Ethical to screen out Trump supporters applying for a job?

This thread got me thinking …

IANAHRP, but if I were a hiring manager, I would review social media accounts for anyone I was considering and eliminate those whose feeds indicated strong support for Trump. IMHO, anyone who supports him enthusiastically enough to fly that flag on social media is …

  • Seriously stupid and/or delusional
  • Racist
  • An authoritarian-craving asshole
  • All of the above

Since any of those qualities would suggest someone I would not want on my team, would it be ethical to disqualify them?

(NOTE: I’m not asking about legalities. I know it would be illegal – not to mention really stupid – to tell someone this is why they weren’t hired.)

Actually, in most places it would not be illegal. Some jurisdictions have added political orientation to the list of protected employees. However, even in those places, you could probably make a distinction between “I don’t hire Republicans” and “I don’t hire Trump supporters.”

Personally, we have one lukewarm Trump supporter in our firm of about 45 people. I’m not going to fire her, but I wouldn’t hire another one.

Do we work together? :grin: That’s almost exactly the size and situation at my workplace, though I don’t do the hiring. We may have more Trump supporters, but there’s only one who’s “out” on social media, and she’s gotten a lot quieter about it since 2016.

Would it be legal or ethical to fire one over their social Trump support?

My Fortune 500 employer has fired many people for social media posts that brought what HQ thought was discredit to the company or fomented trouble between the company and vendors or customers.

I could certainly see a company using similar logic against Trumplies. Not simply because the Trumply employee is Trumply. But a post like “{My employer} should never sell to {ethnic group}! When they come into my store I ignore them until they leave and if not I threaten to call the cops! Trump’s told us they’re all subhuman criminals. He said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”

One can be a Trumpist and avoid sanction. But one can’t act like a Trumpist and avoid sanction. Some folks lack the judgment to keep their actions in check.

I don’t think this is ethical because it’s precisely this sort of thing that drives America into a blue half and a red half that hates and walls off each other. “I don’t want my appliance repairman being a Trumper.” “I don’t want a doctor who supports baby murder.” “I don’t want to hire anyone who’s MAGA.” “I don’t want neighbors who voted for Biden.”

This sort of thing is inexorably pushing us further and further apart as a nation.

If someone is hateful, can’t get along with others, or unprofessional, then that can be a dealbreaker, whether blue or red. But blue or red itself shouldn’t be the disqualifier (except for extremely specific jobs, of course, such as whether you’re hiring someone to work for the DNC, in which case they of course need to be a Democrat.)

If I need an accountant, and the best applicant is one who has the best qualifications, best degrees, best GPA, knows everything about the profession inside and out, but voted for Trump, then I’m hiring him or her as long as they know how to co-exist with coworkers.

I work with a few Trump supporting machinists who are quite good at their jobs. We wouldn’t be friends outside of work, but if I was in charge of hiring and passed these guys up then I would suck at my job and the company would be worse off.

My political beliefs are pretty well-ingrained, and I would be hard-pressed to change them very quickly.

Being unable to obtain employment because of that would cause me a lot of grief.

I’m not prepared to screen people based on whether or not they support Trump.

Just to clarify, let me give a specific (made-up) example.

If someone applying for a job at my place makes Facebook posts about “Stop the Steal” and circulates some of the loony conspiracy theories about the past election, I’m not ruling them out because they are a Republican. I’m ruling them out because they’re either batshit crazy or extremely gullible – neither of which are qualities I want in someone on my team.

This topic has been discussed obliquely in other threads in addition to the one the OP linked directly to.

Namely that the current situation has gotten beyond mere politics and has gotten into the realm of “mentally healthy and reality-based … or not.” At least for the most frothing supporters.

Hey, doing your bit for diversity just like the MAGAs have their token black guys…

Jeez, if only they were like a persecuted minority.

I tell hiring managers to avoid looking candidates up on Facebook or other social media. Mainly because I don’t want the hiring manager to learn things about the candidate such as their race, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or any religious affiliation they may or may not have. But also because I don’t want them taking posts out of context and eliminating their candidacy because of it.

People can hold some batshit crazy ideas and still be good at their job. We had a sovereign citizen working for us and he was an excellent employee who worked his way from entry level to a supervisory position and was on track for a management position had he stayed with us. In my own department, HR, there are pro and anti Trump people but we don’t talk politics unless it’s something that affects the workplace.

That would be the sort of thing that would be seen in someone’s social media. I wouldn’t look up someone’s political affiliation, but if a quick glance at their facebook page shows blue lives matter flags and MAGA hats, then I may feel that they will be a poor fit.

If you looked at someone’s facebook page, and it showed them doing drugs, or driving recklessly, or doing something else harmful or foolish, would you hire them?

I specifically do not look people up on social media when I hire them, as I 'd rather not know things that I would consider disqualifying.

In a similar vein if I was a hiring manager I wouldn’t hire anyone with an OnlyFans or a history of public sex work online.

That’s actually my current accountant - he’s definitely a Trump supporter on social media, but professionally he works for every and says nothing political.

One thing about being a Chump supporter, just like with neo-Nazis, child rapists and such ilk, is you won’t have to dig very deep into a Chump supporter’s background to find something objectionable and blatantly disqualifying.

I do not see how you could remotely trust him not to be stealing from you or otherwise cheating you. Among the things that Trump has done openly is cheat creditors and avoid paying for things. He’s committed fraud.

If the man can support Trump to the point that you know he’s a Trump supporter, I see no reason not to believe he approves of such tactics. And if he approves of such tactics, why wouldn’t he do them himself?

Eh, an accountant doesn’t actually handle your money, they don’t have much opportunity to cheat you.

However, they may be willing to cheat the IRS. If I were a bit more unscrupulous, I may actually specifically seek out a Trump supporter to do my taxes.

I have over a dozen friends who are Trump supporters and are the nicest or most upright people you’d find. They probably never cheated on school exams, are quick to help others, tithe or donate, give blood, etc. Are you suggesting that every single one has some skeleton in their closet?

I get tired of the false equivalence.

We’re not talking about red and blue. We’re talking about Trump supporters. Someone can have voted Republican all their life, and that might not be disqualifying, as they could still be a decent person of decent intelligence with decent views.

This is not possible if they support Trump. They either support his positions, none of which are moral, ignore his positions and only selfishly care about something that was good for them, or are utterly ignorant of the whole thing, at a level that requires either low intelligence or ignorance.

Trump, and the things he has done, as part of his brand (so you can’t claim he tried to hide it) are utterly horrible. From locking kids in cages, from his nationalism to sneaking a look at underage beauty contestants, to partnering with enemy countries and betraying allies to bribing a corrupt government to get dirt on his opponent. To corruption and cheating on taxes to trying to install himself in a coup after he loses an election. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You are acting like supporting these things is the same as having a legitimate difference of opinion on abortion, or thinking that one side is going a bit overboard on social justice. Those are at least different opinions based on being moral.

It isn’t. None of us are creating this divide. The divide is created by those who decided to give up the facade about being decent people, openly showing they want to destroy America and all the values we share. Then there are less intelligent people who are along for the ride.

It’s not possible to be intelligent, a good person, and support Trump. They chose to create the divide by doing these things.

Stop trying to blame us for having morals.

If you were that way inclined, Trump’s own accountant would be ideal, I guess.