Should an employer act over a viral video?

Investment bank JP Morgan finds itself in the spotlight as footage of employee clashing with security guard goes viral in Singapore.
By: | November 4, 2019
Topics: Compliance | News | Singapore

When a member of staff is videoed being rude and abusive outside of work, what responsibility does the employer have to act? This is the dilemma facing investment bank JP Morgan after an employee was filmed clashing with a security guard over his condominium’s parking rules for guests.

It wasn’t long before netizens uncovered the man’s identity and his employer, and started petitioning for him to be sacked. An online petition garnered almost 27,000 signatures.

In response to the video, JP Morgan sent a circular to its 3,000 employees in Singapore, reminding them to uphold a culture of respect. In the internal e-mail memo Edmund Lee, senior country officer of JP Morgan’s Singapore offices, said: “Our people, services and commitment to integrity have made JP Morgan one of the most respected financial institutions in the world. We all have a shared responsibility for preserving and building on this strong reputation.”

However, Lee didn’t refer to the the incident itself when he sent the circular. Other employers have come down harder on staff who have been the centre of viral videos and controversial social media postings. One infamous case was that of Anton Casey, a former employee of Crossinvest who ‘parted ways’ with the wealth management firm after making derogatory comments online about Singaporeans using public transport.