How Should Businesses Deal with Climate Activist Staff who Get Arrested?

Extinction Rebellion, ‘swarming roadblocks’. DAVID HOLT [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What happens when a middle class climate activist with a professional job gets arrested for glueing themselves to a public building?

Climate change is firing up middle-class activism

Pilita Clark

Employers are having to think about how to deal with staff who set out to be arrested

In the past 10 days, two friends of mine on opposite sides of the world have both done something I have never seen either do before. One in Sydney cheerfully let her children skip school for a day so they could go to a street protest. Another in London said she was thinking of getting arrested. They do not know each other but both were driven by the same thing: rising impatience with the slow pace of action to curb climate change.

Organisers say 150 people have been arrested so far and claim this is just the start. We shall see. It is hard to imagine hundreds lining up for handcuffs, especially full-time workers. A criminal record can make a lot of things trickier at work: getting a visa, finding a new job and keeping an old one. Many company codes of conduct prohibit behaviour that is criminal or brings a firm into disrepute. Yet a scan through the donors to Extinction Rebellion’s crowdfunding site, which was raising more than £1,000 a day at some points last week, is revealing.

One £200 donation came from Yan Swiderski, a fund manager who was among the protesters who blocked a busy London road near his Pimlico home the other week. “It was the first time I’ve ever done anything like that,” he told me, adding he felt the new movement had “captured the zeitgeist” for people fed up with years of inaction.

Read more:

What an intriguing issue – how do you deal with otherwise excellent staff who suddenly discover an overwhelming inner compulsion to break the law, often in ways which deliberately provoke arrest?

How do you handle repeat unscheduled absence, with the possibility of a longer period of incarceration, from a personnel policy perspective?

What will be the backlash if an employer fires someone for missing work due to their climate activism? Will FOE or the WWF show up at the employer’s doorstep with thousands of demonstrators, demanding the activist employee gets their job back?

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December 9, 2018 10:26 pm

Answer : Fire them. If they are protesting on behalf of Global Warming – Climate Change, they are obviously ignorant, uninformed, anti-social and possibly retarded, as well as being likely to harbour criminal tendencies.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 9, 2018 11:21 pm

In Australia we will probably have guidance on this after the Peter Ridd case. I don’t think the green blob has thought about that this is going to cut both ways.

Bryan A
Reply to  LdB
December 10, 2018 9:09 am

Realistically speaking, if they have paid vacation that can be utilized until exhausted. After that, their time off would be unpaid. If their function within the business is critical, immediate replacement would be warranted Including dismissal and termination. Though I might offer them a return to an entry-level position with a 50% salary cut if they still wanted to work.

Reply to  Bryan A
December 10, 2018 9:25 am

Why would anyone get arrested for peacefully protesting? People aren’t arrested for protesting … they’re arrested for BREAKING THE LAW!!

If you want lawbreakers working for you, then good luck with that. Only the government is an employer that would tolerate such behavior

Reply to  Kenji
December 10, 2018 9:32 am

“If you want lawbreakers working for you, then good luck with that. Only the government is an employer that would tolerate such behavior”
Seems to be the case. Look at the lawbreaker in the White House.

[?? .mod]

Joel Snider
Reply to  Kenji
December 10, 2018 11:09 am

Hey Simon-stain – got any more CNN bullshit to push?

Kinda missed most of the last administration, didn’t ya? Or the Hillary campaign? Or the fraudulent lynch mob, perverting the law, due-process, with the over-kill of abuse of power?

Hack idiot.

Reply to  Kenji
December 10, 2018 1:31 pm

Joel Snider

So you think Trump is snow white do you? It’s telling we focus on the money he paid to them because he broke the law doing it and not the fact he paid off two women he bonked while his wife just had a baby.

Reply to  Kenji
December 10, 2018 5:39 pm

Hey Simon, the government showed its position when Clinton was President. NAR.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Kenji
December 11, 2018 6:56 am

United States – Constitutional provision ‘Right to petition’ grievances to the Government. Petition and Protest are not the same. Protest – blocking impeding handicapping citizens public/private space access . Lawyers–Semantics

Reply to  Kenji
December 20, 2018 11:47 am

Simon says “we focus on the money he paid to them because he broke the law doing it and not the fact he paid off two women he bonked”

In the business world, it is relatively common to just pay to get rid of a nuisance lawsuit. Just because they pay does NOT mean they did what was purported or anything wrong.

In political campaigns, a false claim can sink you. If the accusers are that righteous, then they should just release the info or file the lawsuit instead of accepting the money. If they aren’t, then they have extorted the victim.

Reply to  Bob Shapiro
December 20, 2018 12:41 pm

A point people just don’t want to hear about, all those people on The Apprentice signed NDAs and got paid. And all those people paid off by Congress’ hush slush fund? They all signed NDAs, too. Funny how no one wants to talk about any of that.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 10, 2018 2:14 am

Depends on the Cause they are protesting:
1. If they are protesting Global Warming or Climate Change , fire them for stupidity – because they are clearly incapable of independent thought and of contributing at work.
2. If they are “Les Giletes Jaunes” (or similar) protesting Green extremism, bail them out, hire them a lawyer, support them and their family, and welcome them back to work with open arms, a party and a bonus – because they are clearly more intelligent than their peers, capable of objective rational thought, and are potential management material. 🙂

In other news…


Cue Twilight Zone music…

[ I suppose I have to say “sarc/off”.] 🙂

Fair warning:
I’m calling down another very hard winter on the US Northeast, extending up into Canada.

The reason I’m doing this is that you deserve it. You continue to bleat about global warming, in a world that is about to get colder.

You continue to blather on about climate change and the need to eliminate fossil fuels – do that tomorrow and most of you will be dead within a month or two.

Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels and that number has not changed significantly in decades. Fossil fuel energy provides almost everything you need to survive in this complex world. It IS that simple!

So enjoy the bitter cold and snow this winter, good people, and maybe you will actually learn something.

Cold kills far more people then heat in the world today, probably about 2 million Excess Winter Deaths per year.

Bundle up!

December 10, 2018 5:15 am

>>>The reason I’m doing this is that you deserve it. You continue to bleat about global warming, in a world that is about to get colder.<<<
Hey, not me! Make it warm in central Jersey!

Reply to  Cube
December 10, 2018 8:39 am

You live among the crazy. Bad things happen.

Bryan A
Reply to  Sheri
December 10, 2018 9:14 am

Unfortunately most everyone lives amongst the crazies

Richard M
December 10, 2018 8:35 am

Hey, enough is enough in the central US. Two months of almost total below average temperatures with no end in sight. You need to focus a little better on the NE US.

Sadly, I do live in a blue state so I guess we deserve it.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 10, 2018 2:49 am

Agree. There is no excuse to break the law. Period.

Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 6:21 am

Those silly America colonists in the 1770s. No excuse.
The French underground during WWII. No excuse.

Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 7:06 am

Purposefully anyway. As public figures find out – the average person commits 2 felonies a week – and if you win public office and the establishment doesn’t like you, they can use this against you.

Goodness, even when purposeful, I might have committed a known felony myself, when I may have rescued and raised a baby bunny my cat may have allegedly brought home home until it was old enough to live on its own. I may have found out the animal welfare societies just put wild rabbits down, and vets will refuse to look at them. The alleged bunny allegedly made it.

Please note, this is just a good story and I admit to nothing. We are over encumbered by laws any more. It is impossible to not violate them occasionally.
Next up the misdemeanor of installing my own new water heater …

Reply to  marque2
December 10, 2018 3:56 pm

Involuntary non-compliance. Everyone is guilty of something. As Stalin said, “ Bring me the man and I’ll show you his crime.”

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Wharfplank
December 11, 2018 6:44 am

Earp (Wyatt) Syndrome (gun carry for employment) – watch a man long enough he will commit a lawbreaking. Compartmentalized ‘Profiling’ that is every-day defensive posturing to keep from getting shot in the back. Alive and well in 1880 as well as today. The negative side – guilty until proven innocent.

Jay Rhoades
Reply to  marque2
December 11, 2018 7:25 am

Theoretically, the old water tank has either “been in the basement for years” or “someone just dumped it there.”

Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 7:27 am

I think you might want to reconsider that absolute statement. There are so many Federal, State, and Local laws on the books today that everyone, and I do mean everyone, breaks one or more laws every day. You can’t help it. Oh, and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Reply to  wsbriggs
December 13, 2018 1:36 am

Happy Holidays Matt.

Maybe you could pass this quotation on to Mr. Mueller, who it appears has strayed and lost his way.

Best, Allan in Calgary

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.
– John Adams, First Vice President and second President of the United States.

Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 9:42 am

You never go even 1 mph over the speed limit?

nw sage
Reply to  MarkW
December 10, 2018 5:45 pm

Not that I’ll admit to! Even then Muller could indite me for lying [just like everyone else]

John Endicott
Reply to  MattS
December 11, 2018 10:05 am

Agree. There is no excuse to break the law. Period.

So you honestly think you’ve never broken the law? Never ever? I’m pretty sure if you dig into the laws on the books, you’ll find more than a few that you have broken (no matter how obscure and out dated the particular laws may be). And since “there is no excuse for breaking the law. Period”, I anticipate your turning yourself in to the police at your earliest opportunity to take the full punishment that the law specifies for those crimes.

The sad fact is that there are so many laws on the books (and a number of which are contradictory) that it is impossible for anyone to 1) know what all the applicable laws are in their jurisdiction and 2) not break any of them.

Bottom line, while it’s certainly fine in theory to claim there’s no excuse for breaking the law, as long as ignorance is not an excuse, it’s guaranteed that at some point somewhere everyone will have broken at least one of those laws in their lifetime if not multiples of them on multiple occasions without meaning to or knowingly doing so.

John Endicott
Reply to  MattS
December 11, 2018 10:07 am

And that’s even before we get into the question of the morality of the law. Not every law is moral. Jim Crow and the laws governing slavery come to mind. Was there no excuse for violating Jim Crow laws? how about those involving slavery? really?

D Cage
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 11, 2018 2:11 am

Demand they provide a beyond reasonable doubt case of the accuracy of climate change based on proof that areas of high anomaly at least 95% or better match areas of high fossil fuel use or they will be fired for not turning up.
Should be put in the contract that out of work activities that unreasonably impact on work performance will not be accepted as an excuse for inadequacy of performance in appraisal as it is in many companies anyway.

December 9, 2018 10:33 pm

Sack them. Same as any other non illness related absence. If they haven’t planned leave in advance, they don’t care enough about their job.

December 9, 2018 10:55 pm

Well I guess all those people who demonstrated against the French government (some of whom died) should be sacked for their actions?

Before asking questions out loud about issues such as these, always consider the matter as if the shoe is on the other foot.

No organization in their right minds fires someone for missing work due to climate activism anymore than they fire someone for protesting fuel taxes. The ONLY reason you fire someone is because they aren’t doing their job. It does not matter in the least WHY they are not dong their job. The dismissal paperwork only need document that they aren’t, that they have been given fair warning, and so on. The reasons why they are not doing their job have zero to do with anything.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 9, 2018 11:22 pm

I agree david as I commented above laws cut both ways … be careful jumping to an answer.

Reply to  LdB
December 10, 2018 7:12 am

We aren’t talking about the law. We are talking about how private companies should proceed.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 9, 2018 11:23 pm

Actually, they do.
If somebody is willing to conduct acts of civil obedience, then that implies that they have researched the issue and based their actions on their analysis and conclusions.
If somebody goes retard over “climate change”, it demonstrates to me that they either have not conducted an appropriate analysis, or their reasoning skills are deficient.
In either case, I would not want them in a responsible position in my business.
On the other hand they may just be leftists. In this case fire them.
“Conservatives” are being fired all around the world for their views; time to hit back.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 10, 2018 6:06 am


If anyone breaks the terms of their employment i.e. convicted of a criminal offence, then there is barely an option. And I’ll include any type of demonstration in that.

The perpetrators of violence in any demonstration are usually troublemakers and there for one reason. I think the idea is to pay attention and if there’s any confrontation with the police then get as far away from it, as quickly as you can.

Reply to  HotScot
December 10, 2018 7:19 am

I remeber watching a demonstration in Paris (back in the 80’s). We were standing on the curb watching the protestors (it may have been about Algeria).
Some of them yelled at us to “get out – this is none of your business!”.
So we got while the getting was good. It eventually did get violent.

John in Oz
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 10, 2018 1:59 am

I would have to disagree.

Someone not turning up for work because their significant other is injured/ill is very different to someone not turning up because they were damaging private property ( valves on oil pipes) or creating a public nuisance (e.g. chaining themselves to something which causes issues for uninvolved others).

In the first instance they could be forgiven; in the second they may not.

As with all issues, there is no black and white answer, just shades of grey

Ben of Houston
Reply to  John in Oz
December 10, 2018 6:56 am

Personally, I would accept any reasonable protesting action so long as they used their vacation time, but I would fire them for any rioting, terror, or any arrest more serious than “obstructing traffic”. I think that’s a valid middle ground.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 10, 2018 4:16 am

Davidmhoffer, you are correct in what you stated above, ….. but you are only talking “private sector” employees.

It is a whole different “ballgame” whenever “public sector” (government) employees are involved.

Its far easier to ignore the fact that a government employee is not doing his/her work ……. than it is to try to fire them.

In lots of cases, employees in government offices are told (ordered) to get out on the street so that the News media can photograph or video a “supporting” crowd of spectators.

Bill Powers
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 10, 2018 4:49 am

Is this a matter of not showing up for work or breaking a company policy regarding getting arrested? You might want to check david, I thought i read that the yellow jacket protest, against Green Taxes, was taking place on the weekends, Seems like they showed up for work and used their own time to focus their protest. And if you look at the video footage these people are showing up in the thousands. Big difference a dozen people that the media reports out as hundreds. Kind of hard for the police to arrest all those yellow jackets in France, especially since many of the police were protesting along with the crowd. you don’t see that at a Global Warming alarmist gathering.

John Endicott
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 10, 2018 5:24 am

No organization in their right minds fires someone for missing work due to climate activism anymore than they fire someone for protesting fuel taxes. The ONLY reason you fire someone is because they aren’t doing their job. It does not matter in the least WHY they are not dong their job

1) Actually that depends on the organization. For example, if it’s an organization that does work that requires a security clearance, getting arrested (even on a non-work day) can jeopardize that clearance. No clearance, no job that requires a clearance. Doesn’t matter if you are the best, most productive employee in the organization, if you can’t keep the required clearance, you’re toast, so doing something that could result in the revocation of said clearance is not the smartest of moves.

2) In most jobs there are many actions that can result in firing that have nothing to do with whether or not the person is “doing their job”. The best, most productive employee (ie ones that are clearly “doing their job”) can still be fired if they have been sexually harassing their co-workers, threating violence against their co-workers, failing a drug test, etc. so “not doing their job” is not the only reason people get fired.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 10, 2018 7:23 am

Yes. Doesn’t matter the reason. Employers hire people to do work of some kind. If they aren’t doing what they are hired to do, they should be replaced.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
December 22, 2018 10:39 pm

The French demonstrations were on weekends when they were not at work!

December 9, 2018 11:30 pm

Just fire them. They are a threat to the community, and to the place where they work. Hire someone who can think some common sense – rationally.

Reply to  J Philip Peterson
December 9, 2018 11:33 pm

who can think logically …..

Reply to  J Philip Peterson
December 10, 2018 9:43 am

“Just fire them. They are a threat to the community, and to the place where they work. Hire someone who can think some common sense – rationally.”
So you think an employer should be able to control how an employee thinks? Huh? One persons rational, is another’s looney. I don’t care how my employees think, I only care how they do the job.

Reply to  Simon
December 10, 2018 11:04 am

I was thinking that if they can’t think logically, then they will ultimately think illogically about how they do their job…they have to use common sense on the job too.

Steve R.
Reply to  J Philip Peterson
December 10, 2018 3:08 pm

A clever entrepreneur could construct a data base of protesters based on facial recognition software, and rent out this data base to employers who wish to screen their employees.

Reply to  Steve R.
December 10, 2018 10:47 pm

And people wonder why Antifa wear masks……

John Endicott
Reply to  JohnB
December 11, 2018 9:54 am

Who wonders that? Everyone pretty much knows/assumes it’s to hide their identities in order to avoid the consequences of their bad actions (mainly legal consequences, but it’s also good for avoiding work-place consequences as well – the boss won’t fire you if he doesn’t know it’s you that broke the windows of Starbucks or burned someone’s Toyota to the ground)

December 9, 2018 11:31 pm

Whether or not you can terminate an employee because of a criminal charge (not just a conviction) depends on circumstances and what jurisdiction you’re in.

In Canada, courts have allowed the termination of employees even before they are convicted if the charges are sufficiently heinous to affect the reputation of the company or if there is a legitimate worry for the safety of other employees. link

In America, what happens depends entirely on which state you’re in. link

In some states, you can’t fire someone for a criminal conviction (not just an arrest) because that would disproportionately affect some visible minorities.

I knew a professor who was convicted of tree-hugging related charges. It had zero effect on her ability to do her job, including attending international conferences. As always, the consequences of doing something depend on who you are.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  commieBob
December 10, 2018 4:26 am

“HA”, James Hansen was absent from and not doing his required work …… when he was arrested for “tree hugging” and it didn’t affect his job status.

As they say, …… “Different strokes for different folks”.

December 10, 2018 12:14 am

“What an intriguing issue – how do you deal with otherwise excellent staff who suddenly discover an overwhelming inner compulsion to break the law, often in ways which deliberately provoke arrest?”

“overwhelming … compulsion to break the law”; is a mental disorder.

Where does a mental disorder begin and end?
One must be concerned what will happen if the employee’s obsessive compulsion reaches new levels of inner voice “devil made me do it” orders the employee starts to harrass or harm other employees or the company?

In some companies, Union or company policy will require the employee attends counseling; before one can consider termination.
In others, you can discharge the employee immediately.

Or, you can treat the ‘friend’ as quaintly deranged and forbid them to discuss climate issues on company property during their work hours.
And start avoiding eye contact. Give them all of the superglue they like.

Perhaps people permanently attached to buildings will be a new art form.
After they are good and stuck to an object, tell them all about the CO₂ emitted to produce the glue they used. Then mention all of the CO₂ emitted by emergency and law enforcement dealing with the protesters and people stuck to buildings.

Offering them Ex-lax candies while they’re stuck may be considered cruel…

Non Nomen
Reply to  ATheoK
December 10, 2018 12:56 am

Where does a mental disorder begin and end?

Ask Stephan Lewandowsky and Jordan Peterson.

Reply to  ATheoK
December 10, 2018 2:36 am

JeffBeck – A Day In The House

Misha Burnett
December 10, 2018 12:30 am

Every employer that I’ve worked for would fire someone who missed work because they were in jail. It doesn’t matter if the employee went to jail for shoplifting or public drunkenness or trespass–if you get arrested and do time, you can count on looking for a new job when you get out.

I really don’t understand why this is a question.

Reply to  Misha Burnett
December 10, 2018 9:02 am

Huge gray area there, mainly it depends upon how far up the totem pole you are in a private company. Yes, for the rank & file employee, getting arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or other, may and can result in the loss of your job. For a management or executive person, not so much. For a government worker, the question never arises as one almost cannot be fired for ANY offense.

Reply to  Ken
December 10, 2018 9:46 am

“For a government worker, the question never arises as one almost cannot be fired for ANY offence.”
Trump proving that.

Reply to  Simon
December 10, 2018 11:10 pm

I watched a hearing where Jason Chaffetz was trying to find out what a person had to do to get fired from the GSA. He didn’t get an answer.

Non Nomen
December 10, 2018 12:47 am

If they get convicted they should get the same treatment as all other criminals according to the rules of the company for such cases. In any case make it clear that extreme actions that may end in personal bodily or mental harm to others or themselves might result in getting sacked. If the employer’s name is mentioned in public in connection with such stupidity² the employer has, afaik, the right to fire them immediately anyway.

Leo Smith
December 10, 2018 12:48 am

I had an employee who turned up with blue hair. He never met a customer – was back office support. I thought and said to him ‘don’t meet any customers like that’ and let the natter rest. I think he wanted to get fired..

Are these people more concerned about a chimera than their jobs? That is their choice. It is alos treh managements choice as to whether it is interested.

Personally I’d have employed a green one legged baboon of it could have done the job and didn’t have too many disgusting personal habits.

Reply to  Leo Smith
December 10, 2018 1:25 am

I’d never let a one-legged green baboon with blue hair near customers – cannibalism is a matter of taste after all.

December 10, 2018 12:51 am

Its the classic case of which side of the fence one is standing on.

On one side he or she may be a freedom fighter, but on the other side he or she may be considered to be a terrorist. Israel and Gaza is a perfect example.

There is no easy answer, if a person truly believes then any action may in their minds be justified. After all that is the history of belief systems such as Religion of all sorts, the believers all consider their actions are justified. In the name of God, anything can be justified. Same goes for the near faith of Climate Change, they want to “Save the World, so who are you to say that they are wrong.

Perhaps some day when people are better educated to be able to reason, then maybe sanity will prevail . But first you have to educate the teachers.


Geoff Sherrington(@sherro1)
December 10, 2018 12:55 am

Do not make an issue of it.
Quietly display the rules book relating to absences from work.
Suggest that private activities are best conducted in private time.

You do not know if, one day, you will be wishing your employees onto the streets for a cause that you support. Geoff.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 10, 2018 5:08 am

No, openly and frequently reiterate the rules on absences from work. Have a policy, with appropriate allowances for unforeseen circumstances, and then enforce it. Make it a plain contract with rewards and penalties that all can understand and agree about. Put it a “three strikes” clause if you like. Employees then have a choice about what they value more. Problem solved.

December 10, 2018 1:58 am

If you are protesting peacefully then you should not get arrested, if you are then you are living in a police state and cannot expect to be treated fairly by your employer either.

If you are protesting violently then you are a criminal and should be treated like any other criminal.

Why you were protesting is irrelevant.

December 10, 2018 2:51 am

Why are we even discussing this? How does the left, the antifa, the young get a free pas to break the law just because THEY feel morally justified?

All protest MUST take place within the law. Period.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 3:16 am

Sometimes that does not work. Our modern world has benefited from the French attitude…lots of lawlessness.

Reply to  MattS
December 10, 2018 7:22 am

What if the law does not permit protest?

Patrick MJD
December 10, 2018 3:02 am

I am told a tradition during “Mardi Gras” in New Orleans was for women to be given a necklace. Once given they had to “show”, and most did. I heard from various contacts that some women from some companies who “showed” got sacked.

Michael Ozanne
December 10, 2018 3:06 am

If they render themselves unable to fulfill their employment contract then they have dismissed themselves. If they have repeated absence not covered by a self cert or a doctors note, same applies. If their position requires security clearances or visa waivers then their arrest record will cost them the ability to carry out their duties….

Patrick MJD
December 10, 2018 3:13 am

A criminal record can get you deported even after a visa has been granted and resident in Australia. Australia and New Zealand are examples of countries that will do that and rightly so IMO. In Australia now, one has to go through tougher “security checks”. At a minimum, an applicant for a job is required to provide many other forms or “proof” of ID, a passport/or national ID card don’t cut it anymore. As well as at the least a state level criminal database name search, some require a Federal name search.

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
December 10, 2018 3:30 am

If someone skips work to go protest anything, they should be fired. If they take a vacation day to go protest anything, they should only be fired if they do something that is detrimental to their employer. Otherwise, it’s none of the employer’s business.

If I took a vacation day, joined a protest, and gave a public statement, identifying myself as a geologist with XYZ Energy, and that statement was viewed as detrimental to XYZ Energy, I should be fired.

Reply to  David Middleton
December 10, 2018 9:50 am

“If someone skips work to go protest anything, they should be fired.”
So if they protest the imposition of green taxes on hard working people, they should be fired?

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Reply to  Simon
December 10, 2018 3:27 pm

If they skip work (an unexcused absence) to protest anything, they should be fired.

Peta of Newark
December 10, 2018 3:39 am

Shouldn’t have infected them with Kwashkior in the first place
effectively force fed them a brain & body destroying diet.

[??? .mod]

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 10, 2018 7:25 am

Isn’t Kwashkior the latest code word for refined sugar?

John Endicott
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 13, 2018 5:31 am

Peta, you are going to have to be more specific, your cryptic comment doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the subject of the thread. How does Kwashkior (a type of malnutrition that is very rare in US children) have anything to do with employees getting arrested or what companies should do about said employees?

Flight Level
December 10, 2018 4:11 am

Green climate activists having a job other than green climate activism ? Must be an insignificant minority.

December 10, 2018 4:39 am

I suspect that our Australian public servants would get a free pass. They have a very powerful union to look after them.


December 10, 2018 4:56 am

The elephant in the room is one needs to treat them the same as an employee that is arrested for a crime of like penalty, of violation of work rules, etc. For example, if the crime was a misdemeanor, then regardless of whether it’s for driving without a license or gluing oneself onto a building, each must be treated essentially the same.

If treated differently, the business can be sued by non-activists. Worse case, the business can be sued by the activist as well as the non-activist with the courts sorting things out regarding equivalency.

And what this means, is that each business needs to have a set of written rules in place, in advance, in order to have the best defense.

Then, of course, there would be the case of a Labron James arrested for gluing himself to the White House Gates, in protest, during the NBA Championship Playoffs. But such are the issues the billionaires face.

John Endicott
December 10, 2018 5:37 am

“How Should Businesses Deal with Climate Activist Staff who Get Arrested?”

Most businesses do not list “got arrested” as a valid reason for missing work. If they are not sick/caring for a sick relative or on vacation or holiday then they are absent from work without leave. That is a firing offense at most places of employment. In short if they are out of sick or vacation time and they are not at work, they may find they are out of a job.

December 10, 2018 5:43 am

Extended absence that disables an employee from doing the job seems like cause for firing.

Getting arrested seems to speak to the employer’s choice to hire law breakers, which could be perceived by customers as a shady operation, which throws the employer’s integrity under the bus, which seems like cause for firing. Oh, I’m sorry, John, with whom you were speaking yesterday about this purchase, just got arrested, and so I’ll have to let you speak to another salesperson who has taken over your account. — is this REALLY a message that a manager wants to give? — I think not.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 10, 2018 7:27 am

I would think most employers would just tell the customer that John has taken a leave of absence for personal reasons.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 10, 2018 7:35 am

The simplest answer, imo, is “John doesn’t work here any more. James has taken over your account.” There is no need to explain why. In fact, explaining why may be a violation of labor laws.

John Endicott
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 13, 2018 5:26 am

As others pointed out, it’s not a message the manager would give when a simple “John doesn’t work here” or “John isn’t here today” without further explanation will do. The bigger problem is when the customer who was working with John sees John’s arrest on the evening news, in the newspaper, and/or in a viral video on the internet – that’s where the customer gets a message the company doesn’t want them to see/hear. It’s a black mark on the companies reputation when word gets out that their employees are (possibly violent) criminals.

Tom in Florida
December 10, 2018 5:43 am

If you are engaging in a political protest on company time or causing your company financial loss due to your actions you should be fired. With that I will take a knee and move on.

December 10, 2018 6:01 am

I see people fired for failure to show up for work on their employers schedule, it happens every day. Another issue, if they are willing to do this sort of thing for an imaginary “problem” the obvious conclusion is they may some day show up at work and do harm to their fellow employees and employer. Fire them and report them to someone who can get them the mental health intervention they clearly need.

December 10, 2018 6:36 am

firing cause is missing work (depending on # of days and company policy) and the activism should not be an issue unless person stated they were acting as a rep of that company at the time.
reason is using the activism as an issue would lead to lawsuits/etc.

Ben of Houston
December 10, 2018 6:57 am

Am I the only one seeing that they have a green lantern ring on their protest sign? It’s just so obvious, how did they miss it?

December 10, 2018 7:09 am

The employees should be handled the same way other employees who get arrested for doing stupid things are handled.

December 10, 2018 7:20 am

You can see all the ‘climate change’ activists protesting in France. They are demanding that the French government take stronger, faster action against ‘climate change’. Slightly off color, their vests should be green…isn’t that how the lame stream media will spin this.
I remember a painting that showed the French people clamoring to pay their taxes just before the king lost his head. There just seems to be deniers everywhere. A chicken in every pot! Heat in every house! What! Are they crazy? That’s only for the ruling elite.

Dave Smith
December 10, 2018 7:31 am

Many of these people seem hysterical, terrified by the unceasing drumbeat about destruction of the planet, racism, you name it.

Looks more like a mental problem (mass hysteria)… It can get out-of-hand…

Counseling might work, but even highly intelligent, well educated people, I know, get swept up in the movement/moment… In my experience they tune-out any attempt at reasoning or questioning their beliefs..

December 10, 2018 7:53 am

Fire them.
Any place I have worked, if you cannot show up for work without just cause, and you do not have enough vacation time to cover your absence, you are fired. Being in jail is NOT just cause according to the employers. Being off work for just cause means being sick, family issues and the like. Interestingly though, if you were off work for a long time because of jail and subsequently found not guilty, most employers will give you your job back with no loss of seniority.

December 10, 2018 8:43 am

I’m going to join the chorus of “Fire Them!” with the qualifier, follow your usual company policy. If your employee asked for 2 days off, which the company approved, and they’re able to protest, get arrested, bond out and be back at work when they’re supposed to be, no need to fire them immediately. But if your company policy also says, “No arrests…” then you could meet them at the door their regularly scheduled day back and boot their ass. And ALL companies need to grow up and grow a pair and quit folding any time a group of trouble makers appears at their door carrying signs (which they only lift and wave if there is a camera with a number on it pointed their way). Look at the response WRT Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby and others who stood on principal and refused to bow down and saw their businesses surge. Upward. Advisers may tell them, don’t make the wrong headlines, but they’re showing mighty poor judgement as to what is the “wrong” headline.

December 10, 2018 9:15 am

It’s usually,
1. Verbal warning
2. Written warning
3. It’s up to the boss, but they can’t say they weren’t warned about the consequences of ‘playing hookey’.

December 10, 2018 10:16 am

The activists could “throw a sickie” and claim they are suffering from AGW delusion syndrome.

December 10, 2018 10:39 am

Start by not adding corporate virtue signaling to the misguided mess.

December 10, 2018 5:04 pm

Unless you’re living in a place without the freedoms we take for granted in the US, you don’t get arrested for protesting unless you are either using force, threatening people’s safety by showing up at their homes, committing theft or vandalism, or interfering with other people’s right to go about their daily affairs. I prefer that those who do any of these things lose their jobs, and maybe their homes too.

The catch is that it is not OK to do any of those things ourselves, even to others who did them first (unless they did them to us personally). So I suggest that when such demonstrations take place, the “activists” should have their names, faces, and video of the events displayed far and wide as possible on social and news media, with a few copies e-mailed to bosses and landlords so that they’ll know what they are enabling if they don’t fire them.

Gary Pearse
December 10, 2018 9:02 pm

Solidarity in Gdansk in the dangerous situation of citizens who confronted a ruthless totalitarian government, is one thing, but designer-brained useful tools cloned and programed by totalitarian pols to destroy their own economy and deliver themselves and their fellows into serfdom is something else.

I didnt think it possible to erase democracy and the finest economic engine the world will ever know, by a dozen years in public ‘reform’ schools set up by the most stodgy, same-old marksbrother’s formula that killed a 100 million people in the bloody 20th Century. But hey, there must be something catchy about it in the post normal mind. The only thing that makes me an optimist is the 3% in the Soviet Union finally prevailed over the 97%.

Craig from Oz
December 10, 2018 10:58 pm

To me being an adult is being able to accept responsibilities for your own action.

If you are a ‘child’ then you can argue (often legally) that you didn’t know better. If you become an adult you probably should start acting like one and being responsible for your actions is very high on the list as far as I am concerned.

Should employers look down on employee protesters? Maybe. Maybe not. The work force is a big place and there is no one size fits all. What the employees SHOULDN’T be allowed to do is claim victimhood. They are adults. They should assess the risks and be prepared to live with them.

December 14, 2018 3:32 am

What broke the old Soviet, the USSR, was that it did not work. In effect the lights finally went out.

It will be the same here, although I hope that it will be before too much damage is done by the Green Blob,. The Russians are still getting over their exxperiement with Communism.

Yet that particular political system appears to be what the Greens wants t to inflict on the rest of us.



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