Controversy Erupts as Bank Alfalah Fires Employee for Abusing a Journalist on Twitter

Bank Alafalah has fired an employee for abusing a journalist on Twitter.

The employee, Fazeel Tajammul, was the Unit Head Financial Reporting at the bank. He was reported by the renowned journalist, Hasan Zaidi, on Twitter.

Here’s What Happened

Two days ago, a feud started on Twitter when journalist Hasan Zaidi was abused by a Fazeel Tajammul on his tweet. Fazeel used abusive language while responding to Zaidi’s tweet.

Zaidi checked the man’s profile to know his whereabouts and found out he was a chartered accountant. He asked his followers about the firm Tajammul worked for so that he could ‘write to his bosses.’

Later, Zaidi found out that Tajammul worked as Unit Head Financial Reporting at Bank Alfalah Limited. He directly addressed the bank and asked whether they had any code of conduct regarding their employees’ behavior.

Other Twitter users also jumped in to criticize Tajammul as well as Bank Alfalah. Soon, #BoycottBankAlfalah started trending on the social media platform. The users found some other offensive posts by Tajammul and asked whether the bank conducted any background check on the employees.

The backlash ensued an official statement from Bank Alfalah, stating that it had taken the ‘appropriate action’ against the concerned employee.

Is the Move Justified?

Many people appreciated the move and Zaidi even thanked the bank for taking notice of the issue.

However, other people criticized Zaidi as well as Bank Alfalah for the move, calling it unfair.  Many people said that Zaidi had used his influence and power to have his way, specially since he mentioned that he knew Bank Alfalah’s CEO. Some are even asking Dawn to fire Zaidi too, as he himself uses crude language for criticism.

Let’s make some things clear: using abusive language is wrong and people who engage in such behavior need to be called out.

However, the question is that is it fair for an employer to sack their employee for comments they made on their own time? Tajammul had commented from his personal account and he was not representing Bank Alfalah at the time of his tweet. It also bears mentioning that Pakistan’s labor laws say that the employer is accountable for his employee only during the work hours.

However, nothing protects an employee from ramifications of public comments if they violate a company’s code of conduct. Social media is public and you simply cannot go running around using vile language and expect no repercussions especially if are going against a code of conduct you agreed to follow when you signed a contract with an employer.

Of course, the specifics and leniency of the code of conduct may vary for different organizations. But just maybe, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not call people’s mothers prostitutes lest you get a disproportionate response from someone with better connections than yourself.

Not too much to ask in our opinion since we could all do with being nicer to each other on social media.

We quite like this thread on Twitter which aptly sums up the conversation around the subject.

So was it an ego trip or just desserts? Is the move justified? What do you think?

  • Pot calling the kettle black. He has tweeted similarly obscenities many times.

    If Dawn has any shame, they should fire this idiot right now.

  • Responsible employers hire gentlemen and not a rowdy abusive lot, and its unbecoming of a gentlemen to act in a manner as Tajjammul did… Nonetheless, he should have only been given a warning in the first instant, as to err is human, then his behavior should have been kept on a watch list for action in case of further misconduct.

  • Wow!!! Mr. Zaidi hats off to you. For those who cross paths with Mr. Zaidi to be very careful with their language may be he knows your employer and gets you laid off if he findout you are unofficially offensive to him.

  • I hope this scoundrel is immediately removed from the institute of chartered accountants of pakistan to teach other youthiyas a lesson that they can’t bully people and get away with it

  • intolerance in the society do persist and must be addressed but intolerance on bank’s part and that too in a duel between the two, how could they intervene on such level. this guy Hassan has his tone and language if anybody observed him speaks volume of his character. then why fire Fazeel. everybody know his connections with bank ceo, also had an incident in which FM103 ceo fired an employee and the complainant was same Hassan.

  • Totally justified. Ziadi questioned the bank about its policies, and the enforcement of firing was the bank’s own choice based on its code of conduct.

  • Completely unjustified response from Bank. This journalist is a real cry baby. Come on face the music he couldn’t have said a thing had a person said the same what this guy said on his face. Coward journalist he couldn’t respond so tired too remove him from his job. But will that matter he’ll get more response from some xyz. Try to grow up Hasan zaidi.

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