Doing The Harlem Shake And Other Things You Didn’t Know Could Get You Fired

December 6, 2016  |  
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Being fired isn’t fun. And being fired over something silly is even more depressing. But an employer can fire you for any variety of reasons these days.

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In fact, it’s pretty easy to get fired in the United States. “Most Americans can be legally fired for almost any reason,” reported Salon. “Private sector workplace relationships tend to operate under the standard of employment-at-will, which means you can be fired for the color of your shirt, your political views, supporting your favorite sports team or for refusing to fetch your boss a cup of coffee. The Bill of Rights does not apply to your office.”

As such, here are 10 (pretty ridiculous) things you probably didn’t know could get you the boot.




You’re thinking, but what about the First Amendment right to fee speech? Well, when it comes to blogging about your company, you just can’t do it without risking being fired.

This happened to one Delta Airlines flight attendant–and she wasn’t even blogging anything bad about the company. Her blogs merely gave some insight into what it was like to be a flight attendant. The problem is she often mentioned Delta and posted photos of herself in her Delta uniform.

The flight attendant, Ellen Simonetti, was “fired in 2004 after her employers discovered her blog, entitled ‘Diary of a Flight Attendant’ and decided they’d rather not have the world see her as a representative of Delta Airlines,” reported List Verse.

Firing because of blogging is not unseal. “Employees have been fired for blogging about their employers’ people, products, and services. Employees have been fired for posting photos of themselves dressed in their company uniforms while off duty. Employees have been fired for posting embarrassing photos about the goings-on inside companies. Employees have been fired for alerting the blogosphere to what a jerk a particular manager is or what a joke a company’s policies and procedures are,” reported the American Management Association.



Doing the Harlem Shake

Dancing the Harlem Shake at work got 15  Australian miners fired.  Dancing doesn’t harm anyone, right? Wrong. In this case the boss, who found out after a video was posted online, felt it was a safety violation. “The workers were part of an overnight crew working at the Agnew Mine in Western Australia owned by South African miner Gold Fields Ltd. The workers were employed by Barminco, an Australia-based underground services company.” reported The Huffington Post. “The 30-second video posted on YouTube shows a group of miners, some wielding tools and shirtless, performing the Harlem Shake, which typically begins with a one solo dancer who is quickly joined by others, often in costumes or with props.”A YouTube spokeswoman said over 250,000 Harlem Shake videos were uploaded in February and watched more than 700 million times, with a version by the Norwegian army notching up more than 47 million views and an underwater version 30 million.



Being Sexy

Can you be just too darn sexy for work?  In the case of former dental assistant Melissa Nelson, a married mother, that answer was yes-according to her boss’s wife! Nelson had been a dental assistant for 10 years, but her boss James Knight claimed she was dressing too sexy under her scrubs and it was too sexy for him to resist. So his wife urged him to fire Nelson and he did–and told her why she was getting the boot.

Why Didn't Obama Say Black Lives Matter intro

Source: AP Images


In 2012 a Las Vegas CEO claimed he fired 22 of his 114 employees because Obama was reelected, reported the Huffington Post.

“I had to lay off 22 people today to make sure that my business is gonna thrive and I’m gonna be around for years to come,” the CEO told a local radio station. “I have to build up that nest egg now for the taxes and regulations that are coming my way.” According to the CEO, most of his workers were Hispanic and he claimed to have warned them about voting for Obama, saying Obamacare would lead to the firings.

Image Source: Sony Pictures Television

Image Source: Sony Pictures Television


John Preston, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was a fan of the hit TV show “Seinfeld.” Well, maybe too much of a fan. There was a punchline from the series that he kept repeating at work and it got him fired. Here’s how it happened:

“Preston, while at a retreat, joined in with some other co-workers in saying ‘You’re so good looking’ rather than ‘bless you’ whenever someone sneezed–as Jerry and Elaine did in one episode of Seinfeld. Like many of us, Preston kept saying the same thing over and over again once everyone was back to work,” reported List Verse. Sadly, he said the joke to a female co-worker and Preston was accused of sexual harassment, and thus let go.

Image Source:

Image Source:


If you’re a delivery man who uses a work-related GPS system you would think you’d know your company is tracking your route. But a carpenter supervisor who worked for New York University for more than two decades didn’t seem to know this. John Haplin, according to his managers, “was falsifying time-records,” reported His managers knew because they tracked his comings and goings for five months through the GPS system in his government-issued cell phone.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock


This is an obvious one, but people are still getting fried for sleeping at work, including one Comcast technician who took way to long repairing a faulty cable modem. Apparently “he fell asleep on the customer’s couch. Not surprisingly, he was canned,” reported

"woman on the phone pf"


Forgetting To Hang Up

This was definitely a bad open-mic moment. “Several senior employees at a technology retailer were on a conference call with the CEO who was out of the office. When the meeting had ended, one employee said, ‘If that idiot tells me how to do my job one more time, I’m going to quit.’ He didn’t have to.

A few seconds later everyone in the room heard an ominous sound coming from the three-footed conference phone, ‘I’m sorry, what was that?,'” reported The boss who hadn’t hung up told the employee, who hadn’t hung the phone up either, to leave the building.



Stealing Food

One person confessed on social media that while he told people he was laid off because of pay cuts, in actually it was because he stole food his co-worker had in the breakroom fridge, reported Mashable. Guess he was hungry–or greedy.




Imagine you’re in a very important meeting with the company bigwigs, your gas gets the best of you, and, unfortunately, you let loose a loud smelly one. Well, reported Mashable, that situation did get one person fired.


Free Coffee

A police officer in Florida got used to getting a free coffee from Starbucks and ultimately it got him a pink slip. “For about two years, Lieutenant Major Garvin was given free specialty coffee drinks from a local Starbucks. When one day he was refused his drink on the house, the Lieutenant threatened employees with a much slower response time if they ‘needed a little help.’ When investigated, he denied the claim and agreed to a polygraph. He failed,” reported


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