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GitHub’s human resources boss has resigned over the company’s firing of a Jewish employee who warned his colleagues in Washington to watch out for Nazis.
The Microsoft-owned platform — which software developers use to share and collaborate on code — said its HR boss took “personal accountability” for the flap and stepped down Saturday after an outside investigation found failures in how the termination was carried out.
The unidentified employee was axed on Jan. 8, two days after he reportedly sent a Slack message urging DC-area co-workers to be careful as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
“stay safe homies, Nazis are about,” the staffer wrote, according to TechCrunch.
Photos from the Capitol riots showed the insurrectionists sporting a variety of Nazi and white supremacist symbols. For instance, authorities last week arrested Robert Keith Packer, a Virginia man seen wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “Camp Auschwitz,” an apparent reference to the notorious Nazi death camp.
Despite that fact, one of the staffer’s colleagues complained about his message and an HR representative claimed in firing him that he had shown a “pattern of behavior that is not conducive to company policy,” he told TechCrunch.
The employee’s ouster sparked a backlash among many of his GitHub colleagues, who circulated a letter demanding the company denounce Nazis and white supremacy, according to Business Insider.
GitHub commissioned an independent investigation on Jan. 11 that unearthed “significant errors of judgment and procedure” in the case, chief operating officer Erica Brescia said in a Sunday blog post.
“In light of these findings, we immediately reversed the decision to separate with the employee and are in communication with his representative,” she wrote. “To the employee we wish to say publicly: we sincerely apologize.”
GitHub did not immediately respond to an email Monday asking whether the staffer has returned to work there.
Brescia did not identify the HR executive who stepped down as a result of the probe, but Carrie Olesen was listed as the chief human resources officer on GitHub’s website earlier this month, according to an archived version of the webpage. Olesen’s name no longer appeared on the site Monday morning.
Brescia also acknowledged that “Nazis and white supremacists” were part of the mob that carried out the “appalling” Capitol attack that left five people dead and forced lawmakers into hiding.
“Employees are free to express concerns about Nazis, antisemitism, white supremacy or any other form of discrimination or harassment in internal discussions,” Bresica’s blog post said.
“We expect all employees to be respectful, professional, and follow GitHub policies on discrimination and harassment.”
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