Employee made redundant over cyclist hit and run tweet

By Gillian Crotty

A man who posted a tweet suggesting that his car hit a cyclist and that he did not remain at the scene has been sacked by his employers.

Stockbroker Rayhan Qadar, aged 21, posted the following message on his twitter account:

"Think I just hit a cyclist. But Im late for work so had to drive off lol."

Mr Qadar, who worked at financial firm Hargreaves Lansdown, later tweeted that it was a "bad joke". A spokesman for the firm confirmed that Mr Qadar's employment was "terminated .. with immediate effect", saying the comments were "totally unacceptable". That is not the end of Mr Qadar's troubles however, as twitter users are thought to have alerted the police to the tweet, and they have now urged Mr Qadar to come forward. Mr Qadar has posted further tweets saying he was not involved in a hit and run but the police have invited any possible witnesses to come forward.

The incident should be noted by employees who are regular users of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In this case the comment was not about the employer or a colleague, yet Mr Qadar has still lost his job as a result. Employers are coming under increasing pressure to take action when an employee makes any kind of comment deemed offensive or otherwise unacceptable, and people shouldn't think they are safe as long as their post does not relate to their place of work. People should especially take care with their social media comments if their profile details include their place of employment, as employers will feel that the opinions expressed might be incorrectly associated with them.

If you are an employer or employee in Northern Ireland requiring legal advice in respect of a redundancy matter, including an unfair dismissal claim or discrimination claim, contact one of the employment law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9296.

Alternatively, you can submit your details for a call-back by clicking here.