Army Worker Fired for Countless Updates About His Beard on Facebook
An Iowa job board denied unemployment benefits to an Army worker who spent an “incalculable” number of hours posting updates about his beard growth on Facebook.
Todd Thomas was fired in January and details of his work ethic became public when he applied for unemployment benefits.
According to the job files obtained by the De Moines Register, Thomas lied on his résumé, made errors on personnel files, spent hours texting on his cellphone during work hours, and got caught sleeping at his desk.
He also made regular updates on Facebook about the progress of his beard growth.
“Hump Day Selfie! I’m not waiting for November to sprout the beard! It’s going to get colder soon and the beard is coming in nicely! Let’s be safe out there and let’s make it do what it do!!” he wrote in one update accompanied by a selfie of his budding facial forest.
“I’m getting my grow on for fall/winter 2016-2017! November 1st and it’s already thickening up nicely! Shout out to the Beard Gang worldwide,” he wrote in another update.
Thomas’s superior at the Davenport, Iowa Army department, Nicole Wegener, got fed up with his loafing and fired him, saying that she couldn’t calculate “the liability [his] misconduct has posed for the Department of the Army.”
Thomas applied for unemployment benefits but failed to appear at a scheduled appeal hearing. He then appealed to the Iowa Employment Appeals Board.
Based on his job performance, an administrative judge denied his appeal on July 24.
Throughout 2016, Thomas’s Facebook updates revolved mostly around “the case of the Mondays” and the progress he was making on his beard.
“FOR SOME REASON this morning, this song keeps playing in my head! Man – ‘I HATE TO GO TO WORK!'” Thomas wrote, and appended a music video titled “I Hate to Go to Work” by rapper Fila Fresh Crew.
“It appears your loafing during duty hours is impacting your performance,” Wegener said when Thomas was fired.
The Demoines Register reached out to Thomas for comment but he did not reply. In the appeal documents, he stated that the firing was in retaliation to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.