Construction worker sacked for YouTube stunt (Legal view)

Escalating pranks, YouTube video lead to termination
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2011

A series of escalating pranks at an Ontario construction site has led to a worker being fired after a video of him nailing his private parts to a board surfaced online.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Canada was subcontracting elevator installation at a construction site in downtown Toronto, where a large office building was being built. All the workers on the site, including those of ThyssenKrupp and the main contractor of the site, PCL Construction, were male and the culture of the workplace was a “macho” environment where pranks were played. There were reportedly pictures of women and “provocative” calendars hung on walls, as well as signs displaying vulgar humour. There was little concern about these as access to the building was restricted to people involved in the construction project.

One of ThyssenKrupp’s employees at the site was an elevator mechanic. He and several other employees engaged in what he called “picking on” each other and playing pranks in order to keep things light at work. They would also watch pornographic scenes on a worker’s iPod and episodes of the television show Jackass, which features individuals doing stupid activities on dares.