New Houston Methodist employee reprimanded for showing confederate flag during virtual orientation

According to an anonymous tip to Houston Public Media, the new employee sat in front of a confederate flag for a majority of the six-hour orientation.

The new employee allegedly sat in front of a confederate flag for a majority of the six-hour orientation on August 9, 2022. Houston Public Media has chosen to blur the employee’s face.

A new Houston Methodist employee was reprimanded after they were seen displaying a confederate flag during a virtual onboarding orientation on Monday.

According to another new hire attending the call, the employee sat in front of a wall with a confederate flag for a majority of the six-hour orientation before turning their camera off for the remainder of the call. The new hire who reached out to Houston Public Media has chosen to remain unnamed.

“(They) kept (their) video on for a while. Ironically, we were getting into the topic of diversity in the workplace and policy on protecting diversity including LGBTQ,” the unnamed employee told Houston Public Media. “(They) had (their) video on for a while, as our superiors were talking, I was wondering if they were going to say anything.”

The new hire added that the flag wasn’t publicly addressed throughout the duration of the call.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Methodist said the hospital was aware of the incident and that the employee “was asked to remove the background and counseled on the inappropriate behavior.”

“Any type of sexual, racial and/or religious harassment is against policy at Houston Methodist,” the statement read. “Displaying such a divisive symbol is against our strong culture of inclusive behavior at HM. We are a very diverse organization based on values and respect for all of our patients and each other.”

The new hire told Houston Public Media that they didn’t believe the incident would lead to many repercussions due to a “fear of controversy.”

“There is a horrific negative stigma attached to confederacy,” they said. “Factually, confederacy is historically racist and unfortunately presently as well. To display that during orientation is unacceptable.”

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required