Fired For Flipping Off The Presidential Motorcade
By Ryan Velez
An obscene gesture may not be breaking the law, but it certainly does not come without consequences, as one woman who flipped off Donald Trump’s motorcade has found out. Many people may be tempted to follow Juli Briskman’s footsteps if they were in her situation, but The Hill reports that she has lost her job over her actions.
The photo, taken by a White House photographer as the president was leaving his golf course in Sterling, Va, ended up going viral, but ironically, it may (technically) may not have been the action itself that led to her losing her job. Briskman, a 50-year old mother of two, worked in marketing and communications at government contractor Akima LLC for six months at the time the photo was taken. Briskman told the Huffington Post that after the photo was taken, her bosses told her she had violated the company's social media policy because she had used the photo as her profile picture.
“They said, ‘We’re separating from you,'" Briskman said.
“Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things on your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
Despite losing her job, Briskman doesn’t seem to have any regrets about her actions. She recalls what led up to the photo in question, and how seeing the motorcade made her “blood start to boil.”
“I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in ObamaCare," Briskman said.
"Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again," she continued.
"I flipped off the motorcade a number of times." Despite the fact that she lost her job, Briskman adds that "In some ways, I'm doing better than ever."
“I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled," she said. "This was an opportunity for me to say something.”
Virginia is an employment-at-will state, meaning that Akima LLC was able to do whatever they wanted with minimal reprisal. However, Briskman points out that their enforcement of the rules may not be entirely fair. She notes that a male colleague recently kept his job after posting lewd comments while having the company as his cover photo. “How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president?” she asked. “How is that fair?”