A salesman at Lacoste's flagship store in Midtown said he was fired for posting his paycheck on a private Instagram account.
After three months on the job, Wade Groom, 31, a "top sales associate" at Lacoste, was fired last Wednesday when the company's human resources department got wind of the post.
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"It was more sort of an artistic and personal statement, like I'm working my ass off and it's only enough to pay for my shitty, third-world studio apartment," Groom said of the Instagram picture, which was posted two weeks before being fired.
Groom lives in a studio apartment in Greenpoint. He has 4-year-old twins and shares custody of them with his ex. Before being fired, Groom made $15 an hour and 3 percent commission at the Lacoste store.
In June, Groom made $130,449 for the company — more than 90 percent aboven his sales goal for the month. In his biggest week, he sold $39,315 of Lacoste merchandise, according to internal sales documents provided to Metro.
"Wade is knowledgeable of the Lacoste acronym and goes through every step of Rules of the Game with his customers," a manager wrote on on of the documents.
Groom, frustrated by his living situation, posted the Instragram picture of his pay stub.
"Paycheck. Still silly to me. Ever since I was a kid I've thought it was completely insane that we have to work all our lives. I still feel that way. Especially when it's only enough to live in a third world apartment with shitty everything. Which for some reason in NYC is okay. Anywhere else only trailer trash live this way. I'm done with it," Groom wrote in the post caption.
A couple of weeks later, Groom's manager made him go "downstairs" to meet with a Lacoste HR manager. Despite having a private account, the post made its way to the corporate office, the manager told him last week.
"'It breaks our confidentially contract,'" the HR manager told Groom.
Groom told the bosses that no one could read anything on the picture of the document. After being fired, Groom even went home and called the HR manager, asking him to read what was on the document based on the photo.
"I was holding the actual paycheck in my hand and he couldn't say what was on it," Groom said.
A spokeswoman for Lacoste has not returned several email and phone requests for comment.
"I'm left with two kids that I need to provide for, it left me in a really bad situation for something I didn't mean any harm by," Groom said.
Groom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders