What you need to know
- GitHub allegedly fired a Jewish employee after the employee warned co-workers about Nazis.
- The fired employee reportedly posted "stay safe homies, Nazis are about" on the day of the siege on the U.S. Capitol.
- Roughly 200 GitHub employees have signed a letter asking for the company to take a stance against anti-Semitism and white supremacy.
A Jewish former employee of GitHub was allegedly fired following warning co-workers about Nazis on the day of the siege on the U.S. Capitol. According to Business Insider, the employee posts "stay safe homies, Nazis are about" on the day of the attack on the Capitol (via The Verge).
The message reportedly caused conflict among GitHub employees. One member of GitHub's staff criticized the message for divisive language, and GitHub's HR team reportedly chastised the employee for the use of the word "Nazi." Two days after the alleged comment, GitHub reportedly fired the employee. Upon the alleged termination, GitHub reportedly cited vague patterns of behavior.
Following the alleged firing, around 200 GitHub employees have signed a letter asking the company to take a stance against white supremacy and anti-Semitism. The letter also asks why the employee was fired.
"The company is actively looking into the circumstances surrounding the separation of an employee last week and will take any and all appropriate action following a thorough investigation," said GitHub CEO Nat Friedman.
The employee that was fired has relatives in co-workers in Washington, DC, and had family members die in the Holocaust. The employee states that they saw that some rioters were associated with neo-Nazi groups.
Thousands of people were involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and at this point, authorities are still determining which groups and individuals were involved. Several reports claim that white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups were at the attack.
The former GitHub employee post on Slack before his account was deactivated, stating:
I did not know that, as a Jew, it would be so polarizing to say this word. We grew up saying [Nazi]. It was a story we told because we had to— the decimation of whole lines of ancestry were at the hands of people who went by that title.
GitHub is owned by Microsoft, which acquired the developer platform in 2018. Microsoft President Brad Smith spoke about the peaceful transition of power on January 4 but was met with pushback by people highlighting politicians that received donations from Microsoft's PAC. Microsoft has since paused political donations.