Man who Burned Koran at Ground Zero fired from his job

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Mordeci, Sep 14, 2010.

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  1. Mordeci

    Mordeci Banned Member

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/employee_who_burned_koran_transit_bHqhL0TOUgS4UNOO95ry4H

    As it turns out the protester who burned the Quran at the dueling 9/11 protest was a New Jersey transit worker and therefore had to follow a code of ethics which buring the quran apparntly violated so he lost his job as a result. I am not defending his actions they were misguided and stupid, at least, but it his constiutional right to burn the quran or any book he sees fit without conseqences, and I feel this is a real shame and I hope he fights this, even though I think he's an idiot.
     
  2. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Well technically, private employers have the right to fire you based on the parameters of their business contract. If it was the federal government on the other hand...
     
  3. LetItGo

    LetItGo Staff Alumni

    having a business contract take precedence over the constitution seems a bit weird, shouldn't the contract be in line with the constitution where applicable? I'd say he'd have every chance of winning a case should he decide to go to court and what you say in regards to the constitution is correct.
     
  4. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Well, cases like this have come up before, and generally speaking they tend to side with employers. When you enter into a business, you sign a contract that establishes the parameters on which your employment is based. It's the company's right to hire or fire based on it's standards, just as it's an employee's right not to have to work there.

    Freedom of speech is largely protected only under the jurisdiction of the government. Private enterprises, by nature of being private, are often exempt from this, up to a point. Though with the way this legal system works, it wouldn't surprise me if a court did find in favor of the transit worker.
     
  5. Mordeci

    Mordeci Banned Member

    I am taking contracts now and while I am not particularly good at it the problem is two fold one is that he is working for a state/goverment enteity and two that entity is asking him to give up a consitutional right, which is a right that you don't really have the authority to give up. A hyothetical would be if you are a certian race and are looking for a job and find one, but they say because of this job you can't vote for some reason and they put this in writing and you sign, but on election day you vote anyway, so they fire you and you sue, you would probably win because there is no valid reason they have to stop yo from voting. In this instance I can't think of any valid reason for a transit worker to a) even have a ethics code b) that ethics code could have a reason to limit consitutional rights.
     
  6. Edgar Roni Figaro

    Edgar Roni Figaro Well-Known Member

    Just one more example of how citizens rights come 2nd to the muslim world. Why should we have constitutional rights here in America. That would be silly, we might offend the muslim world.
     
  7. GA_lost

    GA_lost Well-Known Member

    As a former federal employee, my right for free speech was even more restricted under The Hatch Act. I could not directly work for any canidate, or political position. The act was amended to allow more political activity, but some people such as myself still had to abide by the old law. I doubt if I could have kept my job if I burned the koran or did any other idiotic act.
     
  8. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    He worked for a private company, the company has the right to hire or fire individuals as they please. No violation of rights occurred.
     
  9. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Interesting. By my recollection, the Hatch Act was largely passed during the Red Scare in response to growing fears of communist takeover and such. By that measure it was largely an aberration (like a lot of legislation in that period), but I suppose it was kept on to prevent certain sensitive areas of government from becoming too partisan and politicized. If I remember correctly, it applies mostly to certain agencies.

    I think the issue stems with the question of ethics. It just wouldn't be good business, from a private company's perspective, to keep you if you're engaging in any sort of controversial act. This is the sort of legal limbo that allows companies not to hire folks that have piercings or tattoos for example.

    As far as the fed or any other government entity is concerned, in theory the would need their employees to maintain some form of integrity. Engaging in something that could be perceived as a hateful act doesn't bode well for the workforce.

    The fact is, the courts have yet to define whether burning a religious tome constitutes a hate crime or (like the burning of the American flag) if it is merely a protected form of expression. Legally, this could really go both ways. Potentially, this could even be Supreme Court worthy, in my opinion.
     
  10. GA_lost

    GA_lost Well-Known Member

    The explanation given for having the Hatch act was to keep politics out of the federal workplace. I can see the utility in this. I was in an agency where people brought politics in. My Branch Chief even had a picture of President Bush on his door. This could have been reported. What bothered me about the Hatch act was the restrictions off of the job. I could speak freely about anything, but I could not work for any canidate. This was the major amendment in 1993. (I did not have this right because of the agency I worked for.) As for burning the Koran, in some agencies it may not of have gotten them fired. In mine, I am almost positive it would have, for reasons I am reluctant to explain.
    The basic right to burn the Koran does go into the gray area of the first amendment. It falls into the same area as Nazis marching in Skokie, IL, burning the flag, and other such acts. The right of free speech has some very fuzzy areas. Where should the line be drawn?
     
  11. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Very interesting GA. I appreciate you sharing such a unique perspective. I agree with your assessment concerning the gray area of this as well.
     
  12. Hache

    Hache Well-Known Member

    It shouldn't be though.

    It is illegal in the US to burn a flag and imo the Koran has a very similar meaning when burnt.

    Of course then people will start saying well are we going to make it illegal to burn Mike Tysons autobiography as well??? But I think a book such as the Koran should be held as some kind of law protected relic.
     
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