By William Poindexter, The Charter Opinions
In today’s society, discussion of important topics is needed to progress. However, inside of workplaces, it’s a different story. In all kinds of workplaces, people have been fired for merely expressing their views. This should not be allowed.
In November of 2016, according to Dec. 2016 National Post report, one teacher in British Columbia was fired for expressing a pro-life viewpoint. He was giving a lesson on the difference between morality and the law, as an example, he said, “I find abortion to be wrong, but the law is often different from our own personal opinion.” After this, a few students went up to the administration office to complain about how the comment “triggered” them and they now felt “unsafe”. Later after apologizing, the teacher was fired. The explanation was that the comment threatened students “safety”, and the school valued students’ feelings more than their teachers. A staff member fired simply for expressing the “wrong” viewpoint. It could be suggested that this could be valid since he is a teacher, but he wasn’t advocating for his opinion, only suggesting he had one.
In August of 2017, according to a Daily Wire report from the same time, a Google employee, James Damore, was fired for writing a memo that expressed his opinion on the cause of low numbers of women in tech. His memo suggested that due to biological differences that affect thinking, men and women gravitate towards different careers. According to evolutionary psychology professor, Geoffrey Miller, “almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate.”, so they were scientifically correct, but not politically. He was fired for having the “wrong” opinion, an opinion that made people feel “unsafe” and was seen as generally right leaning. There have been claims that his science was wrong, thus making his claims sexist, but this is just untrue.
Only one month after the Google memo, according to a Sept. 2017 Huffington Post report, an Australian nanny was fired suggesting that it was ok to vote no on gay marriage in Australia. She was fired saying that she was going to vote no on the legislation, and if others wanted to as well, that would be fine. Again someone was fired for expressing the “wrong” viewpoint. To me, this example seems the most understandable, as their customers are families, but if people didn’t like her views, they could just ask for a different nanny.
This is not okay. Companies should not be allowed to fire employees for expressing their viewpoints. All of the viewpoints that these people expressed, were generally seen as “right leaning”. While in the past there have been times that people with “left leaning” opinions have been fired for said opinions, but of the examples that I found, all of them filed a lawsuit and won. This was not the case for the stories I went over here.
So in short, businesses are currently being allowed to fire employees for having “wrong” political viewpoints. The best solution for this problem is just to be more understanding of others’ opinions, and possibly bring some sort of speech protection into the workplace.
Sources: Blatchford, Christie. Teacher Fired For Having the Wrong Opinion. National Post, Dec. 2016 http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-b-c-teacher-fired-for-having-the-wrong-opinion
Shapiro, Ben. Google Employee Pens 10-Page Manifesto RIPPING ‘Diversity’ Initiatives. So They Threaten His Job. The Daily Wire, Aug. 2017 http://www.dailywire.com/news/19413/googles-own-jerry-maguire-pens-10-page-manifesto-ben-shapiro
Quillette Magazine. The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond. Aug. 2017 http://quillette.com/2017/08/07/google-memo-four-scientists-respond/
Kenna, Siobhan. Woman Fired Because Of Same-Sex Marriage ‘No’ Vote Defends Her Beliefs. Huffington Post, Sept. 2017 http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/09/19/woman-fired-because-of-same-sex-marriage-no-vote-defends-her-beliefs_a_23215618/
Redesign Your Mind. Wednesday Wisdom: The Gift Of Not Having Opinions. Feb. 2017 https://redesignyourmind.com/wednesday-wisdom-gift-not-opinions/