overtime without pay, you take work home, and you complete tasks that you’re not even responsible for, all in the hope that you’ll get to keep your job, food on the table and a roof over your head.
And then you get fired out of the blue for something completely outlandish – like saving kids from a shark. It sounds like the kind of thing that only happens in slapstick movies, but this is real life. And these seven people are living proof of that: they got fired for the most ridiculous reasons – ever.
1. Wearing orange
Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A., a Florida law firm, reportedly fired 14 employees in 2012 for wearing orange shirts to work. They were accused of wearing orange as an act of protest against management. The unlucky employees, however, insist that they had done so just to be easily identified as a group during happy hour after work. The funny thing is that, even if the employees were protesting, it would have been illegal to fire them.
2. TYPING IN ALL CAPS
New Zealander Vicki Walker was sacked from her job as an accountant in 2007 after using red, bold and all-cap letters in work e-mails, which were deemed “confrontational”. Walker was later awarded $17,000 for wrongful termination.
3. Stopping a carjacking
A man’s heroism in 2007 cost him his job as a waiter at 84 Thai Food. Juan Canales was opening the restaurant and quickly sprang into action when a carjacker tried to get away with a woman’s Honda CRV – he reportedly fought the suspect to the ground until police arrived at the scene. Canales returned to work and was fired for the unwanted publicity.
4. Being too sexy
Dental assistant Melissa Nelson found herself out of a job in 2013 when her former employer, Dr. James Knight, decided the then 33-year-old was too hot and a threat to his marriage. Even more disturbing is the fact that the Iowa Supreme Court found Knight’s case was perfectly sound.
5. Asking a question
U.S. Air Force Major Harold L. Hering was discharged in 1973 for questioning the process of launching nuclear missiles during training. He reportedly asked, “How can any missile crewman know that an order to twist his launch key in its slot… is lawful, legitimate, and comes from a sane president?”
6. Committing a minor crime – 49 years ago
You know what they say: karma will come back to bite you in the ass. And it certainly bit Richard Eggers’ ass.
In 1963, Eggers tried to use a cardboard dime to get a free load of laundry when he was 19 years old but was caught and charged for fraud. Fast forward to 2012, Eggers was fired from his job as a bank employee at Wells Fargo when the company uncovered the minor misdemeanor after running his fingerprints and a background check on him.
7. Wrestling a shark
If you’re taking sick leave, you might not want to get caught wrestling a shark on film, because it may very well cost your job – which is exactly what happened to Welshman Paul Marshallsea. The former charity worker was on holiday in Australia with his wife, on stress-related leave, when he was filmed dragging a 6-foot shark away from nearby children. While he made headlines, his employers, the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club, swiftly showed him the door citing “the breakdown of the trustees’ confidence”.
Can you think of any other most ridiculous reasons people were fired from their jobs? Let us know in the comments section below!