Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account?
We have been answering workplace questions relating to unfair dismissals, forced to resign, the list is endless for 20-plus years. Things have changed drastically. Socially media and the gig economy, plus changing social and moral behaviour have changed a lot of workplace behaviour. Whilst this question might appear to have limited scope, it has relevance right across social media. What can you be dismissed for? Is it an unfair dismissal? Can the company conduct a workplace investigation for what I do in my lunchtime or after work? Please read on about Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account?
What is OnlyFans?
Until recently I didn’t even know what OnlyFans was. Then within several weeks, I had 5 calls about the platform and how it affects the workplace. Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account? is a great topic to discuss. What is OnlyFans? It is a social media web platform where subscribers can purchase sexually explicit photos/videos/content of certain people. The platform became popular during the COVID lockdowns where sex workers received their income through the OnlyFans portal. For people to access the videos and content, they would need to pay a monthly subscription between $4.99 and $49.99.
Although, OnlyFans is not exclusive to just sexually explicit content. Celebrities such as Blac Chyna, Cardi B, and DJ Khaled use the platform to share teasers. For their new music with their fans. The platform was used by celebrities as a “hobby.” However, this was quickly criticized by the public and people who would use the platform as a job. Nonetheless, OnlyFans is more commonly known through society as a social media platform. Where people can share sexually explicit content with subscribers, to make money. (an article on social media and misconduct for further reading, click here )
Can you get sacked for having OnlyFans account?
Many controversial opinions of OnlyFans have been raised over time. While some people see it as a clever way to make an income. (anybody can join). Others see it as a new platform for sharing porn. Does this also raise the question as to whether OnlyFans would be classified as a second job or a hobby? ( is income taxable?) Ultimately, can people who share videos on the platform be fired from their other job?
The short answer to this question is yes. Employees can be dismissed for any reason, even if it includes having an OnlyFans account. Although, this does not mean the dismissal would be fair. Generally, having an OnlyFans account would not affect your employment, especially if the account is kept secretive and private. However, if explicit photos and videos of the creator were leaked to the public and to your boss. There may be consequences.
Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account? Depends on the Industry you work in
The decision that you could be dismissed for having an OnlyFans account depends upon the industry in which you work. For example, if you work in a very reputable and conservative company. The manager may frown upon such hobbies and engagement. Furthermore, if your position in the company is quite high up the ranks and relies upon your good reputation, issues may arise if explicit images of you start circulating around the industry.
As such, you may be prone to be terminated if your OnlyFans account starts causing a hostile and problematic work environment. Participating in such controversial activities outside of work may result in the public and customers/clients refusing to associate with your company. This may lead to a decrease in eg. sales, resulting in the decision of the company to dismiss you. Based on this scenario, it may be seen as a fair dismissal.
However, if your participation in OnlyFans outside of work hours does not cause any disruption to the process and outcome in the company you work for, then dismissal for simply being a creator of OnlyFans may be unfair.
Dismissal of participating as a creator in OnlyFans
Therefore, the dismissal of participating as a creator in OnlyFans depends largely on the type of company/industry. Its morals and whether your contribution to the platform has a negative impact on the environment and the success of the business. (reputational damage).
Annabelle Knight, a 25-year-old OnlyFans creator from Brisbane, who went by the username “Reisjenni,” was fired from her marketing job on account of her OnlyFans content. Anabelle believed that one of her colleagues raised her account’s content with her manager, which lead to the dismissal. Annabelle felt disrespected that someone else in the company was subscribed to the platform, and had shared the pictures with management. However, the colleague was not dismissed for subscribing to the account.
This raises controversial issues as to why it is okay for people to subscribe to the platform, but it is not okay for creators to post the content.
Creators of OnlyFans content should be careful to ensure they are not posting or making content whilst at work. Additionally, they need to ensure that working on their OnlyFans account does not clash with their work schedule. Companies can dismiss you for being late and not showing up to your work shift if you are too busy making OnlyFans content.
Just like having a second job at a café for example, you would need to ensure the second job does not clash with the work hours of your first job. This is especially if you are a permanent part-time or full-time employee. You would not need to disclose to your employer whether you have an OnlyFans account./ Although they may ask questions if it is brought to their attention that you have not been at work due to your commitments to your OnlyFans content.
When OnlyFans gets brought into the workplace
When OnlyFans content gets brought into the work environment, issues arise. If a colleague is subscribed to the creator, is it sexual harassment?
Kristen Vaughn, a 24-year-old female mechanic was fired from her job after her manager discovered she was posting sexual images on OnlyFans. Kristen’s colleagues began sexually harassing her at work after they found her OnlyFans account and began watching her videos together at work. Kristen’s management did not act upon the colleagues sexually harassing her, instead, management dismissed her for making the account.
Management at the company later stated they did not terminate her employment for her OnlyFans account, she was dismissed for violating company policy. Management had commented on the fact that Kristen’s OnlyFans content would harm the reputation of their business. Furthermore, Kristen’s boss had commented that her OnlyFans account may encourage other co-workers to sexually harass her. Kristen has shared her story on social media and received some criticism, although a lot of support as well.
Sharing of videos and photos in the work environment
It can be stated that such sharing of videos and photos in the work environment is likely to cause difficult decisions management would need to make. Do they punish the people sharing the images and videos around? Or do they punish the person who has made the account?
I believe the sharing of sexually explicit content within the workplace should be frowned upon, regardless of whether it is an employee’s OnlyFans account or not. As such, any sexual relationships or sharing of pornographic content should be kept outside of the work environment. If this is not monitored, it may very well lead to an avenue for sexual harassment in the workplace.
In Horman v Distribution Group Ltd  FMCA 52. Ms. Horman had worked for Distribution Group as a spare parts interpreter. Ms. Horman had claimed that she was being sexually harassed by her co-workers at work. As they would pull her bra straps and touch her buttocks. The Federal Magistrates Court first questioned whether the conduct did indeed occur and whether or not it was welcomed.
Based on Ms. Horman’s letter to her manager that she was seeking action from management, the court found that the conduct was indeed unwelcome. Next, the court raised the issue as to whether a reasonable person would assume Ms. Horman would find the conduct offensive. In deciding so, the court accepted that Ms. Horman engaged in physical contact with other employees and shared explicit sexual photographs of herself. However, the court still held that a reasonable person would assume that Ms. Horman would be offended by the behaviour conducted of her fellow colleagues.
Based on the above case, the sharing of sexual and naked photos does not make it okay for the person to be sexually harassed. As such, businesses should consider these elements before turning to dismiss a creator of OnlyFans content. If colleagues at work are subscribed to the account, it should not provide an avenue or environment for unwanted and unsolicited sexual comments or advancements to occur.
Sexual Harassment can include:
- Sexual suggestive comments or jokes
- Intrusive questions about private life or physical appearance
- Unwanted invitations or requests for dates or sex
- Sending sexually explicit or suggestive pictures or gifts to a worker.
- Displaying sexually explicit or suggestive pictures or objects in the work environment
- Intimidating or threatening behaviors
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Sexually explicit or suggestive emails, SMS or social media, circulating pornography.
- Sexually graphic imagery, or sharing or threatening to share intimate images or film without consent.
Grey area of sexual harassment
OnlyFans has created a grey area in the workplace of sexual harassment. However, it is an outside-of-work activity and should not be brought into the workplace by any kind of means. If it does get brought into the workplace, managers should ensure they act professionally. Fairly and reasonably before considering terminating such employment. Be aware of the difference between casting a moral view and a legal view but it can be difficult and confusing at times.
Being sacked from her employment for having OnlyFans is one thing, but being denied employment is another. If you are looking for a job whilst creating OnlyFans content. You should be aware that your account may be found in a background check. Some employers may conduct a social media background check to decide whether they should employ the person who posts drunken images on their Facebook account with drugs sitting in the background. Just like a social media platform, OnlyFans may be considered a reason to not employ the applicant. This raises the issue if it would be considered discrimination to not employ someone who participates in those activities.
Many employers will decide not to employ someone purely based on the kinds of photos they post on social media. Or the fact they are covered in tattoos, or piercings. Or perhaps they post dead animals they have shot on the weekend all over their Instagram.
Ms. Gauge retired from being a porn star in 2005. In order to go to school and receive a certificate as a surgical technician. Ms. Gauge graduated the course top of her class. When Ms. Gauge went applying for jobs in the new field. Whispers circulated the environment and people began to feel awkward around her. Ms. Gauge then left the business and applied for other jobs where fewer experienced and less skillful people were being employed over her.
Their past job had been affecting her ability for employment
Ms. Gauge was exhausted by the way her past job had been affecting her ability for employment now. That she had no other option but to go back to her career as a porn star. It seemed to Ms. Gauge that at every job she applied for she either had to disclose her background and past jobs. Or hide her past and hope that when the truth comes out she will keep her job. In the USA, it is regarded as difficult to win a discrimination claim against previously being a sex worker. Under their discrimination laws, there is no protection from being fired due to their past porn career.
In Australia, you may be discriminated against based on your race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, or physical or mental disability. Also marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, or social origin. As such, there is no specific protection for sex workers in the Fair Work Act 2009. However, if a person’s sex work starts leading to sexual harassment. Then the person is protected against being sexually harassed in the workplace.
A company will employ someone they believe fits their morals, values, and environment. If they believe the façade a person shares on social media is indicative of that, then they have the power to make those decisions.
Conclusion Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account?
Overall, being dismissed for having OnlyFans would be unfair based on the company/industry you work. The business has the discretion to decide whether or not it is something they condone. Even if it is an outside-of-work activity. Although, they need to be considerate as to whether the engagement in such a platform is actually causing harm to the success of the business.
Furthermore, just because a person decides to create content for OnlyFans. This does not mean it is okay for their photos and videos to be shared around the work environment. Moreover, it does not provide permission or the encouragement of any sexual harassment.
I hope you enjoyed the article “Can You Be Dismissed For Having OnlyFans Account?” We are A Whole New Approach, (we are not lawyers) we take on difficult subjects. AWNA are at the forefront of workplace commentary, research, and representation. (please read a few of the blogs). AWNA is proud of its staff and the results we get for our clients. Anything to do with Fair Work Australia, Fair Work Commission. Including general protection claims, serious misconduct, probation, and constructive dismissals.
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