Jan 17, 2021 - Technology

GitHub apologizes for controversial firing, offers employee job back

Illustration of Github's Octocat under a spotlight

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Microsoft-owned GitHub is apologizing for firing an employee who told his co-workers to stay safe from "Nazis" after the U.S. Capitol was breached and the company has offered the job back to  the worker.

Why it matters: The firing sparked controversy among the employees, and led to the resignation of GitHub's human resources head Saturday.

What happened: GitHub reversed course after an independent investigation into the firing "revealed significant errors of judgment and procedure," according to a company blog post.

  • The employee warned colleagues in Washington, D.C. to stay safe from "Nazis," and the warning was criticized by a colleague who was offended by the term, according a report in the Verge. The firing was first reported by Business Insider.
  • The employee was fired Jan. 8, which led to GitHub employees signing an open letter asking about the termination.

What they're saying: "Employees are free to express concerns about Nazis, antisemitism, white supremacy or any other form of discrimination or harassment in internal discussions," GitHub said in the post. "We expect all employees to be respectful, professional, and follow GitHub policies on discrimination and harassment."

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