Juli Briskman, a 50-year-old single mom of two, was recently fired from her job at Akima, a government contracting firm. She was fired from her job because she informed them that she was a person in a photo that had recently gone viral. The photo was a woman cyclist flipping off the president as his motorcade drove by. The company cited section 4.3 of their social media policy which says, “Covered Social Media Activity that contains discriminatory, obscene malicious or threatening content, is knowingly false, create [sic] a hostile work environment, or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and will be subject to discipline up to an [sic] including termination of employment.” While Briskman did post the photo on her social media accounts, there was no mention that the photo was of her. Further, you cannot see her face and there is nothing that connects Akima in the photo. This incident begs the question: Should Juli Briskman have been fired?
Those who believe Juli Briskman should not have been fired argue that this is a First Amendment issue. They feel that she was expressing her right of free speech when she flipped off President Trump. Also, they point out it was her day off so it was not company time. Plus, there is nothing in the photo that connects the company, so they had no business firing her. Finally, many feel she is a hero for expressing what many Americans feel when it comes to President Trump.
People who feel she should have been fired argue that, by working for a government contracting firm, she works for the government and, when she flipped off the president, she was flipping off her boss. If you do that at any job, they will fire you, so why should she be any different. Plus, a photo of someone flipping someone off can be viewed as obscene and that is in violation of her company’s policy, so she should suffer the consequences. Finally, the company was not infringing on her First Amendment rights when they fired her. The First Amendment keeps you from going to jail for speaking your mind; it does not protect your job.
WUSA 9, a Washington, D.C., news network covering Juli Briskman’s firing:
Should Juli Briskman have been fired? Did she do nothing wrong and was just using her right to protest? Or, was she in violation of her company’s policies and she suffered the consequences?
Juli Briskman should not have been fired
Those who believe that Juli Briskman should not have been fired say that she did nothing wrong and she should be protected by the First Amendment. It was her day off and her company has no right to say what she can and cannot do during her free time.
— Patricia L Harris (@patricialeapens) November 6, 2017
👇Our 1st Amendment in peril! Juli Briskman Fired For Flipping Off Donald Trump's Motorcade https://t.co/TTa6CU7H7b
— truth diviner (@truthdiviner) November 6, 2017
Juli Briskman is an American hero who was fired for exercising her First Amendment rights to flip off Trump who is not my POTUS either.
— freehawk (@freehawk) November 6, 2017
Juli Briskman should have been fired
People who feel she should have been fired say that she violated her company’s policies and she has to pay the price. Whether it is her day off or not, she still represents the company and must act accordingly.
The left is outrage because juli briskman was fired for flipping off the president, I would get fired just for laughing at my supervisor.
— Brian (@DeltaHalo007) November 6, 2017
I’m glad Juli Briskman was fired-That behavior is unacceptable & it’d be just as unacceptable had it been done it to Obama. #AtWillEmployee
— Aliah (@AliahXtine) November 6, 2017
Do you think Juli Briskman should have been fired?