Does Firing Someone for Being (X)-ist Actually Hold Up?

Started by Shiranu, October 12, 2021, 08:31:18 PM

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Shiranu

Recently saw a story about a local man who was let go for some (very) racist things he said; stuff that did creep into the territory of not just being bigoted but being hateful & borderline violent. I 100% think he should be fired, however that made me start to think...

Should anyone be fired over offensive comments made that do not advocate for any criminal offense on the grounds that those things are simply offensive?


I think we can all agree racism is offensive and bad; but what is racist to one person might differ from another (key example; jokes involving race). If we agree the line is arbitrary, then that means that literally everyone has said something grievously offensive to someone at one point or another in their life.

So who gets to decide what that line is? The government is (should be, anyways) ruled out for a variety of obvious reasons, and corporations are not in the business of morality... just profit. So that leaves society and social organizations to dictate this. But this is a two-edged sword...



Let's take a real example; someone is fired for saying racist things because the owner morally opposed to them, so being morally opposed is the line drawn. It therefor should be acceptable to fire someone for being pro-choice, because they are publicly stating (in the eyes of an anti-abortionist) that they are in favor of murder. Is the moral opposition of the employer justification to fire the employee?

What about firing someone for belonging to a political party you find morally abhorrent, or to an organization such as BLM or a cult? Should you be fired for being pro-Israel or pro-Palestine? And what happens if society suddenly decides that something you believe is good is suddenly evil?
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Cassia

A private employer is under no obligation to maintain the relationship. If there are bargaining agreements or the employer does government contracts there could be other requirements before firing someone. However, the employer can't discriminate against "protected groups" when hiring/firing or administering and to bring a case you would need some evidence.

Race â€" Civil Rights Act of 1964
Religion â€" Civil Rights Act of 1964
National origin â€" Civil Rights Act of 1964
Age (40 and over) â€" Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Sex â€" Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
Sexual orientation and gender identity as of Bostock v. Clayton County â€" Civil Rights Act of 1964[3]
Pregnancy â€" Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Familial status â€" Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: Prohibits discrimination for having children, with an exception for senior housing. Also prohibits making a preference for those with children.
Disability status â€" Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Veteran status â€" Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
Genetic information â€" Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act


Your political party is not protected from discrimination... but a stance on abortion one way or another is stickier because it could be tied into religion. Getting fired over race is protected.

Dark Lightning

You talking about that coach? I'll be honest, I saw a blip on the TV, which I seldom watch, but my wife was viewing. She saw more of it and commented, "Now that their team is losing, it's a good time to bring up his many years of bad behavior!".

Shiranu

I feel like that goes to what I was saying; all of those groups are protected because society eventually said, "Huh, maybe discrimination based on unchosen attributes is wrong." (minus veterans, who are there because they worked for the guy who made the laws)... but that happened only after society spent a few centuries deciding it was no longer cool to do that, and it is not beyond the realm of reason to see society regress to a point where those protections could be repealed.

By having the law based on a subjective-to-the-crowd(s) morality it means that it can be taken away or, worse yet, if enough of an influential crowd decides they are offended by what you have to say, no matter how moral it was... you are left with no safeguards. Termination should be based upon the employee being a liability, not because you dislike them or their beliefs, and any termination brought into question should have to be proven based on the standard that it was purely business.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Shiranu

Quote from: Dark Lightning on October 12, 2021, 09:45:11 PM
You talking about that coach? I'll be honest, I saw a blip on the TV, which I seldom watch, but my wife was viewing. She saw more of it and commented, "Now that their team is losing, it's a good time to bring up his many years of bad behavior!".

I think I know which one you are talking about, the Raider's coach I think, but no this was one in one of the rural communities that said some really stupid things; nothing new there, happens at least every year and uh... coaches aren't always exactly the brightest tools in the kitchen.

Had one pull a knife on a student in high school then get pissed off at the school board for letting him go, but that's a whole nother story...
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Mr.Obvious

I want to know why the government should be ruled out.
I mean yes, you live in america and politics there is fundamentally broken. But in essence, the idea of a government is supposed to be a democratic representation of the will of the people; the society. And they can propose and make laws of what can and can't be done in said society. So i think they do and always will have a part in this in a democratic country.
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Shiranu

QuoteI want to know why the government should be ruled out.

1. The First Amendment is incredibly clear; "Congress shall make NO law...  abridging the freedom of speech...".
2. If the government is given the ability to arbitrarily choose what is or isn't prohibited speech, based on a system of subjective morality, then it is an inherently broke system that will be abused. Case in point... pretty much all of American history...
3. To touch on "democratic representation", the American government (and really nearly all governments, even the good ones) were never meant and never designed to represent the will of the people but rather the will of the wealthy aristocracy; even in progressive countries politicians are ultimately beholden to donors and aristocrats and the rule of law differs between one's socio-economic status. The idea of a state representing it's people is ultimately a utopian one, in reality the state represents the wealthy and the influential, and then everyone else is a second-rate citizen; sometimes that is still a really damn good life, more often than not it's not.

But without even getting into the philosophical aspect of what a government is or isn't representing, rule #1 immediately rules out the American government, and for all the things the Founding Fathers got wrong... I think that one is one of their absolute best pieces of work and it's a massive shame America has never actually followed it.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

GSOgymrat

I hold the old-fashioned opinion that there should be a boundary between people's work life and personal life, that whether or not someone should be fired should be based on job performance. I prefer that people leave their politics and religion at home. If someone is disrespectful to a coworker or customer, for whatever reason, it needs to be addressed in the context of doing a job effectively. This is not the trend though. People want companies and their employees to take a stand on social issues unrelated to their products. The line between personal life and professional life is increasingly blurred and I see that as stifling rather than liberating. I don't like that I can be fired for something I post on this forum.


SoldierofFortune

I think what is wrong with the people is that everybody has an idea about everything, and everybody has something to say about everything.

Before the advent of the internet technology, if you were racist, and made a comment revealing you are racist, it was known just in your narrow circle and if it did not take place in a newspaper or the like media, the whole nation and world could not be informed about your abhorrent stance on your unparalleled and unique racial inferiority ideas.

Nowadays everybody has every fucking idea and think that the whole world needs to hear what he or she think about something, be it gender equality, racism, the latest movie, the true ethical governance, education system, same-sex classrooms, the underwear brand of choice of celebrities...

Everybody has every fucking idea and he must indicate it directly or otherwise; and think themselves the supreme authority to illuminate the people, on their personal social media account.

Ps: sorry for the tone but I have been becoming misanthropic  :grilling: :grilling:

trdsf

If I were a business owner, I wouldn't want someone who freely made racist statements representing my company.

There is a slight difference regarding racism as opposed to homophobia, anti-Semitism and the like, in that if I have a racist on staff, and a person of a race against which they are prejudiced comes in, I cannot trust their judgment to treat that client the same as any other.  On the other hand, if a gay or Jewish or whatever client comes in, that's not something they're going to be able to tell on sight (absent identifying adornment like buttons or religious necklaces) and just might behave themselves.

That said, I would probably sack an outspoken homophobe, misogynist or anti-Semite on the grounds that that I don't want that representing my interests either.
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan

Greatest I am

#10
Yes to the question.--- Does Firing Someone for Being (X)-ist Actually Hold Up?

Hypothetical -- I envisage an employer who fires an employee for wearing an symbol that no company wishes to be associated with.

Perhaps a Swastika, Confederate flag, or advocating wife beating or even burkas where Laïcité has been wisely implemented.

As an aside, I would not mind advocations of husband beatings, just because I need the odd shot from my softer half, to calm my bully side.

Regards
DL


 

Shiranu

QuoteThat said, I would probably sack an outspoken homophobe, misogynist or anti-Semite on the grounds that that I don't want that representing my interests either.

As long as that is the reason given, I have no problem with that; it is perfectly logically sound.

Rather my problem is in the semantics; "I fired him because I found (x) disagreeable" vs "I fired him because he was a liability to my profits".

With the first, (x) in the case represents either views or symbols - if that is a logical argument, then fill x with any sort of 'view' or symbol and it still remains logical and that is a slippery slope if I ever saw one. 

Honestly, this thread is half-a-year old at this point; I don't remember the exact situation I was talking about, but I think I can phrase this slightly better - I have no problem with firing someone for logically sound reasons ("they hurt my profits" being the key one) but firing them for any subjective reason ("I don't like what they have to say") and normalizing that being the excuse legitimizes "I don't like..." as not just an argument but a logical excuse to take direct action against someone.

Words are not just words, despite how much those who manipulate them for their own gain would tell you otherwise; they are the most powerful creative and most powerful destructive tool in almost all of mankind's historical arsenal, and we have to make sure that, when they are directly effecting other people's lives (or our own) that like any other tool we use them responsibly, logically and safely.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Shiranu

QuoteHypothetical -- I envisage an employer who fires an employee for wearing an symbol that no company wishes to be associated with.

Perhaps a Swastika, Confederate flag, or advocating wife beating or even burkas where Laïcité has been wisely implemented.

There are companies that would be perfectly happy to be associated with those symbols if they could; those same companies would likely also desire to fire an employee who wore a Hammer & Sickle, a Rainbow Flag pin, an American flag, or a yarmulke.

If it is logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a Swastika, and we don't want to be associated with that." then it's also equally as logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a shirt that said all human beings deserve equal respect, and we don't want to be associated with that."

I don't believe destroying people's lives over either symbol has any place in a modern society, though that has to be implemented by people understanding logic, rhetoric, philosophy rather than using force to make people not do either.

If you are going to mess with someone's life (and firing someone from their job is certainly doing exactly that) then it should fundamentally require the reasoning to do so be logically sound and valid; people making decision that effect our ability to live based off of inconsistent logic and subjective feelings is an objectively dangerous path to take that almost never works out.
Every day is a good day to *remove from server* an autocrat.

Greatest I am

Quote from: Shiranu on April 25, 2022, 09:52:20 PMThere are companies that would be perfectly happy to be associated with those symbols if they could; those same companies would likely also desire to fire an employee who wore a Hammer & Sickle, a Rainbow Flag pin, an American flag, or a yarmulke.

If it is logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a Swastika, and we don't want to be associated with that." then it's also equally as logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a shirt that said all human beings deserve equal respect, and we don't want to be associated with that."

I don't believe destroying people's lives over either symbol has any place in a modern society, though that has to be implemented by people understanding logic, rhetoric, philosophy rather than using force to make people not do either.

If you are going to mess with someone's life (and firing someone from their job is certainly doing exactly that) then it should fundamentally require the reasoning to do so be logically sound and valid; people making decision that effect our ability to live based off of inconsistent logic and subjective feelings is an objectively dangerous path to take that almost never works out.

If you do not mind having your company or yourself associated with some disrespected group, then do not mess with their/your lives and let them bankrupt you.

You may not like it, but every law says that we are to discriminate against a certain sub section of society, I E murderers, so get used to having good laws make bad people act better.

That has been the trend since we started bringing our vile and immoral religions to heel.

Regards
DL

trdsf

Quote from: Shiranu on April 25, 2022, 09:52:20 PMIf it is logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a Swastika, and we don't want to be associated with that." then it's also equally as logically acceptable to fire someone because, "They wore a shirt that said all human beings deserve equal respect, and we don't want to be associated with that."
You can make a distinction, however, between free speech and hate speech.  The messages that everyone deserves equal respect and that certain subsets of humanity don't deserve rights by virtue of an accident of their birth are not equivalent.

Freedom of expression isn't an absolute right.  There's a vast difference between "I would not be sad if so-and-so died" and "Someone ought to put a bullet in so-and-so's head".  And a right to express one's self does not include a right to be heard.

And that's what this comes down to: the difference between one's beliefs, and imposing one's beliefs on one's co-workers and clients.  I don't think you can fire someone for simply being prejudiced in one way or another, but you can fire them for acting on those beliefs -- and that includes messaging as well as more overt behaviors.  And yes, if I learned an employee held racist and/or sexist views, I would watch them more closely going forward and evidence that they were acting on their prejudice would be grounds for termination.

It works differently in reverse, of course.  I wouldn't have a customer removed for wearing a religious or political button or shirt.  I would have one removed if they refused to be served by employees of an ethnicity other than theirs solely on the basis of ethnicity, or if they started actively pushing their view on employees or other clients.
"My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." -- Barbara Jordan