GOP lawmaker wants investigation of GrubHub over Trump comments

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Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, on the House floor. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

One Georgia lawmaker is not enamored with the popular restaurant-delivery service GrubHub.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, has asked the Georgia attorney general and Department of Labor to investigate the Chicago-based internet business after its CEO blasted President-elect Donald Trump the day after last week’s election.

In an email to employees, GrubHub head Matt Maloney criticized what he called Trump’s “nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics” and said any employee who disagreed should reply with their resignation.

Maloney clarified his message a day later, saying he was not calling on anyone to resign simply for voting for Trump. Instead, he said the original message was simply intended to “advocate for inclusion and tolerance.”

Ehrhart isn’t buying it.

“I realize we are an employment-at-will state and I absolutely have supported that for 30 years,” Ehrhart said in an interview, anticipating the question. “(But), you cross the line with the equal employment federal statute when you effectively threaten your employees by the way they voted.”

GrubHub’s only business presence in Georgia appears to be the unknown number of people who drive for the company, which uses a website or a mobile app to allow people to order food from restaurants that don’t normally provide delivery.

“They employ people here that deliver. I always thought it was a pretty good concept,” Ehrhart said. “I know (Maloney) has tried to walk it back. It was so offensive to me. He made all these pejorative statements about Trump.”

Attorney General Chris Carr has tried to reach out to Ehrhart but the two have not connected, Katelyn McCreary, Carr’s spokeswoman said.  Ehrhart has not sent an official request for an investigation, she said

The Cobb County Republican is often outspoken. As chairman of a state budget subcommittee overseeing higher education, he often demands accountability from the state’s colleges and universities. He has complained that students accused of sexual assault often have their rights violated and this year sued the U.S. Department of Education because it ordered colleges and universities to strengthen sex-discrimination policies.

 


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