Can You Be Fired For Being Conservative?

In another sign of the times, an employee of a New York literary agency has been fired for having accounts on Parler and Gab.

The president of a literary agency [the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency] based in New York City said Monday on Twitter that one of the agency’s employees was terminated after her use of conservative social media sites Parler and Gab was discovered.

I have seen no suggestion that the victim, Colleen Oefelein, did anything wrong on those accounts, just that she participated in social media sites that are not deemed sufficiently leftist. Ms. Oefelein apparently is from Alaska and “identifies herself as a Christian.” That explains a lot.

At Reason, Eugene Volokh has a lengthy analysis of whether firing an employee for having accounts on unapproved social media platforms can be grounds for termination. The answer is unclear. It depends on where you live: in New York, maybe. In general, employers can fire employees for any reason, just as employees can quit for any reason. But various statutes and ordinances have riddled that principle with exceptions.

Still, one fact stands out: if an employee can be fired for being a conservative, or for having accounts on social media sites that are not regarded as liberal, an employee can equally be fired for the converse reasons–being a liberal, or having accounts on liberal outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Maybe conservative employers should start taking names.

Some say that we are now engaged in a cold civil war. Sadly, I think there is some truth to that characterization. I have no doubt that leaders of the Democratic Party and the liberal movement would criminalize conservatism if they could. They are taking steps, already, in that direction. I don’t know that there is any way for conservatives to fight fire, except with fire.

Of course we will never try to jail our political opponents, unlike the liberals. We can’t even prosecute the criminals who perpetrated the Russia collusion hoax. And I don’t think that anyone should be fired for his or her political views. But it is happening. Maybe if some liberals lost their jobs because of their politics, liberals would think better of the cancel culture that they have so viciously unleashed.

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