The post was deleted following uproar
A Deloitte employee has been dismissed after writing a LinkedIn post in which he praised Adolf Hitler’s “charismatic qualities” and suggested that professionals could learn from him. Neerabh Mehrotra, an Associate Director in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory department, shared a “Friday Inspiration” post in which he referenced a book called “The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler” by historian Laurence Rees. However, Mehrotra misinterpreted the book’s context.
In his post, Mehrotra lauded Hitler’s traits as a “charismatic visionary” and a “massive action taker.” He listed characteristics such as being a magnetic speaker, extremely confident, and highly intellectual. Shockingly, he concluded the post with the phrase “Heil Hitler!” accompanied by a black and white image of Nazi party members performing the Sieg Heil salute in front of Hitler. The post was swiftly deleted following backlash.
Mehrotra later issued an apology, claiming that he had no intention to hurt anyone’s feelings but admitted to the need for greater care in his wording. He emphasised that his views were personal and unrelated to his race, religion, country, or current and past affiliations with organisations.
Deloitte has confirmed that Mehrotra is no longer employed with the company. A spokesperson stated that his social media views were inconsistent with the firm’s shared values and violated internal policies.
While this incident raises questions about appropriate social media conduct, particularly for employees, it should be evident to all that praising Adolf Hitler is wholly inappropriate. Katie Johnston, a Senior Associate at law firm Lewis Silkin, advises caution when using personal social media accounts. She highlights the potential for disciplinary action or even dismissal if an employer deems a post inappropriate or damaging to their reputation. Employers are more likely to succeed in justifying lawful dismissal if the employee’s public account is connected to the employer in some way.
To prevent such issues, Johnston suggests implementing a comprehensive social media policy that clearly outlines acceptable boundaries for staff use, including personal use outside of working hours. A well-defined policy can provide examples of posts that cross the line and indicate that misuse of social media may lead to immediate dismissal for gross misconduct.