WHYY has to Give Philly Comedian his Job Back After Judge Rules Jokes That Got Him Fired Were "Simply Funny"

What a win for comedy. If you haven’t heard this story about a comedian and former (now present?) host of WHYY’s The Pulse, it’s a doozy. Comedian Jad Sleiman was allowed to work from home because he was diagnosed with MS. Someone at WHYY found out he was doing comedy around the city. Management at WHYY tries to get him to come back into work, even though it’s 2024 and you can record a podcast from anywhere, and he explained to them doing stand-up doesn’t affect him like coming into the office would. Since executives already found out he was doing comedy from his Instagram, they scour his page, find clips from his stand up that they say violate their social media policy, and fire him. Real dirtbag shit that feels like there was an axe to grind. Sidenote before we go any further: If Muslim-Americans aren’t safe from getting cancelled for making jokes about Muslims, we’re all fucked: So the case goes to arbitration, and the arbitrator might be the worst person involved in this entire story, from Jules Roscoe at VICE : Sleiman, who was represented by SAG-AFTRA grievance lawyers, argued that he had been terminated without due process. Lawyers from Duane Morris LLP , including the firm’s vice chairman Thomas Servodidio, argued that Sleiman’s “inflammatory” comedy constituted a violation of WHYY’s code of conduct and social media policy, which states that “employees must take care that their postings cannot be interpreted as inflammatory, unethical or illegal, since such posts may have an adverse effect on WHYY.” The arbitrator said that he read this policy as not incorporating a “reasonable person” standard, meaning that workers “must be vigilant not to post anything on social media that could conceivably be interpreted as inflammatory even by highly sensitive and […]

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By Donato