Juli Briskman, who flipped the bird at the passing motorcade as she biked beside it, was fired from her job with a government contractor, The Washington Post reported. Briskman, 50, who works in marketing, was photographed making the gesture by a White House press photographer who travels with the president as Trump was leaving his golf course in Sterling, Virginia. The company the woman worked for was later identified by The Huffington Post as Akima LLC.
The photo quickly went viral, and Briskman’s one-fingered salute became material on news programs and late-night talk shows. She also used the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook.
HOT TOPICS | A 50-year-old mother of two has been fired from her job after a photo of her flipping the bird at Trump went viral. #sun7pic.twitter.com/FBu2Er6xp1
When Briskman went to work last week, she gave the human resources department a heads-up that she was the unidentified cyclist in the photo. The next day, company executives called her into a meeting, in which they fired her for violating the company’s social media policy, she told The Huffington Post in an interview.
They then escorted her out of the building as she carried a box of her possessions.
“I wasn’t even at work when I did that,” Briskman told The Washington Post. “But they told me I violated the code of conduct policy.”
Briskman, who had only worked at the government contractor for a little more than six months, told The Huffington Post that her bosses told her, “‘We’re separating from you.’ Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
She noted to the company’s executives that she wasn’t on the job when the photo was taken, and that her social media pages are personal and don’t mention her employer. But she said they told her that because Akima is a government contractor, the photo could have a negative impact on their business.
Her bosses, who have not responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, reportedly cited their social media policy when they fired her.
The section reads: “Covered Social Media Activity that contains discriminatory, obscene malicious or threatening content, is knowingly false, create [sic] a hostile work environment, or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and will be subject to discipline up to an including termination of employment.”
But Briskman is irked that a male colleague kept his job after recently using obscene language on Facebook -- and his profile mentioned Akima LLC in its cover photo, according to The Huffington Post. She said the colleague was reprimanded for calling someone an “(expletive) Libtard (expletive)” on Facebook but was allowed to delete the post and keep his job.
“How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president?” Briskman asked. “How is that fair?”