Q3: A private employer in NY fires an employee after seeing videos on Facebook of the employee branding a tiki torch and wearing a KKK t-shirt at the Charlottesville, VA rally. The employee did not have an employment contract and was employed "at will". The employee is a lawyer and the employer is a NY law firm that regularly represents victims of discrimination. Is the termination wrongful?

A3: NY Labor Code
Section 201-d prohibits an employer from firing an employee because of his/her legal recreational activities outside of work hours, off of the employer's premises, and without use of the employer's equipment or other property. Section 201-d does not protect activity that creates a material conflict of interest related to the employer’s business interests. The law firm could make a strong argument that it should be able to prohibit a lawyer that it employs from participating in a white supremacist rally in order to protect the law firm’s business interest in marketing itself as an advocate for victims of discrimination.  


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