So I work for a small financial technology business in the UK, not quite startup size but close. We have a dozen staff on site and usually 5-10 remote contractors working for us. There isn't really a hierarchy so to speak, but I'm generally considered to be the owner's second in command although in practical terms this doesn't mean much.
Around 60% our work is based in the EU, and as such prior to the Brexit referendum the owner sent an email to all staff and contractors informing them that, if they wanted to guarantee their employment past the next 2 years, they should vote to remain. This isn't unusual; the owner of the biggest pub chain in the UK asked his employees to vote to leave for similar reasons. As everyone knows, the leave side won the vote and the UK is exiting the EU.
Without going into too much detail, it has recently become clear that the Brexit process isn't working quite as intended and a degree of economic pain looks to be a likely outcome. The company 'will probably fold inside the next 18 months' according to the owner, and he is visibly distraught. This Monday, he called me into a meeting as he usually does, and told me quite simply to research the social media accounts, internet histories and company emails of all staff and contractors to look for evidence of support for Brexit, and to supply him with the list of names. I pointed out the ethical and potential legal issues with this and he shot me down, saying these people had destroyed the company and he'd happily fudge their performance metrics to give him a solid reason to fire them.
Moralising aside, the most talented engineer in the company, the de facto tech lead, is an ardent Brexiteer. Suddenly losing him at this point along with several well-regarded contractors will almost certainly result in the catastrophic loss of at least two big contracts, which will sink the company unless a lot more staff are let go. Is there any point in trying to salvage this or should I leave my resignation on his desk this afternoon and contact the police?