Free Speech At Work
Here's a story that had a little different resolution than the one that occurred in the Imus case:
Mein Gott! Sharon Hewitt, office assistant to Jane Pearl, the supervising judge at Kings County Family Court, has been removed from her position, after the court became aware of Hewitt’s long history as a neo-Nazi. Up until a few months ago, Hewitt regularly posted online on neo-Nazi sites under her neo-Nazi screen name. She’s been photographed attending multiple hate-group rallies and helped organize demonstrations in 2005 on behalf of veteran hatemonger Ernst Zündel, who was wanted in Germany for denying the Holocaust. Court spokesman David Bookstaver says Hewitt has been moved out of Judge Pearl’s office and into a general administrative pool where she will not have access to confidential information, and that the court can’t fire her for her Nazi sympathies. “As repugnant as one might find her beliefs, we live in a country where she is entitled to them, as long as they do not impact on her duties,” says Bookstaver, who points out that it was the New York civil service that employed Hewitt, not Judge Pearl. “She sat for an exam, she got it,” he says.In contrast to the Imus firing, Hewitt got to keep her job. Now that is free speech at work, where an employee cannot be fired for views she holds or expresses outside of her place of work, in a manner that does not affect her duties. As upsetting and repugnant as I find Hewitt's views, I agree completely with the resolution of her case.