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Employer Cans Virginia Protester

'The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2017 3:41 AM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2017 6:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A man who traveled from Berkeley, Calif., to attend the Charlottesville protests won't have a job when he gets home. The Top Dog hot dog chain fired Cole White after he was identified on social media as one of the white nationalist protesters in the Virginia city, the East Bay Times reports. "Effective Saturday 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog," the company said in a statement Sunday, adding: "We believe in individual freedom, and voluntary association for everyone."

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White was one of several protesters identified by the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist after users were asked to name people in photos from the Charlottesville rallies, reports the New York Daily News. "Cole White, the first person I exposed, no longer has a job," the user later tweeted. A legal analyst tells KPIX 5 that the firing is probably legal. The First Amendment "only protects you from actions by the government based on your speech," she says. "It doesn't protect you from actions by your private employer." She says it's also not a discrimination issue, because going to a rally like Charlottesville "doesn’t make you a member of a protected class." (Read more Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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