Hilarious, But I Want A Serious Discussion!

My question is not to the legality of the firings, but whether it is ethical. Is the firing of an employee, based upon their political leanings, antithetical to supporting their right to believe what they want and vote as they see fit? I say, if someone has to be fired for new policies, it might as well be those responsible for said policies.

The head of a Utah forensics company says it’s only fair that two liberal employees were let go because liberal policies are costing his business.

A Utah business owner says he fired two employees in large part because they supported President Barack Obama.

“They were Obama supporters. We just knew they were,” Terry Lee, owner of Terry Lee Forensics, a Cedar City, Utah, digital forensics company, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday.

Lee first mentioned the firings in the comments section of another story in the Tribune about a Vernal, Utah, smoothie shop owner charging “liberals” a higher price than “conservatives” for drinks. That shop owner said “liberal programs” are costing his business more, so it’s only fair that left-leaning customers should pay more.

According to the Tribune, Lee showed his support for the tactic by writing:

“Love it. We had to let two employees go to cover new Obongocare [sic] costs and increased taxes. Found two Obongo supporters and gave them the news yesterday. They wanted the idiot in the Whitehouse [sic], they reap the benefits.”

The comment was later deleted by the author.

Lee did not return a telephone call from MSN News on Friday to expound on the comment.

Contacted by the Tribune Thursday, Lee said he picked the two employees in large part on the basis of their politics, according to the newspaper. But he added that there were other issues as well, which he didn’t detail, and said the two workers “were not top performers.”

He said that he didn’t think the firings were illegal. “Is your political affiliation protected?” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t believe it is, but I don’t know.”

Utah law says private employment in the state is generally “at will.” That means a private employer can fire a worker without cause and without notice.

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5 Responses to Hilarious, But I Want A Serious Discussion!

  1. PhoneGuy says:

    Interesting question. My gut says fire them. My heart says we need to be ready to defend a person’s right to believe (and speak) in what they wish as much as we defend our own right to do so. It does appear, however, that although the political leaning excuse makes for great copy, it may just be a convenient excuse to fire underperforming employees.

    • notamobster says:

      At will means that either party can leave the mutual agreement for any reason other than those protected by law.

      I agree that it’s antithetical to the idea of liberty to fire someone based solely on their political leanings (or voting record), but the man makes a point. Their actions directly affected his ability to stay solvent.

      In the end, whether just or not, it’s still the owner’s choice. Just as they can leave if they don’t like his politics, he can make them leave, if he doesn’t like theirs.

      • PhoneGuy says:

        Abosolutely agree. If the owner is a big Rush Limbaugh fan and decides to play Ruch over the speakers in his factory each day that is his right. If you don’t like it, don’t work there. Unfortunately, in our society today, much like Sandra Fluke, a person would take that job just to file a discrimination suit.

        • John B. says:

          If these employees helped cause the problems that resulted in the need to fire somebody, it’s only fair that it be them to get fired.

  2. Rockheim says:

    Once again.. It’s not a question of liberty. You are absolutely free to say whatever stupid excrement falls out of your head.. What you are not guaranteed, however, is to live free of the consequences of that speech.
    If you’re going to run around your place of employment.. especially a small shop in an at will state.. mouthing off about this and that.. there may be fallout. If you choose the route of vocal activism, for ANY cause, you need to be prepared for the blowback of that activism.