One of Pakistan’s leading banks, Bank Alfalah, fired an employee for his abusive tweets. Fazeel Tajammul worked as Unit Head of Financial Reporting. The bank took notice of an unwarranted, abusive tweet that was highlighted by a journalist associated with Dawn. While there are some people that are praising the bank for not tolerating abuse by it’s employee, some are criticizing it for taking it too far.
Then there is a coordinated social media campaign, urging people to #BoycottBankAlfalah. A look at this hashtag will show you thousands of users who feel that passing abusive remarks is not a big deal. There are hundreds of users who were about to sign up for a Bank Alfalah service, and have decided not to do it now. Hundreds appear to be disabling their bank accounts.
Here’s a timeline of what happened:
Needless to say, it all started with an abusive response to a political tweet.
he was waiting for your mother to close her brothel and turn on the television— Fazeel Tajammul (@fazeeel) June 12, 2019
Not letting it go…
Hasan Zaidi looked up the guy and found his LinkedIn profile. Having found his employer, Hasan contacted Bank Alfalah with screenshots of the abusive tweet.
Feeling the heat…
Then in the afternoon, Fazeel issued an apology through his Twitter account:
— Fazeel Tajammul (@fazeeel) June 13, 2019
The way forward
However, the bank not only took notice, but went ahead and fired the guy. Here is Bank Alfalah’s official statement on Hasan Zaidi vs Fazeel Tajammul issue:
The bank termed this incident as a ‘severe breach’ of their code of conduct. This triggered a social media campaign to boycott Bank Alfalah.
This is a rare incident. In Pakistan, hurling abuses on social media is a norm, unfortunately. What’s not common is for a company to take notice of the abuse and punish the employee.
But this raises the question if employers can take action on something that was 1) not done in the workplace, 2) not done in an official capacity or during office hours.
What do you think? Was a good decision by bank or they took it too far?