The case of online misconduct begs the question - when can HR fire an employee for social media misuse?
A Malaysian doctor based in Australia has been suspended from his job for posting outrageous sexist and racist remarks online.
His employer, the health district overseeing the hospital, is investigating the case, adding that they take the professional misconduct “very seriously”.
A public outcry has also followed his postings and an online petition has called for the authorities to revoke his license to practice medicine.
In April, Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee was suspended for six weeks after admitting to posting a series of offensive remarks online.
He had been working as an emergency doctor at a hospital in Victoria, Australia since 2018. The suspension bars him from working anywhere in the country.
Some of the comments included: “some women deserve to be raped”; “Singaporean women are some of the most materialistic, pampered and self-entitled women you are likely to meet anywhere”; and that Chinese women “calculating, ruthless animals”.
What’s worse is he posted nude photos of a woman as revenge for criticising him online.
He also frequently shared photos of his wife and boasted about their sex life. Unapologetic, he wrote: “If my marriage fell apart, it would not end in divorce. It would end in murder”.
In another post, Lee wrote that if his wife were to become pregnant, he would force an abortion by kicking “her down the stairs”.
He was also brazen in his online activities, and posted photos of his passport and medical degree to prove his identity.
Following backlash from netizens, Lee replied, “Malaysian and Australian authorities can’t touch me for things I say on a Singaporean forum.”
“Lose job in Australia over stuff posted on a Singaporean forum? Are you retarded?” he wrote.
His employer Eastern Health released the statement that Dr Lee will not be returning to work until the completion of this investigation, reported The Guardian.
“We wish to advise that Eastern Health takes the issue of professional misconduct very seriously,” it said. “We value diversity, inclusivity and living together respectfully and do not tolerate disrespectful comments or racism in any form.”
Along with the six-week ban the tribunal investigating him ordered Lee to undergo training about ethical behaviour on social media.
However, Lee continued posting online, saying: “We’ll see who has the last laugh.”