Warning letter 'Jerusalema'

Date: Oct 6, 2020

Warning letter for refusing to do the 'Jerusalema' dance challenge is a no-no

Can your company issue you a warning letter for refusing to participate in the Jerusalema dance challenge? That's the topic of a raging debate in a private Facebook group that helps users with legal advice.

A social media user claimed his friend working for a private company received a warning letter because she refused to participate in the challenge two weeks ago. The employee didn't want to take part in the company dance off because she is shy and felt uncomfortable.

While some argued that participating in the dance craze was part of team building, others said it is insubordination to refuse to follow an instruction.

However, employment attorney Dunstan Farrell told source employees are entitled to refuse to participate in the challenge that is taking the world by storm.

"My initial comment is that this particular workplace appears to be very toxic," Farrell said.

"My personal experience over the past few months since the Jerusalema trend started has been one of optimism, hope, joy and happiness. To turn it into the negative, as this employer and its employees have done, is extremely disappointing and not within the Jerusalema spirit.

"Dance routines do not generally fall within the job description of employees, and in those circumstances employees are entitled to refuse to practice and participate in a dance routine like Jerusalema.

"The instruction to participate in such a dance routine is in the circumstances unlawful and unenforceable, and would not amount to insubordination, gross insubordination or refusal to carry out a lawful instruction."

He said it was disappointing when a workplace "deteriorates to such a level of toxicity".

"Particularly keeping in mind that we spend more awake time in the workplace than we do with our friends and family."

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