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by Matt Moody | October 31, 2016


I’m no HR expert, but as a career advice writer, it’s hard to sit through all the shenanigans of the 2016 presidential election without thinking that the candidates competing for the most important job in the country haven’t exactly acted like model employees. In fact, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have done a bunch of things that would get you, me, or any normal office shlub fired in the blink of an eye. Fortunately for them, it’s been a long time since either of them was anything but the boss, so they’ve been pretty close to unfireable (although Clinton’s did have a direct boss as Secretary of State—President Obama). Here are a few of the candidates' actions that would be violations of any normal company’s employee handbook.

Donald Trump’s Sexual Assault Brags to Billy Bush

I’m sure you already know this, but earlier this month the Washington Post released a video of Trump bragging to Billy Bush about his ability to sexually assault women because of his celebrity. This is probably the most obvious example of something that would violate pretty much every company’s hostile work environment policy if an employee spoke like this in the office. An interesting thing to note here is that Trump was in an office setting of sorts. On the bus with Trump and Bush were several other people, including an Access Hollywood producer, a production assistant, Trump’s bodyguard, and his PR person--any of whom could have legitimately complained about their hostile work environment. And interestingly, this leaked conversation did get at least one person fired; Billy Bush was terminated from the Today show when the video became public. 

Hillary Clinton’s Use of Personal Emails

As Secretary of State, Clinton used a private email server instead of her state department email address to conduct nearly all of her state department business. Using a private email rather then a company email address for work emails is likely a minor violation of most office policies, except if you work in a government security environment. Clinton’s use of the private email to receive and transmit emails with sensitive and secret information was “extremely careless” according to FBI director James Comey and would likely have gotten a low-level government contractor fired on the spot.

Clinton’s and Trump’s Inability to Use a PC

This probably wouldn’t get you fired but it would make you virtually unhireable for an office job in 2016. As part of the email investigation discussed above it was revealed that as secretary of state Clinton did not have a computer in her office and conducted all of her correspondence by Blackberry or phone. Similarly Trump, a man who runs his own large, international business, has no computer on his desk and reads emails and news stories from the web that have been printed for him by an assistant. It’s remarkable that our next president, whoever it is, will not be able to put “MS Office” under skills on their resume.


Filed Under: Workplace Issues Tags: Clinton|Election|Trump