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GitHub HR chief resigns following investigation into dismissal of Jewish employee



Trump supporters stand in the armored vehicle of the U.S. Capitol Police Department, while others take the Capitol steps on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, while Congress works to verify the votes of the Electoral College.

Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The owner of Microsoft GitHub, a code-sharing site for software developers, said Sunday that the company̵

7;s head of human resources was resigning after an investigation into the firing of a Jewish employee found “significant errors in judgment and procedure.”

On January 8, GitHub fired one of its employees after expressing concern for his colleagues in Washington as a crowd of protesters in support of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol. The fired employee told TechCrunch in an interview published Friday that he had commented on Slack, saying “be safe, the Nazis are on the way.”

Colleagues from GitHub employees expressed concerns about why the company fired the employee immediately afterwards, said Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia. Following an independent investigation, the company found “significant errors in assessment and procedure” regarding the dismissal of the employee, Brescia said.

“Our HR manager took personal responsibility and resigned from GitHub yesterday morning, Saturday, January 16,” Brescia said in a blog post on Sunday. The company did not disclose the name of the head of human resources, who resigned, but Carrie Olessen is in first place.

A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a battle flag on the second floor of the US Capitol near the Senate entrance after violating security protections in Washington, January 6, 2021.

Mike Taylor Reuters

A company spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Brescia said GitHub “immediately overturned” its decision to break up with the employee “and kept in touch with his representative.”

“To the employee we want to say publicly: we sincerely apologize,” Brescia said.

The company’s chief executive, Nat Friedman, acknowledged in the post that the violent mob did include “Nazis and white superiors.”

On Wednesday, FBI spokeswoman Christina Poulenc said in a statement that a man had been arrested during the riot wearing a Auschwitz shirt, NBC News reported. The next day, an uprising was recorded, filmed with a Confederate battle flag in the halls of the Capitol.

“Officials are free to express concerns about the Nazis, anti-Semitism, white rule or any other form of discrimination or harassment in internal discussions,” Friedman said in a statement.


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