A picture of a cyclist flipping off President Donald Trump's motorcade has gone viral, and as a result, the woman has was fired from her job, Huffington Post reports.
The picture was taken by a White House photographer traveling with the motorcade, and once news outlets picked it up it went viral on Twitter almost immediately, with people tweeting about the (then unknown) cyclist using the hashtag #Her2020.
The woman, whose name is Juli Briskman, is a 50-year-old mother of two who was employed by a government contractor called Akima LLC at the time the picture was taken. Briskman says she had no idea that a picture was taken of her when she flipped Trump's motorcade the bird. But when the image started to blow up on social media, Briskman figured she should tell her company's HR department about it.
In an interview with Huffington Post on Saturday, Briskman said that the day after she told HR, her bosses let her know that she had broken the rules of the company's social media policy because she used the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook, adding, "We're separating from you." Briskman explained, “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’"
In response, Briskman said stressed to her bosses that she wasn't on the job when the picture was taken, and that her social media accounts don't mention where she works. But her bosses countered that since Akima is a government contractor, their business could be hurt by the photo.
As Huffington Post points out, Virginia is an employment-at-will state, which means that employers can fire people at any time, for any reason. Fair enough, but what really bothers Briskman about losing her job over something like this is that recently a male colleague, who had Akima LLC as his cover photo, called someone a “a fucking Libtard asshole” on Facebook. All that happened in his case is that he was reprimanded and told to delete the post. Obviously, he kept his job. Briskman asked Huffington Post, “How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president? How is that fair?”
Here's how: it's definitely not.