Why It Was Okay to Fire the ‘Middle Finger’ Woman and Not the ‘Libtard’ Man

by Evil HR Lady on November 7, 2017

Would you fire an employee for flipping off the CEO and then using the picture on her social media accounts?

It kind of changes the picture, right? Juli Briskman is the bike rider in the picture and she’s flipping off President Trump and his motorcade. She didn’t know the image would be captured, but when her friends recognized her, she claimed it and started using it on her social media accounts. Briskman isn’t just a concerned voter, she is a government contractor.

This means Trump isn’t just her president; he’s her boss.

She worked for  Akima, a government contracting firm, which means that ultimately, she reports up to President Trump. If there were no politics involved and Briskman had been an Amazon employee flipping off Jeff Bezos or a Microsoft employee flipping off Bill Gates, would you care that they fired her? (Note: I’m not saying that Amazon or Microsoft has or would fire someone for such behavior, but if they had, would you care?)

To keep reading, click here: Why It Was Okay to Fire the ‘Middle Finger’ Woman and Not the ‘Libtard’ Man

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny November 7, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Briskman’s biggest mistake was “outing” herself. I cannot agree that it’s doubtful that she will incur any long-term damage. How may companies out there are willing to hire a social media person fired from their last job for allegedly misusing social media? Especially since she may well file an EEO or other legal challenge, alleging wrongful termination, which prospective employers are not supposed to consider, but we all know that they do. The fact that the male employee had been there longer and was valued may not matter, unless Briskman’s short tenure means she’s still on probation. After all, one of the knocks on employers in the current sexual harassment scandal is that they continued to tolerate sexual harassers because they were otherwise productive employees. The fact that he and Briskman held different jobs could be significant, though, in that they may not be considered similarly-situated, for the purpose of a disparate treatment analysis, especially since Briskman’s alleged misconduct closely related to her actual job duties. However, the male employee’s misbehavior could possibly be construed as contributing to a racially-hostile work environment — since it arose in the context of a Black Lives Matter discussion — which could sway EEOC. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

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Evil HR Lady November 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

We only know the male employee’s information from Briskman, who has a strong interest in making him look terrible. We don’t know what his punishment was, but it could have been a suspension or a PIP, or a final warning. Who knows? Briskman wouldn’t–no reputable HR person or manager would share that info with her.

But, from the evidence given, I would have come down more harshly on the guy. Racism doesn’t fly on my watch.

I do think her job had a lot to do with the decision. SHe really should know better.

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anon4now November 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Briskman did not have any mention of Akima on her social media pages (very intentionally so). The male coworker did and was representing himself as an employee of Akima online in his social media when he made racist comments.
Briskman expressed/vented common frustration about the POTUS. Trump marginally won the election and has very poor public image as of late. Jeff and Bill have a good PR Team and the intelligence to filter their thoughts, so I’m not sure it’s a good comparison.

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Dawn November 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Why does everyone keep referring to him as a racist just because he doesn’t support the BLM movement? It is a controversial group because they are often seen as anti-cop. He reflected negatively on the company because of his use of profanity and public hostility towards an employee while representing the company

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grannybunny November 8, 2017 at 5:22 pm

He may or may not have engaged in racist behavior. Obviously, any discipline would have to be based on the actual comments made and the context in which they were made. From the little bit of information given, it appears that he virulently opposes the Black Lives Matter movement, but that remains to be seen.

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Jeanne November 7, 2017 at 11:33 pm

The main reason the man kept his job and she didn’t is most likely that the top brass agree with his comments and not hers. If she is a private sector employee, then trump is not her boss and it is misleading to say so. Government employees have different rules for protected speech.

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grannybunny November 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Actually, she would have more rights were she considered to be a Government employee, since the First Amendment protects against Government suppression of free speech.

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transiit November 8, 2017 at 4:02 am

A couple problems with this logic: First, being a government contractor does not mean that the president is your boss. It means the government is the _customer_. Granted, if you irritate them enough, they can end the contract, give low award fees, put the thumb on the scale the next contract award, etc., so there is an economic incentive to not poke the bear too much, but they have no direct say over employment decisions. Second, you included that she was in charge of the company’s social media presence….if those are her duties, as taxpayers we should really be demanding how many hours are being billed to the government for maintaining their own social media (read: It doesn’t sound like she was working on any specific contract anyhow…)

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Maria Rose November 8, 2017 at 4:38 am

She was an at will employee who performed a poor taste of utilizing company social media to vent personal opinion

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grannybunny November 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

I don’t believe that she utilized the company social media account.

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Paul Trybus November 8, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Trump is NOT her boss, no way, no how, not even indirectly. She worked for a private company. She reported to her supervisor at the private company. The private company contracted with the Govt. Only a Govt Contracting Officer (CO) can tell the contractor what to do, and those directions must be within the scope of the contract. And, even the Govt CO can’t tell the contractor who will or won’t work on the contract. I’ve been a Govt contractor or Govt employee for more than 44 years. This is the way it works!!

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Terri November 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm

I was just surprised that she was able to be that close to the Presidential motorcade as it passed…..

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