Fired Comedian Ordered to Get Day Job Back After Jokes Ruled 'Simply Funny'

Jad Sleiman doing stand-up. Image Credit: Jad Sleiman A reporter who was fired last year when his employer found clips of his standup comedy online must be reinstated because his jokes are funny, a third-party arbitrator has ruled. The arbitrator also found that his comedy clips, which covered topics including 9/11, Israel, and oral sex, could violate Philadelphia-based NPR member station WHYY ’s social media policy and must be removed. The reporter, Jad Sleiman, said this raises concerns about the boundaries of remote work. “I kind of couldn’t believe it,” said Sleiman, who wrote on Instagram that he’s been pursuing comedy full-time since his firing. “The one thing I’ve been told about arbitration is they usually split the baby, so nobody gets everything they want. But what’s been on my side this whole time is the case against me has just been such bullshit.” Sleiman had spent five years as a reporter at The Pulse , a health and science radio broadcast produced by WHYY. However, after senior management found clips of his standup comedy routines that he had posted on Instagram —clips the company alleged were “egregious” with “sexual connotations, racial connotations, and misogynistic information,” according to the arbitration case document Sleiman posted online —he was fired last January . “They cut off my health insurance same day, despite the fact that they know I have multiple sclerosis and rely on very expensive drugs to walk,” Sleiman told Motherboard on Wednesday. “They also went and deleted all my work from the site, every single possible clip I could try to use to get a job.” Sleiman’s comedy focused on his “experiences as an Arab American, raised in a Muslim family, his experience in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his reporting while he was in the Middle East,” including […]

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