Grubhub CEO Issues Email Warning Employees That Trump Rhetoric or Support Would Not Be Tolerated

grubhub_corporate_logo_from_s-1_6_dated_april_2_2014The CEO and co-Founder of Grubhub Matt Maloney has added his voice to the rising anger over the election. The question is whether he went too far in a recent email to all of employees at the food delivery service that some interpreted as meaning that they should resign if they agree with Trump’s campaign statements or positions. He states “I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can.” Maloney’s response is why so many Trump voters kept their views secret, including from pollsters. There is a palpable and rising backlash against tens of millions of citizens who exercised their votes in electing Trump. I heard today from a GW student who said that she has been treated as a pariah by other students who were once her friends. However, this backlash is far more serious when coming from the head of a large company in the imposition of what is effectively a political litmus test. The question is where is the outrage? Remember the hue and cry over the owners of the Chick-fil-A chain? That was triggered by a controversial interview given by Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. Yet, when another company actually threatens to fire anyone who agrees with Trump, there is relatively little response.

Maloney’s email had a subject line of “So . . . that happened…what’s next?” He expressed personal shock with the result and added “I absolutely reject the nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump and will work to shield our community from this movement as best as I can.” Other statements included:

“I want to reaffirm to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed, that I and everyone else here at Grubhub will fight for your dignity and your right to make a better life for yourself and your family here in the United States.”

“While demeaning, insulting, and ridiculing minorities, immigrants, and the physically/mentally disabled worked for Mr. Trump, I want to be clear that this behavior — and these views — have no place at Grubhub.”

He made clear that Trump might be president but he could never work at this company — or by extension his supporters: “Had he worked here, many of his comments would have resulted in his immediate termination.”

Maloney then told employees that “If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.”

Maloney was a public supporter of Hillary Clinton.

I have no issue with a CEO addressing any fears of employees for themselves or their families in light of expected changes in immigration laws. However, there is a line of expressed sympathy for families and expressed hostility toward political views.

Maloney said later that he was proud of the email and that “almost 20 percent” of his employees have personally thanked him.

Ok, that still leaves 80 percent — many of which are likely to now believe that uttering their agreement with the President-elect could result in discipline.

He later issued a press release clarifying his remarks and confirming “does not discriminate on the basis of someone’s principles, or political or other beliefs.” He insisted “I want to clarify that I did not ask for anyone to resign if they voted for Trump. I would never make such a demand. To the contrary, the message of the email is that we do not tolerate discriminatory activity or hateful commentary in the workplace, and that we will stand up for our employees.” Yet, he tied those unacceptable remarks directly to Trump and his supporters. It is hardly paranoia for Trump supporters to conclude that they can only express their political views at their own peril.

What do you think?

106 thoughts on “Grubhub CEO Issues Email Warning Employees That Trump Rhetoric or Support Would Not Be Tolerated”

  1. The entire presidential campaign was designed and executed with the intention of generating hatred and hostility. It worked. Why is anyone surprised?

    1. Mike: I’m not sure want you mean by “with the intention of generating hatred.” If you mean Trump’s albeit crude but appropriate calls to enforce immigration laws, I don’t see how that generates hatred except among the perpetrators and their supporters. If so, I don’t think we really need to worry about the sentiments of lawbreakers and their misguided apparatchiks. National security and the rule of law should trump (pardon the pun) the sensibilities of those who value neither.

  2. GrubHub’s share value dropped by 5%.

    As I mentioned previously, when a company comes up with some social justice warrior statement, it is a good time to short their stock.

  3. He didn’t threaten to fire anyone for supporting Trump, just warned them against making anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-women statements at work and with customers. Nothing wrong with that and completely different from the Chik-a-Fil owner.

    1. What’s an ‘anti-immigrant’ statement? An ‘anti-women’ statement. An ‘anti-muslim’ statement? You fancy we don’t know that can be spun?

      1. Surely you can think of a number of them – “I hate Muslims” for example. OOr the kind of epithets the Alt Right (and other right-ers) used against President Obama. My feeling is that this is not a guy looking to fire employees for no reason, or “spin” a reason and, if I’m wrong, there are a number of avenues in place for such a fired worker to seek redress. Or at least there were before the new Administration gets their hands on them. I do get your point though.

  4. Here’s a suggestion: end employment discrimination law. Allow private sector employers to hire, promote, demote, and dismiss according to their preferences per principles of freedom of contract. Quit allowing lawyers to second-guess these decisions.

    1. Good idea, but won’t happen. This is why many companies just build plants overseas, and why many employers here just hire illegal immigrants. Plus, most states have their own Civil Rights statutes.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. Absolutely. That way Trump can grab whatever he wants according to his “preferences” without violating the law.

  5. There is a real good story on the Grubhub CEO over at zerohedge today, buy a guy who knows him. Excerpts:

    It’s tempting to say Matt’s explanation is just dishonest, but what about the predictable impact on customers and shareholders? A boycott against GrubHub is now organized which is on Twitter’s trending list at #boycottgrubhub. Upon regaining composure after reading the email today, I tried to short the stock. Too late. It had already dropped by over 4% — $120 million of shareholder value already incinerated.

    Didn’t he see the firestorm coming? Like I said from my experience, Matt has been a good steward of shareholder money. How could he do something this stupid? I don’t think Matt would have knowingly risked the damage done for political principle.

    The answer, I think, is blindness more severe than the usual charge of hypocrisy and intolerance by the left. The righteous can’t possibly be intolerant, think the anointed. We know that, but it goes beyond feeling no need for introspection of their own values. It’s so deep that it also never even occurs to them to worry whether others might perceive them to be intolerant — even when millions of dollars are on the line.

    That’s what happened here and we’re seeing it frequently, especially in the press. Most Americans now say they know the media have exaggerated Trump’s rhetoric and flaws (though I’m not defending him here). For the press, it’s the same question as for Matt: How can they be so stupid as to insult so many of their own readers?

    You’d think this would have ended with the election. “Hey, wait a minute, maybe it’s possible almost half of Americans aren’t bigoted, uneducated hayseeds from the Midwest” — you’d think that would have occurred to them.

    Nope, not yet.

    Spot on! It never even occurs to the Liberals, that they are the intolerant ones.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. GrubHub’s stock is tanking. This guy has a fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders. He needs to go!

  7. It would be refreshing to see a dialogue opened between the employer and his employees about their voting decisions. I would not favor a boycott because it would risk harming the emplyees’ livelihoods.

  8. Guess I’ll be picking up food in the future but, in any event, Happy Veterans Day to the people in the country that really deserve our attention. Dad was a vet, Uncles Jimmy and Cecil too and Cousin Tony. They kept us happy and free and never once bragged about it! It still is a nation of heroes.

  9. What do you think?

    I think every decent person employed by that company should be looking for a new job by next week.

    1. Rick – given Grubhub’s business model, I am sure they are not pay more than minimum.

  10. He is proving he can’t values his personal politics over the best interests of the business and the diversity of his customers, and the Grub Hub board of directors needs to fire him to right the ship.

  11. Those behaviors are already illegal in the workplace. I would hope that every employer would take them seriously and act to stop them immediately.

    He makes the same willfully ignorant beliefs as most other Clinton supporters. Clinton has shown that she is everything he accuses Trump of being (read the e-mails). (He might also want to talk with all the black and brown people she has bombed and helped incarcerate so he can get right with his facts.) He would have needed to offer this support to his employees had Clinton been elected if he takes these things seriously and not just as a partisan position.

    It is because he links these things to Trump alone that I do feel employees would wonder if they’d be fired for casting their vote for Trump. i’ve noticed a lot of fascism in Democrats, along with a smug self-righteousness as they support those who murder, torture and force others into poverty while presenting only the thinnest veneer of concern for those whose votes the “leadership” needs. You know, the tacos, the black, the whiny gays and all!

    1. Jill, I just read an interesting analysis about this on zerohedge. We wonder why we cannot talk to the Clinton supporters. I have remarked many times why they usually do not respond when asked about the precarious nature of some of the policy issues we have discussed. The rational goes that these people have become so self-righteous that the thought of harm befalling them in any way cannot possibly happen. That might be one reason these people are falling to pieces before us–that they actually DID lose. It also explains why these people see no urgency in understanding that there are grave international issues that need to be resolved quickly, with our point being Clinton’s approach would only exacerbate them.

      SWM notes that Trump rhetoric is bigotry. I find it interesting that yesterday Issac, defending against the notion of bigotry, attacked my heritage directly and viciously. Accusing us of Appalachian descent as “incestuous” and not worthy to represent our vote. Not feeling the need to protect pride that isn’t there, I don’t find it offensive to me. If you substituted another group, that may have gotten him in trouble. Just another example of the self righteous in action.

      We have noted this many times, and I have seen it in my own experience. It appears we don’t have to blind adherence to religion, put can substitute and give government the same leap of faith. Self righteousness is a problem, and maybe our education system has worked too hard to inflate people with pride (snowflakes)–and hubris.

      1. Darn good points! I have started adding “hate based” to my “faith based” arguments about the source of Democrat’s beliefs. Not only has being a Democrat or Liberal become a matter of faith, it is also hate based. Liberal Democrats hate poor and middle class white people. It is a class thing. IsaacB is a perfect example of this. The speech of SJWs and MSM losers confirm this. They just plain hate rural, and “un- college educated whites.”

        They exhibit all the arrogance of the French courtier class in 1789.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

      2. slohrss39 Jon Bolton appears at the top of Trump’s list for Secretary of State. Do you think that is a good thing? Clinton has not been Secy of State for four years and John Kerry is soon to be gone. Focusing on the future might be a good idea. Also, you need not tie me to Isaac as I have insulted no one’s heritage. I too have some Appalachian heritage on one side of my family and realize that these people have suffered from neglect at best.

        1. Also, I hope Trump sincerely wants to help the people of Appalachia and not merely use them as political fodder. He is a very skilled politician but McConnell has already threatened to block trump’s spending plans so it remains to be seen how this all ends up. Remember McConnell blocked Obama’s stimulus plan.

        2. Well, I am glad to hear you say that, but I also remember you saying mean things about Texas. I really don’t hold that against you, because heck, I say mean things about New York. And Massachusetts. OK, and California, Connecticut…etc.

          But seriously, IMHO, the Liberals, as a group, are like those Pharisees or whatever in the Bible who asked if any good thing could come from Samaria. Today, it’s “Could any good thing come from Alabama?” Which is easy to say if you live in NYC, and your small town isn’t dependent on the Shoe Factory that just moved to China. Or if you live in Philadelphia and your job doesn’t depend on the coal mine Obama just closed.

          There is a different mindset in the big cities, and I think the people who live in them just live in a different world. Like could you really blame Marie Antoinette for being oblivious to what the French peasants faced day to day? I don’t think so in all fairness, but still she was just oblivious.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

        3. Heck no I don’t think Bolton is a good idea. I will tell you as soon as Trump does something I don’t approve of. I prefer him, but I did not vote for him. I have been upset about this election in a totally different way, I was sure this would be the point in history where we would have had a viable third party. That would go a long way to stop dynasties like clinton and bush.

          The last thing I want is a return to the usual suspects.

          1. I agree about Bolton, but he’s likely to be the least of the new Adm’s horrific cabinet. Like Rudy Giuliani for AG? Ouch. Any other defense lawyers out there think that will be a good idea?

            1. James W. Burdick – the AG is an administrative office. Think you need to lighten up a little bit.

              1. Don’t understand what you mean by administrative office. I was referring to the Trump administration. The AG is a cabinet post. As for lightening up, LOL, this is me very light.

                1. James W. Burdick – generally the AG does not try cases, civil or criminal. However, a couple have appeared before the SC.

                  1. Yes, but the G also sets 100% of the DOJ policies – death penalty, prohibition against certain plea bargaining, who gets prosecuted for what, and more to the point, who doesn’t. The AG unilaterally empowers AUSAs to “sentence-charge,” that is, to bring the sort of charges that will make going to trial even for a 99% innocent person diabolically dangerous. Who is he going to pick for SecState and SecDef? That’s where we really have to watch out. Trigger-happy vs calm and dispassionate reasoning and decision making. The wrong pick can make for a much more dangerous world. Or is Trump actually going to tell the generals himself how he wants ISIS fought, given that he has insisted that he knows more about fighting ISIS “than all the generals, believe me.” (I warn client never to use terms like “believe me” when testifying, since I believe anyone who needs to use that expression always triggers a negative reaction among jurors, and agents and AUSAs in the case of cooperative proffers. It’s like starting an answer by saying, “Listen, to tell you the truth…”)

                    1. James W. Burdick – Trump could be like Johnson, who picked bombing targets or Obama who picks drone targets. He is the commander-in-chief. Or he could be like Bush 41 and 43. Give them a mission and let the generals work it out.

                    2. I dislike Trump and almost everything he stands for (or at least has claimed he stands for during the election) but I am all about giving him the benefit of the doubt. But as to the generals, he has said repeatedly – and he seems to believe it, which is a problem by itself – that he knows more than the generals about how to defeat ISIL. (Not to mention the completely deranged Joe Arpaio as Homeland Security Chief? Jeez.) But I’m trying to be hopeful.

      3. Slohrss,

        Yes, it is very disturbing. You’re right to say we need to address important issues immediately and it would be really great if Democrats would come on board with that. Instead, they seem mired in hatred of “the other” (and they consistently misinterpret who “the other” actually is). There have been extensive analysis of Trump voters and it just doesn’t break down to: all racist all the time. Further, many of us didn’t vote Trump, rather we choose third party candidates. Greens are just as hated as Trump people, go figure!

        As to people from Appalachia, evidently some prejudice is more equal than others!!!! But this gets straight to the heart of what is going wrong in the Democratic party. It does seem like a religious cult in the sense that facts aren’t allowed to enter in the mind of the believer. Further, unbelievers are deionized and finally, it is not actions which are wrong, but actors–meaning if a Democratic president commits atrocities it’s fine. If the same atrocities are committed by a Republican president, oh, that is terrible. This bespeaks a complete breakdown of personal ethics.

        We are just going to have to get together with people who care about social justice regardless of party. I’m hoping some Democrats will be part of that effort.

        1. Sorry to be so late back to the party. Yes, what is very interesting is that my family were diehard democrats. My father grew up in conditions I’m sure very few here could imagine that people actually lived in. He did become a Reagan democrat as he thought Carter lost his way. But to imagine my father’s generation with these people who are calling themselves Democrats today is just surreal.

          Yes, the video I saw was Putin trying to have a news conference and was totally frustrated by the rejection of the western media. The situation is grave–he will not let those missiles come on line in Poland and Romania. They are doing civil defense drills in Russia, and people here have absolutely no clue. They think racism is the big problem. I prefer racism to vaporization. But as we have seen, the democrats will follow their self righteous disbelief of this scenario, maybe all the way to the end.

        2. Sorry, I hit “Post” too soon. Everyone needs to be part of social justice, not just the people who live in cities and work in buildings.

  12. Trump’s rhetoric was full of bigotry and hate and is unacceptable around me and should be unacceptable in any workplace. He did not attack Trump, just the rhetoric. Good job. We don’t need to silence people who object to bigotry and hatred. We need to speak out that it’s unacceptable. Groups are not to be targeted, e.g. Jews, Gypsies, the “others” whoever they may be.

    I heard more than bigotry and hate in some of Trump’s later speeches. The bigotry and hate were still there, but toned down and there were bits and pieces of rational thought that would be acceptable to more than his most hysterical supporters (just to be clear, Clinton also had hysterical supporters, but this is about our next President.)

    Trump has a chance to bring the country together if he rejects the right-most of his supporters, i.e. the KKK and its supporters, and leads in a more centrist way. Like the Trump supporters who were afraid of what Clinton would do, Clinton supporters are afraid of what Trump will do, and others, many of whom didn’t vote or who voted third party, were afraid of what either would do. Trump needs to show that their fears are unfounded. One way would be in his appointments to his cabinet (Guiliani gives me nightmares in any position; Christy has a lot of baggage and may yet be charged with abuse of office but might be acceptable in some position but not AG or head of the FBI; Palin – give me a break). An early nomination would be to accept President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court. He is certainly not a Ginsburg, nor is he a Scalia. Right now Kennedy is a “swing” justice. Tremendous responsibility and pressure for one person. How about having two justices who are not readily identified as right or left leaning and need to be convinced one way or the other? I would love to have another Ginsburg, but another Scalia would be completely unacceptable. Another well qualified Kennedy would be acceptable to the most people and do a great deal to alleviate the fears of many Clinton supporters without alienating the Trump supporters.

    1. Swastikas are popping up in cities all over the country. While Trump is personally not responsible for these actions .his rhetoric has emboldened hate groups.

      1. Arnie – at least one of those swastikas was on the house of one of the real inventors of the internet, who is a Hillary supporter.

    2. Eric Yoffie ‏@EricYoffie 12m12 minutes ago

      If Trump pushes for an exclusionary, unjust America, we American Jews will resist and fight him

    3. Bettykath,
      ““If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here. We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team.”

      That is not okay for the CEO to say. Most Trump supporters do not support Trump’s rude comments, would not say things at work, and would be rude to their coworkers. What he said makes for an uncomfortable work atmosphere.

      My husband, who voted for Trump (I did not), has not said to anyone at work how he voted (all his coworkers voted for Clinton).

  13. “to anyone on our team that is scared or feels personally exposed”

    Sounds like he’s got illegals under the table!

  14. Maybe Mr Gubhead needs to be sued by some nice conservative lawyer. Might send a message to the rest of “Sour Grapes” crowd?

  15. Grubhub is walking this back and is now saying they did not say what they said.

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