A woman is fired for a Facebook post, and I applaud her employer

How did Cold Stone Creamery justify the firing of Denise Helms for a personal Facebook post?

A manager at Cold Stone Creamery, Ms. Helms responded to the Presidential election results by referring to the President with a racial epithet, further writing that he should be assassinated.  (I guess she’s not a policy wonk)

Her reprehensible post reinforces the need for solid corporate social media guidelines.  Imagine how many African-Americans (or anyone with a sense of propriety) wouldn’t be comfortable being served by Ms. Helms after reading her post.  Imagine further if Cold Stone didn’t have a policy to protect themselves from such employee conduct.

Understandably Helms will not be charged for threatening the President.  It’s evident from her interview and social actions that she lacks the mental capability to pose any danger to him.  But her firing is an illustrative example of how a social media policy can protect an employer from employee behavior that is detrimental to their business.

One only has to take a look at the recent election to understand that the most immediate power of social media is to illuminate the sensational.  From Donald Trump to Stacey Dash to Ted Nugent and Clint Eastwood’s chair, provocation trumped substance when it came to viral content.   Frankly, the racist ice cream server is far more scintillating than anything else that Cold Stone has going on otherwise.  It’s important for businesses to protect themselves and do so thoughtfully, with specificity, preferably advised by a lawyer.

There’s a pragmatic part of me that appreciates that Cold Stone protected its interests.  But I also have an effusive feeling of happiness that this person was punished for publicly perpetuated irrational hatred.  I’m not naive enough to think that there isn’t racism, sexism, homophobia or other irrational hatred in the world.  I believe in freedom of speech and understand the slippery slope of restricting that.  But social media publishing has consequence.  This had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with intolerance, and in this particular situation I applaud Cold Stone Creamery for administering consequence.  I also applaud customers for following up with Cold Stone to hold them accountable (and also hope they will reward their actions).

That said, I’m not sure that this wouldn’t be a gray area in different circumstances.  What do you think?  Is it right that this woman was fired for her Facebook post?  In circumstances when a personal post could bring negative attention to an employer, should an employee’s job be imperiled?



You can see Ms. Helms justification of her post here – well worth a watch if you’re already not sufficiently upset.


Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty

Writer and chief of miscellany at leaderswest.com
I'm the guy that wrote the article you just read. Sorry for the typos.
  • http://twitter.com/Mompreneurmogul Lisa Cash Hanson

    FREE speech our country allows for it if I were her I’d file to get my job back. No one really knows if that’s true anyway except her- what if was gossip? You should never threaten anyone’s life so that is very serious but we have protection for FREE speech in America- until of course this government takes that away also like our individual rights to our own health care choices.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Lisa for reading and commenting. I would agree with you more if it were conjecture, but there is a screenshot of the post, and the video that I linked to at the bottom of the post shows an interview where she reinforces her points. It’s interesting because the US District Court ruled earlier this year that social media doesn’t constitute free speech, so I agree with your point about freedom of speech and support that social media should be protected speech though that probably isn’t accurate right now until that specific case is heard by the Supreme Court. I do think that employers should have some reasonable way to make sure that an employee doesn’t sabotage their business, though. Of course my objection isn’t the death threat which this woman had no capability to carry out, but more to the epithet and hearing that moron call him the n word in her TV interview. I think it speaks to some people’s recklessness in social media. I don’t know that I think there is correlation between health care and this situation, except that Ice Cream should be a “sometimes food.” Thanks for your comments!

    • http://joshuawilner.com/ Josh

      Free speech isn’t unlimited and it never has been. You can’t scream fire in a crowded theater nor can you advocate the violent overthrow of the government.

      • jimdougherty

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Josh.

      • Ross Quintana

        Actually I believe you can advocate the overthrow of the government. That is what to constitution protects and also what the right to bear arms protects. It is what our nation was built on. If our government became oppressive Americans have the right to overthrow it. That is the bedrock of what our nation was founded on.

        • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

          Hi Ross,

          That is not entirely accurate. You can advocate for a new government based upon a vote but you cannot advocate the violent overthrow of the government. There are many legal cases you can look up, but one of the most famous is Gitlow Versus New York.

          Here is a link (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=268&invol=652 ) that provides the text of the decision but it boils down to “the government may suppress or punish speech that directly advocates the unlawful overthrow of the government.”

          On a side note if the government decided to use our armed forces against the citizenry we would be “screwed” because the weaponry we have based upon our Second amendment rights is not even close to being sufficient to take on the military.

          That is my personal opinion and I don’t want to take the thread in that direction, but I can say with authority that the courts do not provide protection against advocating the violent overthrow of the government.

          You can shout, scream, beg, blog and print leaflets saying we need to vote the current government out but if you start talking about using force you will find yourself on the wrong end of the law.

      • Ross Quintana

        Declaration of Independence “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”

        • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

          We are not talking about the Constitution here, but for the sake of the argument this doesn’t have to be interpreted as a license to use force or permission.

    • http://asalesguy.com Keenan

      Lisa FREE speech is a central part of our countries identity, however it has continually gone through revisions. For example, HATE SPEEH is no longer consider protected by free speech. Citizens can not claim free speech when they call another person a racially inciting name. Not only is it not protected, it’s agains the law. Also, free speech doesn’t protect individuals from employers etc. when their “speech” affects their business. In this case, this woman’s beliefs and “speech” materially impact the customer base of Cold Stone Creamery. An individuals right to free speech does not trump the rights of Cold Stone to do business.

      All too often we use free speech as a catchall to protect us from inappropriate behavior. In the end, in MOST cases, just NOT ALL, we can say anything we want without reprise from the government. Yell NIGGER, FAG, CRACKER, MORMAN FREEK, all you want, say the Obama or Mitt suck ass, it’s our right and the government can’t arrest us, BUT free speech doesn’t prevent me, you or Cold Stone from saying, “I don’t want a person who says this stuff working for me.”

      • Ross Quintana

        Keenan, hate speech laws as far as I know it don’t overule freedom of speech. Here is a link to the 6 landmark cases on hate speech that the supreme court has had since 1949 http://civilliberty.about.com/od/freespeech/tp/Hate-Speech-Cases.htm So I don’t believe it is against the law at least in the US and when state laws say it is they always lose. A company can fire someone for whatever reason they want in right to work states, but I think companies firing you for your political views or other personal views is insane. Saying that her personal views which don’t involve Coldstone impact their business is a stretch and just like in tort law you would have to prove damages which I think would be pretty difficult. The connection made from her action to a company she works for is a stretch.

        If a 17 year old gets drunk and kills someone and they happen to work for Taco Bell does that mean Taco Bell supports drinking and driving? Who employs people who cheat on their wives, that is offensive, should they search and find out who has done that and fire them? If I am no clocked in or representing a company then what I do in my personal life should be none of their business. We have given up a right almost as important as our freedom of speech in this country and that is our freedom of privacy. I pray people will wake up and see this before it really is too late.

        • http://asalesguy.com Keenan


          Hate speech today is when it is targeted at an individual directly. The Klan can say nigger,kike etc. all they want. The minute the look at me and call me a nigger, it’s against the law. This woman didn’t say she hates niggers, she called Obama a nigger. That could be construed as hate speech. It could be argued that he didn’t hear it or that it wasn’t in his presence so who knows. But the point remains. It’s not free speech to call out a person with a racial term.

          That being said, your analogy of taco bell, is not apples to apples. Someone who drinks and drives doesn’t hold a “discriminatory believe” that subjugates one group of people UNDER another. I would tend to agree with you that if this person were a security guard, a work at home piece meal manufacturer etc. then let her keep her job. She doesn’t interact with other employees and she doesn’t interact with the customer. However, when she voluntarily publishes views that suggests she doesn’t believe people are equal and demonstrates a hatred based on arbitrary traits, allowing her to potentially come in contact with them is not something a company is required to do.

          It is a fair argument to say she is not posses the skills to do that job because she lacks a basic skill . . . the skill to treat everyone equally and fairly. To hire this person puts the company at risk because if it is KNOWN that she doesn’t like blacks, whites (if they are a non-white) asians, jews or what have you and then she treats them poorly, drops the word nigger or cracker, the company is liable for knowingly putting her in concact with the people she outwardly expresses disdain.

          It’s pretty simple really.

          Finally, it’s not an invasion of privacy if you put it out there. The definition of public domain hasn’t changed. It may be my front yard but I can’t lay out there naked.

          Good discussion Ross.

    • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

      Free speech protects us from *government* infringement, not from being fired from a job. Two entirely separate things.

  • http://twitter.com/ChattyProf Ellen Bremen

    She wasn’t the only one, Jim. Take a look at this… a medical center employee in GA lost her job, as well: http://www.wkyc.com/news/watercooler/article/268611/91/Woman-fired-after-calling-President-the-N-word-on-Facebook. I completely agree, too, and in this case, patients had to question how they would be treated at this facility. Her employer had to consider that, as well.

    Both company’s actions seemed correct. In this day, people can put themselves out there in a way that wasn’t possible before social media. This public-ness gives us a new responsibility of conduct for ourselves. Freedom of speech or no freedom of speech, we have to decide what “facework” we want to present, and we have to accept that our actions/words have greater ramifications for an employer, our families, and even our friends than it did in previous times. I believe the game has simply changed and the old rules of “say whatever you want without impact” no longer applies.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks, Ellen! One of the most disappointing things about the election were all of the hateful things that were said in social media channels. Maybe your TED Talk could be on facework?

      • Ross Quintana

        I love TED talks :]

    • Ross Quintana

      I have to disagree, by that logic when you go home every call should be monitored and everything you say to your husband or spouse negative toward your work or anything could be grounds for firing. At that point your work becomes a totalitarian force that can control your every move outside of work. I wouldn’t throw our freedom under the bus so easily based on the red herring of whether or not you like the comments made outside of work.

      • jimdougherty

        Thanks Ross for reading and commenting. I understand the gray area, but in this case this manager didn’t just hurt her business but her workers as well. Less business = less revenue = less hours, you assume that the business will get their money so what gets squeezed are the employees. When you harm people with your social actions it seems to me that there should be some way to correct that.

        There have always been libel laws, and social publication just adds a variable to those that will have to be sorted. I don’t think this situation extends to phone calls or speech, and I also don’t think that this woman would use that language in those circumstances. People are publishing content that can be read and shared by thousands of other people – there is a power to that which needs to be mitigated. Consider there alternative where a company investigates everything about you before you’re hired.

        Now the fact of the matter is that people are fired for these reasons much more often than is publicized. Because of the risk of lawsuits, I think employers just find other justification – so this isn’t something new. The reason that these employers are having to justify the firings as social media related has everything to do with the racial component of their content. Imagine if any employee of any business could arbitrarily determine that the business wouldn’t serve an entire population because of their ethnicity. That’s what these people did.

        This type of publication is tangibly hurtful to businesses and other people. If it’s ignored then I think indirect libel of businesses and people (in the form of bullying or in this case overt racism) is tolerable. We don’t have unmitigated freedom in this country – we sacrifice some freedoms as societal norms (we can’t kill, steal, harm a person or business). If we are free to use racial epithets on social media, thereby disgracing and hurting ourselves, other people and the businesses we work for then I propose that we should throw that particular freedom under the proverbial bus.

        All that being said – that was a really thoughtful comment Ross, and I want you to know that I appreciate you having the guts to voice it. Thank you!

        • Ross Quintana

          Jim, I still have to disagree. What we do or think in our personal lives does not justify a company to firing us. If that is the case then most companies would have to analyze all conversations and fire anyone who said something that offended someone else who could be a potential customer. Every fast food worker who said their boss was an idiot, every person after a hard days work who said their job sucked, every person who believe in pro life vs pro choice. At this point every personal view which seemed offensive would be reason to fire you. What she says on her Facebook wall should have nothing to do with her business.

          I think you are getting caught up on the difference between whether you agree with her comments or whether she has the right to say and feel how she feels without retaliation from her employer. This isn’t even practical. Take a company like Best Buy, 155,000 employees, do you think none of them have anything offensive on their facebook pages. Should Best Buy scrape their Facebook profiles and analyze the data. Now take Best buy’s customer base. What offends one customer doesn’t offend another. Do you think logically that the 155,000 have said nothing that could offend the millions of people they have as customers. It is unrealistic aside from nobody asking what the hell Best Buy would be doing going through my personal social media accounts.

          Like I said if she mentioned Coldstone or was representing them that is one thing. But when you clock out and are in your personal time, the company is not liable for your actions. I think this is unjust judgement. People who simply don’t like what she said then want her to be fired. Her work has nothing to do with her dumb statements on her personal account. People are giving up their rights to privacy in a horrible way in this country because people and companies are trampling on our rights of privacy and nobody says anything. They focus on if it seems justified and in doing so they lose track of the big picture. We have a constitution and bill of rights for a reason and it trumps whether someone likes a comment or not.

          People may not like racism, but people have the right to like or dislike anyone they want. They do anyway. I may not agree with it but I don’t agree with tons of things people do and say and yet I respect that they have the right to think and say those things because that freedom allows me to think and say what I choose. If everyone was only allowed to think like you then you would be OK with it but everyone else would be stripped of their rights. If you were forced to think and talk like someone else instead of how you think and speak you would then not be OK with it. This is the problem with judgement like this. People say, “I don’t like what she said” so they justify retibution being taken against her even though it violates her rights of privacy. This is like saying that it is OK for the police to search your house without a warrant as long as they find what they were looking for. We have rights and boundaries for a reason and throwing them away on a dime will eventually take away rights you do care about.

          • jimdougherty

            Thanks, Ross! I don’t think I’m confused about the argument at all. Most people don’t like racism and most people don’t like self-disclosed racists serving them ice cream. Employees shouldn’t have the capability to sabotage their employer’s business or hurt the livelihoods of their coworkers. She’s not going to jail for her words, but there is consequence to her actions. The freedom to do stupid things doesn’t imply that there will be no consequence to our public actions, especially when our actions cause others harm.

  • http://twitter.com/JimJacobson Jim Jacobson

    You said, “provocation trumped substance when it came to viral content” and cite the following: Donald Trump, Stacy Dash, Ted Nugent, & Clint Eastwood. I’m wondering why you left out Michael Moore ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ub-c0QRlEU ), Bill Maher ( http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bill-maher-calls-sarah-palin-the-c-word-during-his-stand-up-act/ ), and Samuel L. Jackson? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og35U0d6WKY )
    Let’s be fair, the vitriol on the left has been over the top.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Jim, I guess I wasn’t as aware of them because the popular internet memes skewed somewhat to the Romney supporters, but I didn’t mean to seem partisan – I just didn’t realize anyone was paying attention to those three! Appreciate you sharing, and those are probably good examples of style over substance as well. What I was trying to point out wasn’t necessarily that Trump or the like were vitriolic, but the social and traditional media coverage of those people weren’t based upon anything substantive except for their personalities. I expect the same applies to Moore, Maher, and Jackson. I think you point out appropriately that those examples were of Romney supporters and I certainly didn’t mean to make the correlation between this very misinformed woman and Romney supporters. I think people that were politically active for either candidate had the best intentions at heart and I have personal objections to both candidates so I don’t want to appear biased in favor of either. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://twitter.com/JimJacobson Jim Jacobson

    I agree that this gal was vile in her language, tone etc. But I fear a biased approach that infringes on liberty. If employers can dismiss an employee for non work related dialogue or beliefs, where does that end? As a Christian pastor, I just wrote a blog post about homosexuality. While, I cannot be fired, I think it’s a short distance, to the government taking censorious action against individuals like me and our free speech. Let me be clear, I do not condone her attitude or words, but free speech should be protected.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Jim, I’m not implying that this is an issue of government censorship at all, and I’m hard pressed to think of any elected official that has ever implied or attempted to censor someone for their Judeo-Christian religion beliefs. From what I just witnessed this week, I think it would be difficult to be elected with a position like that. We may be in agreement, though. You’re a minister and your homosexuality message resonates with your audience. As someone with a background in science I understand that homosexuality is seen in nature at about the same incidence as in humans. So, your blog post most likely wouldn’t resonate with me nor does it have to. I’m not your intended audience. But imagine I was a part of your congregation and read your blog post about homosexuality – my understanding of homosexuality as a person’s nature rather than as a deliberate choice would cause me to question whether I should be part of that congregation – even if we never spoke about it at church. That’s the position that this woman put Cold Stone in – she chose to broadcast that she’s a racist. Cold Stone would like to have African Americans and people who advocate for an equitable society buy their ice-cream. The trouble is that they have a self-disclosed racist managing one of their stores. I don’t understand why businesses should have to co-opt the values of their worst employees, it seems to me that’s a huge, unnecessary risk. Cheers again for reading and commenting!

    • http://amyvernon.net/ AmyVernon

      The right to free speech protects us against the *government* infringing on that right. Has nothing to do with employers.

  • Tisdale

    The company has a right to fire her if she violates any of their codes. One of them is probably becoming a felon. She engaged in a federal offense – threatening the president with bodily harm is illegal and a federal crime, a class D felony – Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 41 under Unites States Code. The lesson is, don’t do illegal things and you won’t get fired. The end.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks for commenting – I understand that there’s little likelihood that she will be investigated further or end up being charged with a crime. Again, I have to restate that my objection if I were a business owner would be the racist remarks – and racist comments aren’t felonious. So, I hope that the greater point that businesses should have some protection against employees that self-disclose inflammatory things in social media is valid. I don’t think businesses can rely on the law to mitigate risk to their public perception.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.steven.1610 Steve Steven

    I applaud the employer. Using racist remarks is one thing, calling to harm the most powerful official in the land is another. When you post threatening remarks, there has to be consequences.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Steve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tracy.lucas.9655 Tracy Lucas

    Whilst I agree whole heartedly in this instance and clearly she had associated herself and her employer in her profile there is a fine line when sharing humour for example…..I have a number of humerous pictures and jokes shared with friends that could I guess be considered sexist as they depict stereotypical “husband” and men jokes, where do we draw the line is my only concern. My example is possibly lame but by who’s judgement…mine or another reader it really can be subjective.

    • jimdougherty

      Good point, Tracy. I don’t think any of us are sacrosanct by any means, and it’s a scary gray area.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/DJThistle djthistle

    “It’s evident from her interview and social actions that she lacks the mental capability to pose any danger to him” <— I'm still laughing Jim!

    Well done Cold Stone. Yes, there is a grey area here but a spade is a spade.

    I agree with freedom of speech but you can't expect to print something like that publicly and not expect consequences. Good stuff Jim.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks DJ – I shows what a poor writer I am – I was actually just trying to make the point that she wasn’t a clear and present danger to anyone. Cheers and thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/LAStory Stevie Wilson

    It’s interesting because I know Jim as pretty broad-minded in that an individual’s rights are sacrosanct. That said, what Ms. Helms did wasn’t justified.. and while I saw a LOT of names being tossed around on twitter and one party continuously called me at home particularly at dinner time to interrupt my family, I kept telling them I was not a member of that party and to please reach out to someone else who was. They knew I wasn’t a member .. they just wanted to convince me otherwise.
    I think that the bill of rights was not violated and I don’t think the founding fathers of that same document would say that what Ms. Helms was acting properly. Given that this is the 21st century and that we have had many wars since the Civil War, and even had issues going back to the 50’s and 60’s over issues like race and women’s rights (Roe v Wade for example, equal pay is another) , why do these issues come up except to cloud the judgement of the populous. No one should be threatening to kill anyone. Would it be ok for someone to threaten Ms. Helms life? No it would not and the person saying it would be talking to the police by now if it were said in person or where others could see/hear it. Therefore, why not talk about it? The election is over. The choice has been made. We all knew about 50% of the population wouldn’t be happy no matter which way it went. So let’s get on with the business at hand and making sure our legislators hear the voices of their constituents (that’s you and me) — which means you get to communicate your thoughts to your own specific legislators. As a person who has spoken to state & national legislators both individually and in hearings, I think that’s the appropriate thing to do. Exercise your rights as a voter and participate in the legislative process from local to state to national.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Stevie – I think that many people will be interested to know how this bear out constitutionally. Facebook Likes were found not to be protected speech earlier this year (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/us/clicking-like-on-facebook-is-not-protected-speech-judge-rules.html) and from what I’ve read this may extend to all social content. So, it’s an interesting situation where an employee hurts an employer without explicitly defaming it. It reinforces to me the importance of sound, specific social media policies. As for the politics, I’m not sure that everyone can move on and be happy – I certainly am not satisfied with the election by any stretch. But your advocacy for post-election legislative involvement is one of the best ideas for channeling that frustration that I’ve heard. It certainly isn’t Twitter or Facebook! :) Thank so much for reading and commenting!

      • Ross Quintana

        Jim a Facebook like should be protected. Social media is like any form of communication and when we can’t even like something without scrutiny then that is when people should wake up and realize they are under a dictatorship. This isn’t about whether you agree with everyone’s thoughts and speech. That is impossible. People have the right to be idiots and to agree and disagree. The erosion of these rights will put a noose around the necks of freedom.

        • jimdougherty

          I don’t disagree with your assertion about Facebook Likes – the US District Court does. Agree that people have the right to be idiots so long as it doesn’t hurt others, and these cases don’t meet that condition.

  • http://twitter.com/CarolLynnRivera Carol Lynn Rivera

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the need for a policy. The “gray” comes in when there is no clear cut policy and no real ground to stand on beyond a personal distaste for poor speech. But to another point, I think an employer has a right to fire someone for saying something that will reflect poorly on the company – and that’s where the bigger gray area is because there is a subjective line between a dissenting view and hateful speech. It’s a tough call but in the end I think as an employer you have to look out for the best interests of your business and customers. If this woman’s comment is being noticed, it’s only one tweet away from being a complete social media backlash/PR nightmare/boycott for the company. Plus she’s not only being offensive but advocating violence and that’s far behyond just expressing a different opinion.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Carol for reading and commenting! It’s been interesting to read different insights into social media policies, and though some of them conflict a bit they all seem to suggest being as specific as possible. I think that’s fairest for the employees as well. Cheers!

  • blackpearl

    To those whom have replied, thanks for being respectful in your reply and showing intelligents. not many stories have this outcome and its good to finally read respectful posts where everyone can get along with no name calling.I didn’t listen to the interview but after reading Soooooo many tweets and Facebook posts, if more employers follow this lead then there will be more firings. I guess her problem was doing an interview.No one knows what will make a person snap and since she’s not the only one to say this, it’s really scary to know that there maybe someone who just may want to try.

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks for reading and commenting. There certainly is a lot of passion on all sides of the debate here, but what I appreciate is that nobody is advocating for what this woman said, and I think it’s important to bear in mind that the people who defend her do so in a broader sense and not because of her hateful speech.

  • Samantha Gluck

    Great post, Jim, and I tend to agree with you…no matter what side of the fence you’re on, this is reprehensible behavior and only serves to taint the very side she (seemingly) supports.

    It’s no secret that I’m a conservative (not a Republican, mind you) and I don’t care for the policies of our current president. But I also despise this sort of behavior and support the termination of her employment. Perhaps they can hire a more responsible server now.

    I think social media, like many other forms of media, comes with great responsibility. Hopefully, this individual has learned a valuable lesson that may even make her a great (and changed) asset for her viewpoint.

    • jimdougherty

      You’re a Republican? I had no idea 😉 I don’t feel particularly fond of either political party, but I truly love and respect the people who are passionate to advocate for their political beliefs. I feel a little disappointed that this example has a political undercurrent because I don’t think it’s so relevant to the point of how powerful our social actions can be to affect other people.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting – no more provocative pieces for me for awhile…. I’m going to have to consult a good ghostwriter! 😉

  • Ross Quintana

    I have to disagree, I think a person’s personal life and comments should be no business of the person’s employer. Shall they go through your phone or put a wiretap on you to see if what you do or say when not at work should be used against you. This is a gross violation of our privacy. If she made it with a company account or mentioned her work in the comment then that would be different. But people have grown to accept their company snooping in and using our personal data against us. I hope laws are passed to protects us from this and I hope people criticize companies that invade their employees privacy. This isn’t about whether you like racism, the core issue is personal privacy. I am not willing to give Coldstone a pass.

  • Ross Quintana

    One other point to be made is that she didn’t call for the assassination of the President. She said maybe he will be assassinated this term. I would argue that that is a call for him to be assassinated and I am guessing her lawyer would to. A dumb statement but not an ordered hit by a longshot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olaito-Yinka/827680257 Olaito Yinka

    This kind of incidence will continue and I strongly believed Cold Stone did not have a policy in place except in a case where the ex-employe just threw caution to the wind. The action needs to be reviewed if there was no policy which guide employees before now

    • jimdougherty

      Thanks Olaito for reading and commenting. I don’t know enough about Cold Stone Creamery’s employee manual to understand whether they did or not. I expect that if they didn’t have a policy in place that the ACLU would take up this woman’s cause since California is not a right-to-work state. Good insight – thank you!