So Your Employee is a Neo-Nazi: Discipline and Dismissal for Off-Duty Conduct [On Demand]

What can you do when you find out an employee is a white supremacist or racist and isn’t hiding it?



On Demand
Course Leader : Stuart Rudner, Rudner Law
Duration : 1 hour 0 minute
Price: $69.00

You have enough on your mind already without having to deal with an employee that takes part in white supremacist rallies or runs a neo-Nazi website, but what can you do when that happens and that employee is identified?

The recent events in the United States involving demonstrations by “white nationalists” (also known as white supremacists or neo-Nazis) have rocked North America, and they have been followed by attempts to organize similar demonstrations in Canada. As photos and video of the U.S. events have surfaced, many people have made efforts to “out” the participants. This raises a number of questions, but for employers, one question that arises is what you can do when you find out that one of your employees is a white supremacist/racist/neo-Nazi.

In recent years, I have discussed many situations in which individuals have lost their jobs as a result of off-duty conduct. In one memorable case, an employee of Hydro One was immediately dismissed after a video of him yelling sexually inappropriate comments at a female news reporter went viral (although he was subsequently reinstated after grievance arbitration).

• So if someone is captured on video chanting racist slogans or supporting racist groups, can he be fired?
• What if your employee is spreading their offensive message around the workplace?
• At the other end of the spectrum, what if you discover an employee’s offensive beliefs, but they’re not public nor are they known by others within the organization?

It is important to remember that as an employer, you have the right to dismiss an employee at any time for almost any reason, or no reason at all. One option is to simply dismiss the employee without cause, pay whatever is required by way of termination pay, and be done with them. Of course, that may be quite unpalatable for some employers. As I have expressed in many contexts, the issue of when just cause for dismissal exists is extremely complex, but off-duty conduct can give rise to discipline and dismissal in the appropriate context.

Durng this webinar, we will address:

    • When off-duty conduct can justify discipline or dismissal
    • How to assess when conduct rises to the level of just cause for dismissal
    • How to update your policies to address off-duty conduct (including on and offline)


Stuart Rudner, Rudner Law

Stuart is the founder of Rudner Law, a firm specializing in employment law (or HR Law, as it is often called). He is the author of You’re Fired! Just Cause for Dismissal in Canada, published by Thomson Reuters, and has contributed to several other leading texts. He also speaks at and chairs various conferences and courses, and is regularly interviewed by the media on employment law issues.

Rudner Law works with business owners, HR Professionals, in-house counsel, and anyone else tasked with looking after HR in the organization to put contracts, policies and procedures into place, conduct training, and respond to issues as they arise.