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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the it's-ok-california-laws-aren't-like-real-people-laws dept.

Mozilla 1116

theodp (442580) writes "While the rise and fall of Brendan Eich at Mozilla sparked a debate over how to properly strike a balance between an employee's political free speech and his employer's desire to communicate a particular corporate 'culture,' notes Brian Van Vleck at the California Workforce Resource Blog, the California Labor Code has already resolved this debate. 'Under California law,' Van Vleck explains, 'it is blatantly illegal to fire an employee because he has donated money to a political campaign. This rule is clearly set forth in Labor Code sections 1101-1102.' Section 1102 begins, 'No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.' Corporate Counsel's Marlisse Silver Sweeney adds, 'Mozilla is adamant that the board did not force Eich to resign, and asked him to stay on in another role. It also says that although some employees tweeted for his resignation, support for his leadership was expressed by a larger group of employees. And this is all a good thing for the company from a legal standpoint.' As Eich stepped down, Re/code reported that Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said Eich's ability to lead the company had been badly damaged by the continued scrutiny over the hot-button issue. 'It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,' Baker was quoted as saying. 'I think there has been pressure from all sides, of course, but this is Brendan's decision. Given the circumstances, this is not surprising.' Van Vleck offers these closing words of advice, 'To the extent employers want to follow in Mozilla's footsteps by policing their employees' politics in the interests of 'culture,' 'inclusiveness,' or corporate branding, they should be aware that their efforts will violate California law.'"

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Poor poor bigot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696971)

n/t

Re:Poor poor bigot (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696985)

how tolerant of you.

(posting anonymously because of the fear of backlash from others just as tolerant as you)

Re:Poor poor bigot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697127)

how tolerant of you.

(posting anonymously because of the fear of backlash from others just as tolerant as you)

Your tolerance of intolerance have no bounds? What if he was funding KKK?

Re:Poor poor bigot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697305)

What if he was secretly an alien trying to take over the world?

Re:Poor poor bigot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697339)

This is the most idiotic meme of our times. By far.

Bu the wasn't fired (5, Informative)

Sylak (1611137) | about 6 months ago | (#46696973)

He fucking resigned.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#46696999)

Exactly. And as far as we know, he wasn't forced to resign. He did so so the company could move on as his presence would have been a distraction.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (5, Informative)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46697133)

Did you even read the summery: "'It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,' Baker was quoted as saying."

So basically, the only reason he was not fired, was because he was given the option to resign, before they fired him. This is a quote taken directly from the mouth of the Mozilla Executive Chairman.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46697401)

That is not necessarily true, and is just an assumption about a statement taken after the fact, not before hand. There are other possibilities, such as Brendan came to that conclusion himself and voluntarily stepped down, and Baker was just making the statement. There is no evidence that he was forced out by the leadership of the company.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1)

silviuc (676999) | about 6 months ago | (#46697003)

Mod this guy up please. The man resigned and was visibly disgusted by the whole thing.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (5, Insightful)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about 6 months ago | (#46697005)

And Steve Ballmer retired.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46697063)

That is the problem with most labor laws. There are usually tricks to get your way. You don't fire the person you force them to resign. You can perform a witch hunt and wait for any slip up as a reason to fire someone.
We have fire: Where termination is caused by poor/inappropriate performance.
We have layoff: Where termination is from the employer to reduce staffing to save money.
We have "resignations": Where the employer tells the person that they need to resign, otherwise we will make their lives difficult.
We have resignations: Where the employee decides to leave the job, in a graceful method.
We have quitting: Where the employee leaves instantly, and not so gracefully.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697381)

my public school district employer skirted the USERRA laws when I came back from Iraq by not firing me while I was gone, but instead by not renewing my contract. I was "free to re-apply" for my job when I returned... which is funny. everyone was free to apply for the job.

it turned out for the best anyway.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 6 months ago | (#46697077)

"asked him to stay on in another role"

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (0, Troll)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46697283)

Yep. Given the Lavender Mafia, that role was probably Data Center Janitor.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (4, Informative)

BradMajors (995624) | about 6 months ago | (#46697099)

Constructive discharge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

"In order to establish a constructive discharge, an employee must plead and prove, by the usual preponderance of the evidence standard, that the employer either intentionally created or knowingly permitted working conditions that were so intolerable or aggravated at the time of the employee's resignation that a reasonable employer would realize that a reasonable person in the employee's position would be compelled to resign."

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (2, Insightful)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | about 6 months ago | (#46697397)

The chairman of the board went on the record saying "It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting". She basically said that he was not fit for the job because of his political views. That's ought to be enough to support "constructive discharge"

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697139)

I know a lot of people who "retired" after given the option of retiring or being fired.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46697227)

Yeah, terrible headline. It pretty much comes down to 'well, if something similar but completely different in all of its actual details happened then it would likely violate the law!'

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697287)

There is a difference between resigning because you want to move on, and resigning due to a hostile work environment or coercion. As another example, do you really think a woman who quits because of harassment no longer has a claim because she quit?

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 6 months ago | (#46697301)

He fucking resigned.

Which the summary says. Or did we stop reading those now, too? I think the issue is whether this counts as an "attempt to coerce or influence" with threat of "discharge or loss of employment." The closest their official statements come to this is offering him another position, and I don't know if that happened before or after he resigned. In fact, I think even the summary of this article disagrees with the headline. What a confusing post.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | about 6 months ago | (#46697319)

He was "constructively dismissed". He was unable to perform his job because of hostile work environment.

Re:Bu the wasn't fired (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 6 months ago | (#46697391)

If he was a mid-level to low-level employee then there would be no debate. The company would make something up and that would be the end of it.

I guess there is yet ANOTHER advantage of affluence.

Lol... (-1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46696989)

By this line of "reasoning", if your CEO decides to run as mayor or get a new ballot initiative declaring some minority group as 3/5ths of a human or making it illegal for them to serve food due to being dirty (insert minority here)'s, then I guess the companies hands are tied and they can't fire him.

And in other news, AcmeCorp's CEO has come out and blathered another insane "political opinion". AcmeCorp's board of directors were last seen hurling themselves against the plate glass windows of their 38'th floor offices.

If you don't want to be penalized for your political opinions, don't run around spouting off about them.

Re:Lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697045)

If you don't want to be penalized for your political opinions, don't run around spouting off about them.

Right... the people should be quiet and know their place.

Really, you thought that through?

Re:Lol... (0, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697117)

Yes, I thought it through and it's the only tenable option. That and social pressure. Laws forcing you to retain douchebags like this guy are insane, completely irrational.

If a company starts firing people for e.g. supporting union organizations, good luck finding employees and good luck with the media shitstorm that goes your way.

Silly laws like California's could have put Mozilla in an impossible position.

Re:Lol... (3, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46697317)

Yes, I thought it through and it's the only tenable option. That and social pressure. Laws forcing you to retain douchebags like this guy are insane, completely irrational.

So, in conservative states, it should be perfectly legal to fire gay activists and those who donate to gay rights causes? Hey, social pressure, right?

Re:Lol... (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697431)

Yes. It should be perfectly legal to fire anyone for any reason. What's amusing is that that's soooo crazy, right?

Re:Lol... (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46697325)

So therefore a right wing company should have the right to fire gays, single mothers, and douchebags like you?

Re:Lol... (-1, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697447)

Yes. Next question, asshole?

Re:Lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697383)

If we can fire people for being "douchebags" outside of work, can we fire people for being gay outside of work?

Re:Lol... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 6 months ago | (#46697449)

This is reality for many in corporate surfdom today.

Re:Lol... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697225)

There's so much wrong with your post that I think you don't know anything about the case in question OR how reality works. First off, Eich didn't "spout out", he stayed quiet. Prop 8's detractors simply hunted him down on the list of people who donated to Prop 8. Then he stepped down rather then pretending he was suddenly converted to the cause. HUGE difference.

Secondly, are you REALLY asking people to shut up about their political opinions or suffer penalty? That's like telling gay supporters of a decade or two ago to shut up if they don't want to be persecuted. You're basically trying to have it both ways while hiding behind pretty-sounding words to justify it. Which is disturbing to say the least.

Finally, yes, actually *firing* a person for making a donation to a cause you don't like is not something you can claim as the moral high ground. It may disgust you and I that Eich supported a cause we don't believe in, but get some damn perspective before you turn into the bigots you despise. Fighting for tolerance on one hand, while finding every excuse to be intolerant to your opponents on the other, is disgusting.

Re:Lol... (1, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697393)

It's less about Eich and more about the fundamental rights of association that are being eroded in this country.

Employment is an association. I don't know how it gets more fundamental a human right than "I don't fucking like you, so I'm not going to give you my money to work for me." But somehow this has changed in America and a "job" is some thing the government controls, and you are just a steward of. Don't like felons? Tough shit - some areas now won't let you ask about it. Don't like gays? Too bad, hire him or else. Racist? Well, sorry - hire that other-race woman or else.

It's all bullshit, needless bullshit. Eich was a liability to Mozilla, period. It's not fair, he wasn't out proselytizing or burning crosses - sure. But he was a liability and Mozilla did not want to continue to employ him in that role. That should be their choice.

You can get blacklisted in this country for making a slightly off-color joke, or for "appropriating" a dance from another "culture". And yet we feel we need the government to step in and manage all employment in this country to an increasing degree.

Re:Lol... (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46697275)

By this line of "reasoning", if your CEO decides to run as mayor or get a new ballot initiative declaring some minority group as 3/5ths of a human or making it illegal for them to serve food due to being dirty (insert minority here)'s, then I guess the companies hands are tied and they can't fire him.

Yep, just like you also can't fire an employee for voting Democrat or being a pro-gay rights activist in his off-time. It cuts both ways, sparky.

Re:Lol... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 6 months ago | (#46697433)

Only if you are affluent.

If you are a nobody, H.R. would make up something or wait until a minor infraction and can you.

And you'd have no recourse... because the company said it was for cause and there is no proof otherwise.

However, if you are affluent and a public person you can fight back.

Fuck him and the rest of the Republicans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46696991)

He said he considers gays to be subhuman. We don't need that kind of person in our state much less running a hugely important organization. Those Republicans with their hate need to just get the fuck out of this state. They have openly called for our death so why are they still allowed freedom? They should be either be put in prison or shown to the border. At the start-up where I work, I've never heard a single person even try to defend these haters. Why do the Republicans that rule our state not do something to police their own?

Re:Fuck him and the rest of the Republicans (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46697349)

Except he didn't say that gays were subhuman.

Re:Fuck him and the rest of the Republicans (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#46697425)

Replace "California" with "South Carolina" and "Republican" with "Democrat" in your argument and think hard about what you're really advocating for. Political litmus tests for employment have been a big no-no for a damn good reason. Do you *really* want your employer digging into your political beliefs, with the freedom to shitcan you if he doesn't like them?

I May Not Agree (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697007)

I may not agree with Brendan's position, but it is a scary precedent to get rid of people based on their personal beliefs and political activities.

--MyLongNickName

Re:I May Not Agree (-1, Redundant)

thaylin (555395) | about 6 months ago | (#46697047)

Except they did not get rid of him, and actively tried to keep him after he started the resignation process....

Re:I May Not Agree (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46697375)

"In another role"- probably as 4th Basement Data Center Janitor. With an Office in a Disused Lavatory with a sign saying "Beware of the Leopard"

Re:I May Not Agree (-1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697061)

It's not at all a scary precedent - it's a mandatory one. California's law is insane, like much of California.

How are you supposed to run a business with a numb-nuts like this guy running around ruining your name?

Re:I May Not Agree (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46697333)

It is already a long held precedent, it is simply unusual to see this kind of pressure work in this direction. Usually being a 'deviant' or covered by some moral panic can get you fired or pressured out of position, but a high profile position getting this kind of pressure on minority rights is kinda new.

Re:I May Not Agree (5, Interesting)

BigFire (13822) | about 6 months ago | (#46697413)

Hang the heretic. How dare him having the same opinion on the sacred gay marriage as Barack Obama in 2008 rather than Dick Chaney in 2008.

there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (1, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46697015)

that protect ceo's and c-levels. the game is already stacked in their favor from the start. they can get away, almost literally, with murder in the US system. the world's tiniest violin is now playing for the poor little ceo's who didn't get everything they wanted.

its usually the other way around. you have to tip-toe around the c-levels so you don't offend them, lest you get handed your walking papers. they can hire and fire pretty much without challenge.

besides all that, though, he was not fired. he was asked to step down from the public and a percentage of the employees. no one in the company forced him to leave. there was no illegal act here.

Re:there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (5, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 6 months ago | (#46697131)

That's right! Human rights for all, except the humans I don't like!

Re:there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697233)

That's right! Human rights for all, except the humans I don't like!

Are you serious? CEOs are different than regular employees, they are there to represent the owners and are well paid for it. Even in European countries with very strong labour laws are CEOs in practice easily fireable. And as an extension of representing the owners, his views are relevant, especially when he calls some people subhuman.

Re:there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 6 months ago | (#46697321)

Are you serious? CEOs are different than regular employees

Yes, I am. Rights should apply to everyone, not just the people that you believe are worthy.

If you think that people shouldn't have the right to donate to a political cause without fear of reprisal from their employer, fine. But to give that right to some people and not others is wrong.

Re:there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46697369)

meh, there is something to be said for some groups needing legal protections more then others, and in general people with wealth and power tend to have enough of their own resources and political power to take care of themselves and still come out on top.

Re:there is no need for 'labor laws' that.. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697189)

Could you repeat that, I couldn't hear you over all that rabble rousing...

Can't fire a Nazi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697031)

So if one of your employees makes a contribution to the Nazi party, you can't fire them for being the type you don't want around?

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46697075)

If employers were allowed to fire people simply because they "didn't wanted them around" do you think we would end up in a good society?

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (-1, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697145)

Lol, you mean if people were free to choose to hire and associate with whomever they wish we would end up with a "bad society"? Lolwut?

Yes, we would end up in a good society - a free one. If people are assholes it's generally not conducive to business, and frankly it doesn't matter in the end anyway, it's a zero sum game.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 6 months ago | (#46697367)

If employers were allowed to fire people simply because they "didn't wanted them around" do you think we would end up in a good society?

you mean if people were free to choose to hire and associate with whomever they wish we would end up with a "bad society"? Lolwut?

I would disagree to both of your questions/answers. Actually, the cause (allow firing employees) and the consequence (good/bad society) are NOT that correlated! In other words, allowing to fire an employee when the employer does not like does NOT result in either good or bad society! There are a lot of factors involved in either good or bad society. Judging and conclude the result on only this cause is too oversimplified...

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46697421)

"if people were free to choose to hire and associate with whomever they wish" than everybody would have to vote for the party their boss liked. Google cannot fire someone just because they want some promised Republican tax break, and Tom Smith in cubical 9B voted for Obama instead. And legally, I doubt they can encourage or even allow a corporate culture that punishes someone for voting wrong.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46697429)

Depends on just how weak your group is. Years ago I knew several lesbians who, when outed, had trouble finding ANY work in their region. There was some ROTC kid going around making sure any business who hired them knew they were hiring a lesbian and they would immediately be fired. Kinda hard to have 'freedom' when you can not pay your rent.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697151)

If employers were allowed to fire people simply because they "didn't wanted them around" do you think we would end up in a good society?

In California, it is legal for employers to fire employees simply because they don't want them around. It's just not legal to fire them for their political activity.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 6 months ago | (#46697163)

In California employers can fire people because "didn't wanted them around". They just can't fire an employee solely because he is a member of the Nazi party.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697415)

Who said anything about California being a particularly nice place?

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46697461)

you can already fire anyone if you dont want them around. there are so many ways, ALL the power is in the hands of the employer, these days.

layoffs are a perfect example. thru no fault of your own, you can be walked out on a moment's notice. 'we are not making our numbers, we have to get rid of people' is not all that different from 'we dont think you are a fit for the role'. that's just another way to say 'we dont like you'.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697079)

Welcome to California, land of nutballs and lunatics. This law is untenable on its face. Companies must be able to hire and fire whomever they wish.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (1)

DrigJ (2774783) | about 6 months ago | (#46697241)

But don't you see where that path leads? If a company can fire anyone they want, then what prevents them from firing people based on their race, or their sexual preference, or political party? You have to draw the line somewhere. Just because you don't agree with his stance on gay marriage, does not make him a bad person. He was instrumental in creating the internet as it exists today. I'm not saying his viewpoint should be overlooked, but it should not affect how he does his job. If he can do the job and do it well without his personal politics impacting his work, then why should a company have the right to fire him just because he sees things differently than they do? I'm tired of everyone calling him a bigot because he donated to Prop 8. I don't agree with his stance on gay marriage, but part of what our country was founded on was the premise that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Free speech and all that. The fact that people came out in droves to demonize someone actually hurts the LGBT community. It makes it seem like anyone that doesn't agree with us is wrong. That's not how things work in the real world. People have opinions and you have to respect them.

Re:Can't fire a Nazi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697303)

including Muslims, amirite?

(beware of cognitive dissonance before you reply!)

Can't fire a [insert anything]? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697451)

You bring Hitler to the conversation, I bring whites. You bring gays, I bring muslims. A black chief can't lay off a white worker because he is white, just the same as a white one can't fire a black one. A muslim can't fire a chirstian for being christian. NO, you can't fire someone because their beliefs, race, sexual orientation, gender or health unless that is something that endengers others in some REAL way or their status/actvity is ILEGAL.

So if your Nazi donates to a group which promotes totalitarian nationalism as a political view, you CAN'T fire him. If he donates to a group which promotes mere violence, goes around vandalizing houses or attacking people, then YES. If he insults someone at work due to their race or religion, then YES.

It's simple (1, Flamebait)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46697035)

Don't say anything about the gays. Don't say anything about the blacks.

Those two groups are so virulently nasty about anyone who "goes against them" that it's absolutely sickening.

You're better off kicking a puppy and being filmed doing so.

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697083)

Ah somebody is trying to portray themselves out to be the victim.

Going to go hang with Paul Ryan then? You know, the guy who failed to know how much poverty assistance is going to rural and suburban residents, rather than in the "urban culture" he deplored.

Re:It's simple (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 months ago | (#46697095)

This, except you forgot illegal immigrants.

Re:It's simple (-1, Troll)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46697107)

troll is trolling badly.

0/10 for you.

Re:It's simple (1, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46697125)

And, yet it should be taken as natural that religious people can spout off against either of those groups, and have it be protected speech. But if someone fires back and talks about them, then it's persecution.

You really can't have it both ways. And the noise I see from Christians saying their free speech is being violated, all the while expecting to be able to do the same thing, tells me that there is no reasoned principle here ... just a sense of self entitlement.

You are free to believe what you like and to say it. You are not free from repercussions when people decide they don't like your message.

When someone expects to be able to say hateful things because their religion says, and then gets up in arms when someone calls them on it ... the word you're looking for is hypocrisy.

Re:It's simple (-1, Troll)

mfdavid (1132903) | about 6 months ago | (#46697191)

The guy tries to exclude gays from society, by trying to pass a law that forbides gay marriage, and somehow you stupid piece of shit comes and say that gays are bad? Fuck you. ps: I'm straight.

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697327)

I can't marry my cousin, but it doesn't mean we're excluded from society.

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697371)

The guy tries to exclude gays from society...

What, they're being shipped off to their own islands, now? Well, I'll join the movement to run this guy out of town on rails, too, then... where are the pitchforks?

Re:It's simple (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 6 months ago | (#46697443)

How does forbidding an oxymoron exclude gays from society? I'd say allowing gay marriage is more exclusionary.

Re:It's simple (1, Funny)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#46697193)

Poor straight white males. They can't ever catch a break in this black and gay controlled country.

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697277)

Poor straight white CEO males. They can't ever catch a break in this black and gay controlled country.

FTFY

Re:It's simple (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 6 months ago | (#46697315)

We still like puppies. You are thinking about Muslims.

It is perfectly fine to say whatever nasty things you like about Muslims.

Well excuse me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697043)

I understand how law serves like a guide to what is just and right, but let's not turn it the other way around. Eich had to go in the eyes of the public, and that's the end of it. Also, he wasn't fired for his opinions, but because of the backlash from the community. His status as CEO was seriously harming the company.

Re:Well excuse me... (2)

BradMajors (995624) | about 6 months ago | (#46697345)

Community opinion? It was backlash from a vocal minority.

A majority of Californians recently voted against gay marriage.

Uhuh? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46697065)

Mozilla *fired* Eich? First, he still works there. Second, he stepped down from his CEO position of his own free will. Third, it may be illegal for an *employer* to fire an employee in certain ways but (setting aside all the public pressure) even equating peer pressure of subordinate colleagues within a company with the company ("corporate person"?) acting as an firing employer seems extremely tenuous. Being a CEO, he'd have to fire himself to violate the law, wouldn't he?

Re:Uhuh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697105)

Being a CEO, he'd have to fire himself to violate the law, wouldn't he?

CEO's report to the board.

Re:Uhuh? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46697223)

If the board encouraged him to stay, as it seems, it's even more evidence that no illegal dismissal has happened.

Re:Uhuh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697211)

The board of directors could fire him. The shareholders could fire him by proxy. CEO isn't a king, though I can see how some people can be confused by that.

And yes, free will, I'm sure it was totally his idea. Seriously?

Re:Uhuh? (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | about 6 months ago | (#46697259)

Quitting under peer pressure equates to "constructive dismissal": "Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee is forced to quit because the employer has made working conditions unbearable".

I see no violation here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697089)

1) He resigned, he wasn't fired.
2) There was pressure to resign, or else be fired, sure, but the fundamental reason is that users were throwing tantrums and threatening a boycott. That seems like a legit reason to fire someone to me.

Re:I see no violation here... (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#46697273)

1) He resigned, he wasn't fired.
2) There was pressure to resign, or else be fired, sure, but the fundamental reason is that users were throwing tantrums and threatening a boycott. That seems like a legit reason to fire someone to me.

No, that's coercion.

What's been lost in all this is the fact that in 2008, the same year that Brendan Eich made that campaign contribution, Barack Obama went on national television in a debate with John McCain, and said that he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Where is the outrage over that? Why is it that Obama was elected president of the United States, twice, and Eich was forced to resign from the company he helped start?

On the other side, a bit looming problem (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46697109)

How do you color the whole issue as him only resigning, when three board members quit over his presence there. That's a lot of pressure from the company.

It looks an awful lot like coercion...

But, isn't it up for him to sue if he feels he did not resign voluntarily? It seems like he probably would not do so.

Re:On the other side, a bit looming problem (4, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46697181)

It's criminal. The AG of California can fine Mozilla Inc for being incredibly hostile. They did, however, put in every effort to keep him; three board members severed their relationship with the company, and so the company is not responsible for their actions. If other board members where threatening to do so as well, the company is tied to these people and may be responsible. So Mozilla Inc has a good defense, but Eich doesn't have to initiate the case against them.

Re:On the other side, a bit looming problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697331)

And what about the employees who created said hostile environment? I don't see how it's any different from any other kind of harassment.

Re:On the other side, a bit looming problem (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#46697409)

I guess they should have magically known it would have been a big deal, then never hired in the first place, carefully keeping that reasoning quiet, so as to not upset the voters who demanded that law while simultaneously reserving unto themselves the right to harm companies for those exact behaviors they forbid them from fixing.

Re:On the other side, a bit looming problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697335)

It's been stated that the board members didn't quit because of Eich's views, nor as a vote of no-confidence. A bit too convenient, maybe, but that's how conspiracy theories start. The fact is, at least two of them were due to quit the moment a new CEO came in, and ALL of them still apparently accepted Eich as CEO. So I don't know where this "three of them quit over his presence there" idea comes from unless you're coloring things yourself.

Obama evolved his position, why couldn't Eich? (5, Insightful)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about 6 months ago | (#46697135)

The crux of the issue is that social attitudes are in flux on this matter. If you don't give people leeway to change, they will likely harden their positions.

And if you give some people leeway to change (eg- Obama, Hilary) and deny leeway to others (Brendan Eich) you are being blatantly partisan and unfair.

Re:Obama evolved his position, why couldn't Eich? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 6 months ago | (#46697253)

Lol, that's actually a good point though I think Obama was as much of a tool as Eich. Obama got a pass because he's on "their side", though.

Some are more equal than others... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697187)

Had he donated $1000 to pro-gay organization and was fired - there would be wide action in his support....

But he donated to the wrong organization so he "resigned" - after external and internal pressure...

It sickens me... there is no more free speach... and some people clearly can be discriminated because of their political views...

Of course it doesn't apply (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697217)

Those laws are only supposed top protect those that hold the same opinion as myself, because I'm perfect and the opinions I hold are truth incarnate. People that don't share every single one of my opinions should never be allowed to work because they're wrong thus bigots thus evil.

I think the conversation here is missing the point (3, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 6 months ago | (#46697255)

I feel that Mr.Eich was compelled to resign not by his employer, but by the GLBT community. They exerted political pressure which would have impacted the Mozilla organization, and Mr. Eich made a personal decision to shield the organization from that political pressure.

GLBT organizations have a perfect right to express their opinions, and even to use political and economic pressure to achieve their desired ends. The Mozilla foundation acted correctly in not bowing directly to this pressure. Mr. Eich acted both correctly and even (some might say) with noble altruism in resigning.

Understand the causes of actions - if you insist on placing blame, place it where it belongs. Mr. Eich was forced out by the GLBT community over his support for a bill which directly contradicted their political agenda. Their actions were within what is considered to be acceptable, and resulted in Mr. Eich sustaining a personal loss for his open support of a bill he obviously believes in. I don't think anybody here behaved badly or did anything wrong; but I believe that all involved should now be judged by their actions and their roles in this drama.

Interesting Quote (3, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46697257)

As it stands, I think he probably had a moderate chance of succeeding in a legal suit. At the very least he could of sued Mozilla over some workplace harassment law (not providing a safe workplace).

But with the quote from the Mozilla Executive Chairman: "'It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,' Baker was quoted as saying." I would say any legal action over discrimination against Mozilla is now in his favour. To me that says that only reason he was not fired, was because he was given the option to resign, before they fired him. And Mozilla would/will find it hard to explain to the court how firing someone who was unpopular because of a political belief is completely different than firing someone for a political belief. I am not saying it is cut and dry, but he definitely seems to have a case.

It sad really (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697271)

Mozilla lost a great technically minded CEO who could have done some good things for the organization; which IMHO badly needs strong leadship right now.

Why because a bunch of the rabble could not deal with someone not sharing their opinions. Honestly I don't think anyone supporting same sex marriage supports equality at all. Government should not recognize ANY marriage. If you get married that should be entirely between you, your God(s), who ever else attends where you warship, and that's it.

It should not be your boss's business, nor the state's nor any courts. Government recognizing marrige does nothing but create a special class of people (married people), and there is no reason they should get the special treatment they do.

As far as children go, both biological parents should be considered to have parental rights and responsibilities, unless the father isn't known and nobody comes forward for in some reasonable time frame.

Everyone should be entitled to name someone (anyone) they wish to specify to share anything that exists as a spousal benefit today or those benefits should be withdrawn. I don't think anyone should have to file a tax return, but as long as we have tax returns EVERYONE should have to file individually.

So will I continue to vote against so called marriage equality; you bet I will because the last thing I want to see is the expansion of what is already a special class which should not exist in secular society.

Mozilla continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697389)

Mozilla continues its downward spiral down the drain.

Not About Free Speech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46697395)

While the rise and fall of Brendan Eich at Mozilla sparked a debate over how to properly strike a balance between an employee's political free speech and his employer's desire to communicate a particular corporate 'culture,'

Except the issue at hand was Mr Eich's actions, not his speech. I really don't give a fuck about his opinion regarding my sexuality, but the moment he starts acting on that opinion and attempting to restrict my basic humans right, that's where I draw the line.

I will defend to the death your right to spout off bigoted nonsense. But I will fight tooth and nail if you act on that bigotry to bring harm to others.

(If I have it wrong, then I apologize. But it's been my understanding all along that this was not mere speech, that he has in fact actively tried to strip away the basic human rights of others)

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