But businesses often have wide latitude to sack employees they consider troublesome, as long as they do so in accordance with collective bargaining agreements, legal experts say. “People can be fired if what they say or how they behave is disruptive to the purpose or culture,” Kathleen Cahill, an employment attorney in Maryland, said in an interview. “Employees often don’t have the ‘liberties’ and ‘First Amendment rights’ that they think they do.”
Cahill said that amid the pandemic, employers will have even more latitude to require employees to follow policies designed to keep workplaces safe.
Scala shared false theories suggesting that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory in North Carolina; She also shared posts raising concerns about the safety of vaccines. In interviews, she said she suffered from autoimmune disorders and was distressed by the efforts to mandate vaccines. She said she did not believe she needed to be tested for COVID-19 before meeting with staff in the orchestra’s offices, as she had been suspended and was no longer performing.
“I’ve been misunderstood,” she said. “I think I really stand out.”
Earlier this year, Scala angered several of her colleagues for sharing posts questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election. She was also criticized for saying that black families needed to do more to support their children’s classical music studies in emails to colleagues about efforts to increase diversity at the Baltimore Symphony. (The emails were later leaked and posted to Twitter.) He described feeling discriminated against early in his career in one of the leaked messages as “a female Gentile in a flute section of middle-to-aged Jewish men”. did in.
Those comments were not mentioned by the orchestra in dismissing Scala. But in February, when Scala’s comments about the coronavirus and election fraud began to circulate, she issued a statement distance oneself. “MS. Scala does not speak for BSO, nor do their statements reflect our core values or code of conduct based on humanity and respect,” the orchestra said at the time.
Critics of Scala said they were happy with the orchestra’s decision to sack him. Melissa Wimbish, a soprano in Baltimore, posted leaked emails on Twitter in February. Wimbish, who performed with the orchestra, also organized an online petition to penalize Scala, which gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
“It is their responsibility to react to these statements and distance themselves,” Wimbish said in an interview, referring to the orchestra’s leaders. “It’s good to see that there is some justice.”