Woman who flipped off Trump got fired from government contracting firm


That gesture is almost obligatory for all such motorcades (barring those countries where the consequences are more severe).

Such powerful characters have so little opportunity to see the world outside their precious bubble as they’re ushered from limo to hotel elevator. It’s almost a moral duty for the real world to make it’s feelings known.


This kind of thing is happening more often. Saily Avelenda was force to resign from her job because Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) wrote her bosses about her political activity.


Could you explain without any irony, snark or sarcasm for a naïve European how the fuck a firing like this would not be invalidated by a labor court?

First answer: The US has no labor courts.

Second answer: Most states have doublespeak “Right to Work” laws. These laws give you a “right to work” even if you are not a member of a labor union. Obviously, passed to bust unions. Most of these laws define employment as “at will” contracts, without formal written contracts. (After working for 30 years in the US, I finally signed my first actual employment contract when I went to work in France). An at-will contract means that you work at your own, and your company’s, will. You can decide to quit and simply not show up, no notice needed. Similarly, the employer can at any moment fire you for any reason, save a very few exceptions written into law (race, gender, age).

So, actually, they can fire her for this. They can fire you for voting for the wrong candidate. They can fire you for having sex with your SO, for havind sex with someone who is not your SO, or for not having sex with anybody. They can fire you for joining a political party. They can fire you for voting. Or for not voting. Or for wearing a color they don’t like. Or, pretty much, anything.

Sometimes people do win suits. They are very lucky, and most of the time, the judgments are reversed or penalties basically eliminated on appeal.

Americans are serfs. We have reinvented feudalism.


To be fair Bethesda lawyer Bradley Shear™ :slight_smile: seems to be on the side of the angels on this one. He’s not saying her employers were right to do what they did or legally justified in doing so.

He is simply making the practical point that yes, one of the ‘mistakes’ she made was to tell her employer that she was the person in the photo.

Another ‘mistake’ was using the photo as her facebook cover photo, thereby giving her employers an excuse to use the social media policy to fire her.

The biggest ‘mistake’ of course was working for a bunch of arseholes.

1 Like

And having a facebook account.

1 Like

It’s such a common gesture that the most obscene usage of it is in Goodfellas, courtesy Jo Pesci. And that’s just funny.

To my aunt, it might be obscene, but to that orange obscenity zTrumpski, it could barely register.

1 Like

Indeed. It’s a ‘slave on the chariot conqueror mortality reminding of’ thing.

1 Like

Someone hire her. Please!

Do Americans still insist they have freedom of speech?


I believe the claim is that, as she was not directly punished by the government, her Freeze Peach was undamaged.

If you were to buy that (nah), and use the same excuse for the various currently censored academics and twitterati, you could then move on to the woman who was charged (twice) for laughing at Jeff Sessions.

And the J20 protestors:


And the beatings and arrests of journalists in St Louis:

Of course, anyone paying attention would have noticed that this is not a new thing:

Not new at all:


I frankly admit that I don’t understand why the US labor market works, at all, if what you wrote is true.

I had an argument in the late 1990s or beginning of the new millennium, standing on the Alexanderplatz in Berlin, with two random US businessmen who joined us briefly when we were playing a street theater version of Monopoly. Performance art as political statement clearly confused them. They told me Germany with it’s stupid labor laws was “the sick man of Europe”, and only Neoliberalism (with a capital N, I felt) would save it.

After reading your post, I think I now do see where they were coming from …


This is why I like BoingBoing so much.

It’s one of the few places where I can find people articulate enough to at least try and get across the basis for their opinions even when they are by European viewpoints completely batshit insane (and vice versa of course).

In many places the difference in worldviews is just too great for people to even try to bridge.

1 Like

Why not skip the rigamarole and just claim

“I flipped off Trump.”

No “President” qualifier needed. Or deserved.

But that opens the field to practically anyone…

1 Like


(Disclaimer: IANAL, but I have been an employee and an employer in multiple states. Our labor laws are severely lacking.)

As @hnwombat notes, the US has no labor courts. To elaborate a bit on what they said…

The labor laws we do have are fairly narrow. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal reforms included the Fair Employment Act of 1941 which theoretically prohibited discrimination on the basis of race (though of course it continued and employers just got better at hiding their real motives). During and after the Civil Rights Movement, a handful of other things were subsequently added. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (meaning gender), age or disability. Anything outside of these few protections is grounds on which an employer can fire you. Political expression is only protected if it’s in relation to one of those, for example it would be illegal to fire an employee for attending a woman’s march or a Black Lives Matter event or the like.

Outside of that, in the US you’re employer can legally do anything short of compelling you to say who you voted for because Federal Election Laws protect the privacy of your ballot.

Theoretically it’s illegal to fire employees for being a member of an existing union or for trying to organize a union. But a lot of employers will flat-out simply shut down a business if their employees try to unionize. Wal-Mart is infamous for closing a number of stores as a union busting tactic. Occasionally employers will face class action lawsuits for these tactics, but more often than not they get away with it because of the lax enforcement of US Federal labor laws.

A few states in the US have stronger labor laws, but only a few and they’re patchy.

All that said, in my earlier comment I was alluding to what are called binding arbitration clauses in employment contracts. Once rare, these are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Such a clause is an agreement to waive the right to sue an employer in state or Federal court and instead abide by the decisions of binding arbitration courts where the judge’s fee is literally paid by the employer. A few states such as California have laws making these clauses unenforceable, meaning the employee can still sue in regular court despite them, but many workers don’t know that and get cajoled into binding arbitration anyway unless they have a competent lawyer which many cannot afford. Employers often count on that.

As if that isn’t bad enough, even in regulars court, the lengthy appeals process and the expense of seeing it through is used by wealthy individuals and companies to make suing them effectively too expensive for individuals and smaller companies. Patent trollies in particular use this to game the system by trying to extort slightly less than the amount it would likely cost to take them to court. Hence the truism, How much justice can you afford? The US penal system is also run almost entirely by a few large private corporations that lobby heavily for draconian sentencing laws and expensive court fees to keep non-violent offenders locked up in their prisons as slave labor they sell to unskilled labor industries. Municipal governments and local police also support these unjust laws because even when a convict doesn’t go to prison and jumps through all the hoops, they wind up paying (often through debt they can’t afford) the salaries of probation officers who are sometimes hired from private corporations.


Because why do you hate freedom, that’s why? Also, do you really want the GOVERNMENT to regular what corporations can and can’t do? because that’s how you get nazi germany, MAN! /s

But seriously, good question. This is BS.