Employee states that he donates to planned parenthood

Should you fire him/her?

If you are considering such a thing, talk to your lawyer. We can’t give legal advice. This is a legal employment issue, NOT a moral issue. The church has no such teaching.

Depends on the employee, the company, and the role. If the employee is the PR director of “Priests for Life”, uhh… yeah! :wink:


Here is a website where you can get free, legal advice.
Also, here is the National Catholic Bioethics Center. I’d rather you contact them first before proceeding on with any legal advice.

I can’t imagine anyone working for someone even entertaining such a question.:eek:

Employees work. Employees get paid. That pretty much defines the contract (or agreement) between employer and employee. How they spend their money is beyond the scope of that agreement. In other words, it is none of your business. To fire an employee for spending his money as he pleases could easily bring on a costly lawsuit.

Not necessarily.

Some workplaces require their employees to follow certain rules even outside of the workplace.



Yes, as Gorgias wrote:

Short of it being a situation where the job has a ‘morals clause’…OP, to be perfectly frank, by posting your question here on a public message board, you may have already created a bad situation if you try to fire the employee because you don’t like his/her spending habits…because you don’t know who has seen this post.

You may think that you are safely anonymous, but for all you know, the employee themselves lurks here, so if you fire them, they may be thinking, “Hmmm, my Catholic boss fires me shortly after I said I donate to Planned Parenthood, and there was a poster on that Catholic website who was asking if they could fire their employee for that…” and they’ll put two and two together and work on seeing if that was you. Or a friend of theirs might see this. Or somebody in your company’s HR might be seeing this–which is apparently what just happened to an employee of a friend’s company. They posted that they wanted to move to my state for the legalized marijuana on a public message board, and posted enough information about themselves that somebody in their HR, who also happened to read that same board, figured out it was an employee of their company, got a screen shot of the post, figured out who they were, and had them come in for a drug test. In short, said employee failed it, and got fired. I’m sure that employee thought he was pretty anonymous as well.

Unless your company has a morals clause, how your employee spends their money is their business–and if you’re using that as your measuring stick, then you may have to start poking your nose into the personal habits of a lot of your employees–and they all may come up short of your standards, and then there’s going to be a problem. I’d suggest you drop it, and focus on what you hired the employee to do while on the job.

Alright guys, this was purely hypothetical.

That was my first thought as well. The employee was not smart to bring a controversial political and social issue into the workplace. But even so summarily firing them for something that they do on their own time that has no bearing on their work is pretty harsh. And while I’m not giving legal advice, you’d probably be welcoming a lawsuit by doing so, even in an at-will situation.

Unless there is a morals clause in the employment contract that wouldn’t be the case.

Most states are ‘at will’ employment and people can be fired for any reason. Would I fire that person? Not outright, but unless they were a superstar, I would certainly not promote them. And they would at the top of my lay-off list, too.

I wouldn’t do that for just any difference in opinions, but to actively support the death of innocent babies is horrific.

As well as contraception and abortion services, Planned Parenthood also provides gynecology and obstetrics healthcare for women, cancer and sexual health tests for both men and women, etc…so a donation there may help many women, babies, and families.

I can’t imagine having cause to fire someone if they donated to PP unless their specific job was to prevent the above services from happening and it is in their job description that they cannot do anything to counteract that.


I strongly suggest that you not become a manager then. What your employee supports outside their work hours (providing it is not illegal) has nothing to do with their performance at work. If they are doing their job and doing it well, then their non-work viewpoints should not factor in as to whether they get promoted or laid off. And eventually, you could end up having a difficult time explaining to higher ups and HR why you promoted Susie the good Catholic but not Bob the Planned Parenthood supporter if they’re both doing an equally good job. Or even moreso if Susie isn’t doing as good a job as Bob is.

You may not like what Bob supports, but if you poked into the personal beliefs of all of your employees, you might find a lot of viewpoints/activities that you don’t like/don’t approve of. (You could possibly find more Planned Parenthood supporters than you think, as well. Bob might just be the only one who said it outright.) Your employees are there to do a job for the company. As long as they do it, and do it well, then that is the bottom line that you, as a manager, need to focus on–not their personal beliefs/actitvities (again, barring it being outright illegal.)

Of course, that’s why I don’t think anybody should discuss politics/religion at work (and it’s a large part of why I roll my eyes anytime there’s a thread here asking, “How do I evangelize my coworker?”)

You’re likely in the minority, but I agree with you. And as a business owner myself, this is one reason I prefer to hire consultants for this very reason (they can be fired any time for any reason; the flip side is they can also work simultaneously for your competitors any time they want. The other reasons is it is a straight cash swap, with no benefits involved. I get paid for their work, I take my company’s cut, and they get the rest, taxes and all still included. Very neat and tidy, but I digress.)

I view this sort of support the same way I view someone who supports child molesting or NAMBLA, or the way I view someone who is an avowed Nazi supremacist. People have been fired because it came out on Facebook they were raging racists or strongly an advocate against gay marriage, and yet that had never impacted their work. Same concept.

Realistically, this sort of information rarely becomes public knowledge in the work place, so this is more of a theoretical discussion anyway.

I’m a consultant myself and see all over that company/department politics play a HUGE role promotions, treatment, etc. I got over the notion of ‘fair’ a long time ago. I try to treat all people with respect and dignity, but to financially support (not just being ‘for’) abortion is beyond the pale. Choices all made all the time based on personal characteristics, so this is just one point I would include.

FWIW - the politics within consulting companies are brutal, as well.

The only other issue I would judge someone on is if they were donating money to anti-gun orgs.

Liberals tend to think that anyone educated, professional and polite are liberals just like them. I’ve been in situations where a small group will not know I’m conservative (this was before when I was an atheist). The vileness and nastiness towards conservatives is real. We are seeing some of it now (KY clerk, the head of Mozilla, etc) - IMO it’s just the tip of the iceberg of hate.

There are liberals that I am “friends” with (old friends, colleagues, etc) who would cut off the friendship if they found out my views on same sex ‘marriage’. It would be career DEATH for me if I was open about my opinions.

We have to live in the world as it exists, not as we want it to be.

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