A Rhode Island state representative has to hit the “help wanted” section of the classifieds after being fired from her waitress job because her “anti-male” comments were offending people and running off patrons of the cafe.
In a written statement, the owner of the cafe gave his reasons for the firing and specifically cited her political speech making during work hours.
Walsh would often get into vocal political discussions with customers during her shifts, often sitting down with the diners in their booths. We sometimes had to ask her to return to her duties and advised her to continue her discussions when she was off the clock. These disciplinary instances were never about politics or free speech, but simply reminder of her job and responsibility to all customers.
The state representative said in a Facebook post that she had been fired because someone had posted a one-star review on Yelp for the restaurant.
The cafe owner complained in the statement that Walsh was using her job to promote her agenda, and encouraging her supporters to damage the reputation of the cafe.
This not a male vs. female issue, nor is it a case of attempting to silence someone’s free speech. This is an example of someone taking advantage of a captive audience to promote their own political views.
For newly elected public servant to whip the media and her supporters into a frenzy with unfounded accusations, demanding a boycott and portraying our family in such a negative light is profoundly upsetting and potentially damaging to my family’s livelihood.
Walsh, who refers to herself as a “one-person riot,” had posted a comment on her Facebook page blasting men in December, saying, “Peace on earth, good will to WOMEN. I am DONE giving you men my good will. You don’t do anything good with it. All my holiday cheer is for women femmes and trans. Signed, Frustrated women fighting patriarchal oppression one Facebook rant at a time.”
— Liberty RI (@RILiberty) January 23, 2017
In a radio interview with WPRO 630 on Thursday, Walsh said she had been harassed by the Cafe owner, and called the conditions “intolerable” at the job.
Walsh offered an anecdote about the alleged harassment from her boss. “There was a conversation that I had with him one day,” she offered. “I said ‘Ray, who do I go to for sexual harassment? When the person I go to for sexual harassment is the one who sexually harasses me?’ and he chuckled, and said, ‘yes, a little catch-22, right? I set it up that way.'”
When asked if she was planning any further action, implying a lawsuit, she gave an answer that was “hard to follow” according to the talk show host, Matt Allen.
I wasn’t, y’know, I didn’t – I didn’t say anything about this because I was over it a week ago. At first I was really upset, but I’ve spent an entire week where nobody manhandled me, or called me the c-word, or refused to tip me based on, y’know, the lack of smile that came with the pancakes? Like I have been enjoying the dignity that comes with not being in the restaurant industry for a week, and it’s been a delight.
Representative Walsh finished the interview defending her statements about holiday cheer by interjecting that she was referring to greeting cards, and nobody received any greeting cards from her.