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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Be Thankful You’re Not An Employment Law Turkey

By: Thomas Eden

Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for?

I’m thankful that I’m not the person who writes help-wanted ads for Vestra Inet of Toronto. The company came under well-deserved fire for putting the following in a help-wanted ad for a writer/SEO specialist: “Please note that the Position requires filling in the responsibilities [sic] of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.” (Emphasis added.) After the usual cyber-indignation was expressed, the company took down the ad and made kind of a non-apology apology.

I’m thankful that I am not the HR manager of these two people. A female, known only as “Christina,” announced her pregnancy on Facebook. How sweet. Then a male co-worker decided to offer his own greeting, which got more than 100 “likes”:

“Congratulations, Christina, I know you and Mark will be very happy. I hope that now that you’re pregnant, . . . you stop coming into my office offering sexual favors, just because I drunkenly slept with you at the retreat. It was a mistake. A huge mistake. . . . So while I congratulate you for bringing a child onto this earth, I also pray that this ends your psychotic, one-sided love affair with me. I also hope that your husband is smart enough to know that IT COULD BE ANYONE’S KID.”

This was the part that I could repeat. It gets worse. Was this a prank? If so, it wasn’t very nice. Christina, meanwhile, has reportedly taken down her Facebook profile.

I’m thankful that I am not a kid in this woman’s class. A substitute teacher assigned to Washington Elementary school in Oklahoma was arrested for a DWI on the way to school one morning. She appeared this week on Dr. Phil to claim that she was not intoxicated (even though she was on video admitting to the cops that she’d been drinking). Dr. Phil’s crew caught her on camera at the hotel on the morning of the show drinking a glass of wine before her interview. Oops. “Oh, you said NINE o’clock. I misunderstood.”

OK, now here are some things I really am thankful for . . .

  • I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and my firm.
  •  I’m thankful for you: my loyal column readers, commenters, email correspondents, and those who stop me and say, “Thank you!” I hope you’ll stay with me for another year and let me continue to teach you how not to become an Employment Law Tukey!
Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL and West Point, GA and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. I wish to thank my partner Robin Shea in our Winston-Salem, NC for her help with this column. Tommy can be contacted at or 334-246-2901. Blog at with hyperlinks to videos and commentary for the stories above.