Microsoft’s GitHub has been embroiled in a controversy over the last few days, after firing an employee, who happened to be Jewish, for warning fellow employees on Slack to “stay safe homies, Nazis are about,” on the 6th, the same day as the Capitol Hill Insurrection. He was fired on the 8th after another employee complained.
The decision led to an immediate reaction from other GitHub employees, with 200 employees signing a petition asking for an explanation.
Today, after an independent investigation which found “significant errors of judgment and procedure”, GitHub posted a public apology, with GitHub COO Erica Brescia saying: “To the employee we wish to say publicly: we sincerely apologize.”
CEO Nat Friedman said:
- It was appalling last week to watch a violent mob, including Nazis and white supremacists, attack the US Capitol. That these hateful ideologies were able to reach the sacred seat of our democratic republic in 2021 is sickening. The views that propelled this attack are morally abhorrent to me personally, and, I know, to our entire leadership team and company.
- 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.
- We do not and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in any of its forms, period.
- 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.
GitHub is offering the employee his job back. The head of GitHub HR also took personal responsibility and resigned from his post.
The full post can be read here.