GitHub is accepting that a Jewish employee was mistakenly fired and is giving him back his job. Following the news, the company hired an independent law firm to investigate the termination, and found that “significant mistakes were made.” Company head HR Carrie Olson also resigns.
In an internal message to employees on 16 January, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman wrote, “Yesterday evening, the investigation came to the conclusion that significant mistakes are not in line with our internal practices or the decisions we make from our leaders.” He said the company would issue a public apology on its blog later this week.
In the post, Github COO Erica Brescia said: “To the employee we want to say publicly: We sincerely apologize.”
The controversial shooting took place two days after Washington DC warned coworkers to be safe from the Nazis – according to first news business Insider. He posted the message on 6 January as a day of rebellion in Washington DC, as rioters associated with neo-Nazi organizations created a ruckus in the Capitol.
The warning provoked criticism from a colleague who took offense at the use of the term “Nazi” and prompted Github’s HR team to reprimand the Jewish employee. Two days later, he was fired.
In the wake of the termination, nearly 200 of GitHub’s 1,700 employees signed an open letter, asking with clarity why the employee was let go. Workers began to use the term “Nazi” repeatedly in Slack to describe rioters in DC.
An engineer at Slack wrote, “Other people have already said so, but I want to say it quite frankly – I think the Nazis were present at some of the protests on January 6, and it’s very scary.” “100% were Nazis, and 1000000000% Nazis are creepy as nonsense and nowhere else. Exclusively on GitHub! “The other replied.
In his note to employees this weekend, Freedman insisted that employees (whom the company calls “hubbers”) are allowed to talk about their fears about white supremacists. “Hubers are free to express concern about neo-Nazis, antisocialism, white supremacy or any other form of discrimination or oppression,” he wrote. “And of course, we expect Hubers to be respectful, professional, and follow GitHub policies on discrimination and harassment at all times.”