It's hard to come up with a more polarizing and vitriolic presidential election in recent memory. Families were pitted against each other; Facebook friendships torn asunder; and, it seems, bosses playing resignation chicken with their employees.
Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney took a decidedly anti-Donald Trump tack in an email to employees, daring those who don't agree to "reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here." Maloney added, "We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team." Does that mean Maloney will go stalking through the office, cubicle by cubicle, firing Trump voters?
Maloney didn't pull any punches in his post-election email:
"While demeaning, insulting and ridiculing minorities, immigrants and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior-and those views, have no place at Grubhub [sic]. Had he worked here, many of his comments would have resulted in his immediate termination."
The CEO then turned his attention to his workforce, suggesting employees who share the president-elect's "nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics" should seek new employment:
"I want to affirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I and everyone here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States. If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team."
As of yesterday, Maloney had no takers on his email resignation offer, and tried to clarify his stance in the face of an inevitable backlash to his email. "I have no problem with an employee voting for Trump," he told Forbes. "I have no problem with an employee agreeing with Trump's hateful statements. However, I will not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful speech at Grubhub, and I will stand up for our employees when they are demeaned or defamed."
Maloney's challenge to employees was extreme, but that's reflective of the kind of political and social climate we live in, and how it can invade the workplace. If your small business is facing the same challenges, it might be time to talk to an attorney before trying to sort it out.