I was fired for cheating an online course — can I fight back?

My employer made us take online courses to teach us how not to offend people at work. I’ve managed to avoid being accused of being a womanizing, disrespectful racist my entire career. I don’t have time to waste sitting for hours so the company can cover their ass. So, I had my assistant sit through it for me. The company found out and fired me. Do I have any resources?

Nope. Why didn’t you just do what everyone else does? Sit there and barely pay attention and then just answer the questions. If you have any degree of empathy and common sense you can get the right answer. Having your assistant take it for you sends an awful message and isn’t the behavior a leader should demonstrate. And thanks for giving me a good ethics question for the next training tool.

I was in a meeting and made a reference about another culture and the outrage from staff was ridiculous. You would think I’d spewed hate speech. It was an innocent mistake from an “old-timer” who just can’t keep up with the woke culture. I have been suspended. Can I fight it?

For what it’s worth, Whoopi, I don’t think you meant any harm by your comments on “The View,” although I do think some consequence was justified. Listen, “old-timer” — I’m not sure what you said, but I’ve seen people of a certain generation use terms that were not meant to be demeaning or sexist but with the new norms are considered taboo. We have seen people whose careers have been destroyed by a mob mentality over one mistake when nothing in their long career has ever happened before to punish the person so harshly. With everyone recorded for posterity in text, e-mail and video, it’s almost impossible to make a mistake without the world discovering it. Be authentic in your apology. Express an understanding that what you said is now considered inappropriate and the term you used shouldn’t be said, and move on. And for everyone reading this: Before you call out someone and ruin their lives for misspeaking without ill intent, consider if you have ever said something that you regretted and were apologetic for.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. Hear Greg Weds. at 9:35 am on iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. E-mail: [email protected] Follow: GoToGreg.com and on Twitter: @greggiagrande

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