Let’s pretend you’re a CEO and you’ve been asked to mediate a conflict at your local office. An employee who embraces internet conspiracy theories and carries guns to work is stalking her colleague. 

You might wonder — How bad is it? Is this overblown? You ask HR to pull the security footage and see that the employee tries to gain her co-worker’s attention by following her around the office and screaming her name at random moments throughout the workday. When all else fails, this worker takes to the office floor and makes speeches about her associate’s character and integrity.

Do you reprimand this woman? Do you fire her? What if the aggressive employee is white and the victim is a woman of color? Does that change anything?

Those are some of the scenarios I tried to address on CNN New Day, and not everybody was happy with my answers.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Q-Anon-loving congressional representative who has been stalking Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes. The anchors wanted to know if that kind of behavior would be tolerated in corporate America. Would HR fire MTG? If there’s a paper trail of abuse, would she at least be punished?

My answer is probably no. What do you think?



Lots of HR ladies (and dudes) told me I was wrong. Of course, Majorie Taylor Greene would be fired. Their companies are aggressively anti-racist, and the employee handbooks have been updated since 2020. And no employer worth their salt would stand for this type of abuse and hostility in the office.

I’m like — okay. That’s a nice sentiment, but not everyone who looks at Marjorie Taylor Greene sees a stalker. Some executives think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes is a socialist witch who has it coming. Others believe that this is nothing more than name-calling and an extension of how women naturally behave when there are disagreements. And some people think this is small potatoes compared to the real issues facing hard-working Americans.

So, there was no way that I could get on national TV and say that MTG would be fired for her behavior at work. That’s because I’ve been paying attention to people like Minda Harts and Madison Butler, who made it very clear that 10 months of book clubs and HR-sponsored zoom chats won’t fix the centuries-old injustices in our country. And I also know that white women like Marjorie Taylor Greene are given the benefit of the doubt in life, even when their offensive behavior is on tape. Katie Augsburger wrote about that nearly a year ago, too.

What I’m saying is that you can tell me that you’d summon the courage of a thousand CEOs and fire Marjorie Taylor Greene, but I don’t believe you. Maybe you’d investigate her. Put her on probation. Ask her to go through a mediation meeting with AOC. But there’s no way you’d send her out on her ass and say, “I dare you to sue me.”

You don’t have it in you because you’d be doing it right now with your worst employees.

Now, please don’t get upset with me — it’s just a thought experiment. The real issue is whether or not Kevin McCarthy has the character and integrity to do something about MTG’s atrocious behavior. Just kidding, we know he doesn’t.

I hope CNN has me back! 


  1. Working on one of these; the root is a passive people manager who should not be a people manager, at all. Managers who cannot learn the basic skill of constructive discussion for performance management should stay technical managers. Add to that the pleasure of a legal review that asserts the company can be sued by anyone, anytime, and for anything. You are correct, most senior managers don’t have the stones to manage people, just their balance sheets. And that’s why creatures like MTG are tolerated in the workplace.

  2. Harassment? Stalking? Firearms in the workplace?

    Seems fairly clear…in maybe Fortune 500. Or maybe a company with a large workforce, say in the 2K range.

    Where the murkiness is…the companies in the 500 headcount or less range. These are generally still going to dither.


  3. Conspiracy theories, Jewish space lasers starting forest fires, Islamophobic, stalking and harassment of fellow members of Congress and victims of school shootings (to name a few). She’s an example of why HR professionals and attorneys tell hiring managers to check references. Any sane organization would fire her or face the onslaught from the EEOC and the press (the latter likely being the bigger concern for the average image conscious leader). And it’s not like she’s some productive member of Congress. She has no committee positions, so the spends all her time stirring up trouble.

    The real question that should be asked is why corporations continue to fund candidates like her.

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