A Microsoft-owned company has apologised over the dismissal of a Jewish employee who referenced “Nazis” in a comment to colleagues, and the company’s Head of Human Resources has resigned over the episode.
GitHub, a code-sharing site for software developers, said on Sunday that its Head of HR had resigned after an investigation into the employee’s dismissal uncovered “significant errors” in judgment and procedure.
In an interview published on TechCrunch, the employee said that on 6th January, the day on which the Capitol Building was breached, he had made a comment on the Slack messaging service cautioning colleagues in Washington D.C. to “Stay safe homies, Nazis are about.” Two days later, on 8th January, the employee was allegedly fired by GitHub.
According to a statement from Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia, other GitHub employees raised concerns about the dismissal and an independent investigation was launched. The company found that there had been “significant errors of judgment and procedure”, she said. In a blog post on Sunday, Ms Brescia said that the Head of HR had “taken personal accountability and resigned.” She added: “To the employee we wish to say publicly, ‘we sincerely apologise’.”
GitHub Chief Executive Officer Nat Friedman acknowledged in a post that the violent mob had included “Nazis and white supremacists.” In a statement, Mr Friedman said: “Employees are free to express concerns about Nazis, antisemitism, white supremacy or any other form of discrimination or harassment in internal discussions.”