A Detroit man claimed he was fired from his job for sharing a meme on Facebook, and now his former employer is feeling the backlash.
On Oct. 20, Cody Hidalgo shared a meme that showed Elmo on the toilet.
"Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime. That's why I poop on company time," the meme says.
"I found the meme on one of my friend's pages, and I shared it," Hidalgo said. "I share things that are funny all the time."
A couple of hours later, the 23-year-old got a profanity-laced text message from his manager at Roman Stone Works.
"We don't make a dollar when you are s****ing all the time. Why don't you stay home and do your ****. I don't like to play your bull**** games, maybe there is a company out there that will put up with your games because I won't. Good luck," the message said, in part.
Hidalgo asked if he was fired from the job he had worked less than two months, but didn't get a response.
Hidlalgo then posted a screencap of his boss's message alongside the meme. That Facebook post has been shared more than 8,000 times.
However, it turns out that Hidalgo wasn't fired. According to Roman Stone Works, he returned to work two days after sharing the meme and then walked off the job on his own last Wednesday.
Hidalgo confirms that happened, saying he went in after the text message because he wasn't entirely sure he was fired. However, he quit a few days after returning to work.
"With the bad blood, I didn't want to work there anymore," he said.
Jan Jeffrey Rubenstein, a lawyer representing Roman Stone Works, says the company's owners have been receiving death threats at work and home. They say the backlash is unfair, especially when Hidalgo quit on his own.
"Roman Stoneworks and its owner and personnel have been subjected to significant monetary damage, as well as threats, profanity and harassment by phone and email," Rubenstein's statement read, in part. "Due to the backlash from these false claims, my client's webpage has had to be removed, and the individuals involved have been inundated with calls and emails."
"I never meant for people to blow it up like that or spam their company or defame their name," Hidalgo explained.
He might delete the post, but believes the "damage is done."
Hidalgo is now waiting to hear if he will get a new job after an interview.
"Watch what you share sometimes because it could get you in trouble. It can look bad on you," Hidalgo added.
Read the entire statement issued by Roman Stone Works' lawyer below.
"Cody Hidalgo, as a short-term employee of Roman Stoneworks, has engaged in a social media campaign with false claims that are verifiably untrue. This individual was not terminated because of a meme posted on Facebook on Sunday, October 20. After the posting of that meme, he worked the following Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Mr. Hidalgo actually walked off the job on Wednesday, October 23 of his own volition, and over his manager's objection. Roman Stoneworks and its officers desired to keep Mr. Hidalgo in its employment to perform his duties. He abandoned a job in progress and that was how his employment with Roman Stoneworks actually came to an end.
Unfortunately this individual, who was employed for less than 2 months, is now seeking to exploit the publicity that this false claim has created. He has started a Gofundme page to attempt to capitalize on his newfound exposure. Meanwhile, Roman Stoneworks and its owner and personnel have been subjected to significant monetary damage, as well as threats, profanity and harassment by phone and email. Due to the backlash from these false claims, my client's webpage has had to be removed, and the individuals involved have been inundated with calls and emails.
If Mr. Hidalgo chose to tell the truth to all of the people who have now heard his false claims, then the matter may be able to be resolved amicably. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the route chosen by this individual. My clients have needlessly suffered based on these allegations."
This story was originally published by Syma Chowdhry on WXYZ in Detroit.