A former Universal Music Group worker has claimed that they had been fired after they refused to do their job duties “in defence of abortion rights”.
Michael Lopez, who makes use of they/them pronouns and who labored as a manufacturing coordinator for Universal Music Group, based on their LinkedIn, mirrored on the scenario in a submit shared to the platform final week.
In the submit, Lopez, who identifies as a “queer brown person,” claims they had been fired from their job “during Pride month for speaking up in defense of abortion rights”.
Lopez then defined what occurred within the lead as much as their termination, revealing that they determined to talk up as a result of they had been “devastated” when the Supreme Court dominated to overturn Roe v Wade on Friday 24 June.
“Last Friday, like countless other folks, I was devastated by the news of the Supreme Court’s attack on abortion rights. Paired with the flood of anti-queer and anti-trans legislation, it’s been hard to process how company’s expect us to be productive while our rights are being stripped away,” Lopez wrote, earlier than including: “Especially when our company has been donating to several of these politicians.”
According to Lopez, they determined to protest the reversal at work.
“Every Friday, one of my tasks was to process reports for upcoming releases. This is an email list that goes out to 275 people. I don’t know who’s on it, I just knew it was the email list with the most people that I had access to,” Lopez continued, earlier than sharing the e-mail they despatched.
In the e-mail, Lopez reportedly wrote: “I didn’t do them today. I’m in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the US. Federally guaranteed access to abortion is gone.”
The former worker then claimed that they wrote: “Vivendi and Universal Music Group must stop donating to anti-abortion, anti-queer and anti-trans politicians. Politicians like Marsha Blackburn, Ken Buck, Victoria Spartz, etc. Or expect more unproductive days,” earlier than signing off the e-mail: “Yours in fury.”
According to the employee, within the “immediate aftermath,” they acquired “several supportive emails” from their coworkers. However, they stated additionally they acquired a name from a supervisor telling them to take the remainder of the day without work, which they stated they took as an indication they could get fired.
“I appreciate the love from my coworkers, and I figured, based on management’s response, there was a good possibility I might be fired as a result. But I was proud of letting allies know that our company has been donating to these politicians,” they wrote.
Lopez stated they had been informed they had been let go throughout a “surprise” Zoom name with human assets the next day, throughout which they stated HR informed them they had been being terminated for not doing their job, “disrupting the day of 275 people and poor judgement”.
After being informed to log off, and anticipating the corporate would take their laptop computer again “very soon,” Lopez stated they determined to ship one other electronic mail to the e-mail record, during which they allegedly revealed they’d been terminated and claimed they had been fired for “speaking in support of abortion rights”.
“Hey ya’ll. Just got fired for this email from Friday, so they’re letting you know where they stand on employees speaking out on politicians that support marginalisation for folks like me,” Lopez wrote within the electronic mail, based on their LinkedIn submit. “A brown queer person terminated during Pride month speaking in support of abortion rights. Seems like that’s exactly what America is all about right now.”
Lopez then concluded the submit explaining that they don’t communicate for his or her former firm, however communicate for themselves and different staff “that will suffer under these discriminatory laws”.
“Their actions today, their silence on Friday are indicative of their motivations. Profit at all costs. Solidarity, only if it’s profitable. And above all of that is maintaining the status quo and saying f**k you to the working class. Because that’s what happened today,” they added.
On LinkedIn, the submit has been preferred greater than 3,000 occasions, with many LinkedIn customers applauding Lopez for his or her actions and for sharing the best way the corporate allegedly dealt with their considerations.
“This is very disturbing. I’m so sorry this happened to you and I applaud your bravery. People need to know this kind of stuff happens and employees deserve to know if their employer will support them, their beliefs, identities, mental health, physical health, rights and speech (so long as it’s not hateful/harmful),” one particular person wrote.
Another stated: “I’m so sorry this happened to you. I appreciate you putting it all on the line to stay true to your beliefs.”
However, others had been extra divided of their opinion about Lopez’s behaviour and the corporate’s subsequent choice to terminate their employment. “Michael – You made a stand based upon principle. But such stands come with consequences – that’s what makes them brave. I respect your decision to withhold your labour as a form of protest, but you left your employer little choice. I don’t know how anyone could expect them not to fire you, including yourself,” another person wrote.
The submit additionally acquired numerous feedback from customers criticising Lopez for the e-mail, and for then posting in regards to the expertise on LinkedIn.
“Entitled much??? Well the good news is now you can mourn all you want and have no work responsibilities to be accountable for,” one particular person commented, whereas another person stated: “This is so pathetic. You’re not the hero you think you are.”
In response to the unfavourable feedback, Lopez has shared a hyperlink to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
They additionally revealed in response to a different remark that, earlier than the submit gained traction, most of the replies had been “super positive”.
“I ain’t too worried about my prospects, and I’m used to the ups and downs as a worker in the entertainment industry. Definitely thinking of pivoting to a non-profit,” they wrote.
In a press release to the New York Post, a Universal Music Group spokesperson stated firm coverage prohibits them from discussing Lopez, earlier than including that the LinkedIn allegations are “inaccurate”.
“UMG has a long record of support for women’s issues,” the spokesperson stated. “As we wrote to our US employees, UMG views reproductive health care as essential. In the wake of the recent US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, the company has extended its efforts to assure that these important healthcare services remain accessible to employees. We also financially support non-profit groups working in this area and offer a match for employee’s contributions to those groups, as well.”
The Independent has contacted Lopez and UMG for remark.