ENGLISH NEWS: University worker in England sacked after calling colleague a ‘hash brown’

SACKED: The Newcastle University employee blames auto-correct for changing a colleague’s name to ‘hash brown’. Credit: Stock Image.

AN EMPLOYEE at the University of Newcastle in England has reportedly lost his job after using racist language when he sent an email to a colleague who he addressed as ‘Hash brown’.

The university dismissed 28-year-old Ollie de Planta de Wildenberg after a disciplinary investigation which concluded that he “did type the words in question” and that they were “perceived as offensive and involving racial language.”

Wildenberg has strenuously denied that the email which began with the words “Hi Hash brown” was racist or sent deliberately and claimed that the name of his colleague was autocorrected by the email provider.

Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle, Wildenberg said that hash brown is not a racist term and is in fact a breakfast item, adding that it is unbelievable that the email has been classed as gross misconduct.

He explained that he was unaware of his mistake until his line manager took him aside the following morning, where they both laughed about the incident and he was told to be more careful in the future.

However, the outcome was very different and the next day he was reportedly called into a disciplinary hearing where he was informed that an investigation into gross misconduct had begun. As Euro Weekly News understands he was fired later that day after bosses at the University of Newcastle said that they were unable to replicate the autocorrected name.

In response to the incident a spokesperson for Newcastle University said: “We can confirm Oliver de Planta de Wildenberg is no longer employed by Newcastle University.”

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Written by

Isha Sesay


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