In the U.K. recently, an individual named Brian Leach posted on social media a viral video of comedian Billy Connolly (pictured) mocking religious people and religion. This caused him to be fired from his job at Asda, a supermarket chain. His sacking brought about a public outcry, however, and he just got his job back.
More details at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefreethinker/2019/07/man-sacked-for-facebook-anti-religious-post-is-reinstated/
(which is where I found this out)
This is a minor news story, but it directly touches upon a huge issue that I personally don't have a clear opinion on. It's a controversial topic to say the least, though. In short:>Should there be a separation of commerce and free speech?>Is it right to fire somebody due to their expressed personal viewpoints, even if it didn't necessarily have anything to do with his or her work?
This can go one of many different ways. Suppose that Mr. Leach had posted some viral video from a British conservative pundit mocking LGBT people and calling for them to lose their civil rights, instead. Would that make a difference? What if he only posted something supporting the U.K. Labour Party and his boss, happening to be a supporter or some other political faction, sacked him for that reason? What if Leach was an outright Nazi who spent his free time outside of work marching around in a full uniform and trolling folks online with posts glorifying Hitler? Should this be a more nuanced thing, or does free speech essentially conquer all here?
Does the type of job make the difference? Could somebody who posts comments online supporting pedophilia work as a janitor at an insurance company, say, while being forbidden to apply at a school, daycare center, etc? And what if the employer has a cause outside of making money? What if an LGBT newspaper fires their electrician because they find out he donated to the campaign to ban gay marriage a few years ago?
I get the feeling (though I may be wrong) that most people here support anti-discrimination laws wholeheartedly when it comes to hiring and firing. We don't want somebody hurt just because he or she happens to be born black, gay, Jewish, etc. I'm genuinely unsure about vPost too long. Click here to view the full text.