Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Man Fired for Making a Political Statement

Derek Fenton, who burned a few pages from the Koran in a 9/11 protest was abruptly fired by New Jersey Transit after working there 11 years. NJ Transit claims he somehow violated their code of ethics. It sounds more like a combination of political correctness and fear of Muslim reaction. What does taking part in a political protest, and harmlessly burning a few pages of paper have to do with the ethics of working for a transit company?

There's no right to hold a job, and companies have all sorts of reasons for firing people, but firing people for making political statements, or for harmless acts religious people find offensive should disturb everyone. I'm not sure, but Fenton may have a first amendment case, since NJ Transit is a state agency. This appears to be a case of a government employer firing someone for taking part in a political protest and exercising his right to free expression.


  1. $20 says if it had been pages of the Bible he burned, he'd still be employed.