A Canadian Pacific Railway conductor has been dismissed, following the discovery of modelling photos on her social media pages, some of which are on railway property.
Stephanie Katelnikoff told The Canadian Press that she received a letter from her employer, with a screen grab of the racy pictures attached, and was told to report to the office for a “formal investigation”.
The letter allegedly read: “This investigation is in connection with conduct and actions on Instagram and Facebook and other social media accounts, and the content of and compliance of those postings with company policies.”
However, whilst some of the photos in the collection show the employee posing nude or in lingerie, the company claims her termination only concerned pictures that were related in some way to railway safety and the company – Canadian Press reports.
“Railway safety is a top priority at CP,” the railway said. “Ms. Katelnikoff’s termination related to her decision to post photos of herself in unsafe situations on railway property and equipment, committing railway safety violations, along with disparaging remarks regarding the company.
“Her termination was not about her posting of personal photos or information per se that were not related in some way to railway safety and CP.”
In 2014, a train that Katelnikoff was conducting de-railed and sent 15 cars off the tracks in Alta. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash. A month later, Katelnikoff was fired from her position, as the company claimed she had violated rules around protecting an accident scene and injury reporting.
But it’s not just employees who should be wary of their online activity. A CareerBuilder survey found that 60% of employers vet potential new hires online. Over one quarter of managers claim that they have found online content which has caused them to fire an employee – or at least reprimand them.
We spoke to Muneeza Sheikh, Partner at Levitt, who gave us her take on social media policies: “The advice I normally give to employees is that if what they do in private flies in the face of the core values of the company they work for, then there could be cause to terminate them.
“When deciding whether or not there is cause, it really depends on who they are in the organization. So, if they’re someone senior in the company, someone who – from a public level – would be seen to be upholding the values of the company, then they should be more diligent in ensuring what they do in their private life isn’t diametrically opposed to the brand’s values.”