GitHub apologises for firing Jewish worker following 'Nazi' warning

The employee allegedly cautioned co-workers about Nazis at the US capitol riots

GitHub apologises for firing Jewish worker following 'Nazi' warning

The HR head of Microsoft-owned software company GitHub has stepped down and taken “personal accountability” for the recent controversy surrounding the dismissal of a Jewish employee.

The worker said he wanted to warn colleagues about Nazis and the US capitol riots when he posted an alert in an internal forum. However, conflict with another staff member reportedly prompted GitHub to terminate the worker.

The dismissal raised questions from other employees, who later signed a petition urging the company to explain the reason behind the termination and to publicly condemn Nazism.

Read more: Corporate America condemns US Capitol riots

The incident led GitHub to backtrack from its decision. After enlisting the help of an independent investigator, the company said it found “significant errors of judgment and procedure”.

“Our head of HR has taken personal accountability and resigned from GitHub,” said COO Erica Brescia in an official blog post.

“In light of these findings, we immediately reversed the decision to separate with the employee and are in communication with his representative. To the employee we wish to say publicly: we sincerely apologise,” Brescia said.

“GitHub condemns the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th and any and all belief systems that are discriminatory. Antisemitism, neo-Nazis, and white supremacy – along with all other forms of racism – are vile and have no place in our community.

“Employees are free to express concerns about Nazis, antisemitism, white supremacy or any other form of discrimination or harassment in internal discussions. We expect all employees to be respectful, professional, and follow GitHub policies on discrimination and harassment.”

Read more: Rioters who stormed US Capitol now face backlash at work

The controversy began when the Jewish employee left a message for co-workers in an internal Slack channel, just as the protests were unfolding in Washington DC: “Stay safe homies, Nazis are about.”

The post was said to have offended another staff member who called the message “untasteful conduct”. GitHub later fired the employee for his “patterns of behaviour,” which included labelling rioters as Nazis.

Speaking to TechCrunch, the employee said he was “genuinely concerned about his co-workers in the area, in addition to his Jewish family members”.

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