Monday, March 19, 2012

More People Wishing They Were Unionized - Don't Let This Happen To You!

From Yahoo News (emphasis mine):
They weren't wearing sagging pants or revealing clothing. But dressing in an orange shirt is apparently enough to get fired at one Florida law firm, where 14 workers were unceremoniously let go last Friday.

In an interview with the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, several of the fired workers say they wore the matching colors so they would be identified as a group when heading out for a happy hour event after work. They say the executive who fired them initially accused them of wearing the matching color as a form of protest against management.


The law offices of Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A. offered "no comment" to Sun-Sentinel reporter Doreen Hemlock, but four ex-employees tell the paper they were simply wearing their orange shirts to celebrate "pay day" and the upcoming Friday group happy hour.
"There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing," Lou Erik Ambert told the paper. "I feel so violated."

Ironically, had the employees been wearing orange as a form of protest, it would have been illegal to fire them, ABC News reports.

After the 14 employees were fired, an executive said anyone wearing orange for an "innocent reason" should speak up. At least one employee immediately denied any involvement or knowledge of a protest and explained the happy hour color coordination. Nonetheless, they were still fired.

"I'm a single mom with four kids, and I'm out of a job just because I wore orange today," Meloney McLeod told the paper.

And there's really nothing anyone can do about the terminations since Florida is an at-will state, meaning employers can fire an employee who doesn't have a contract "for a good reason, for a bad reason or even for the wrong reason, as long as it's not an unlawful reason," Eric K. Gabrielle, a labor and employment lawyer at Stearns Weaver, told the Sun-Sentinel. Gabrielle said there was no apparent violation of the law in this case.
If they had been allowed to unionize, this would never have happened.

This is what Scott Walker and his supporters are bringing to Wisconsin. Is there any questions on why they need to go? It's about your rights, people!

H/T Hullabaloo


  1. Imagine this: The office guys decide to wear green and gold on football Monday b/c of the Packer game. They all get fired. No recourse under a Scott Walker "Right to Work" state. Yup. That's what this stupid law means for workers. So, get a clue. The 1% is bringing fascism to Wisconsin and taking away ALL your rights as workers. This real-life example in a current RTW state is a very scary and a very real situation. The GOP 1% does NOT include you; they want to control every aspect of your personal and work life.

  2. My employer is the same. They'll drop you and even though qualified people aren't as easy to connect to, they will still do it.

    The remaining workers get to pick up the work load until new people are found.

    Sucks working in conservative place... They are all multi-millionaire rolling owners, big houses, always on vacation, several vehicles....

  3. The NLRA protects concerted activity whether or not employees are actually engaged in concerted activity. As long as the employer thinks a concerted protest is happening, then folks fired by the employer for being in what was thought to be a concerted protest have a viable claim. The NLRA also protects people outside of unions -- unions are formed by people outside of a union first organizing a workplace. So, these folks have a viable claim of discrimination/coercion under s.8(a)(1) of the NLRA.

    1. My sentiments exactly. If management fired the workers because they (management) believed the workers were engaged in activities of protest towards management, there is a strong possibility that the activity could be seen as a "protected" activity. You can't fire people for engaging in "protected" activities.

  4. WI is an "at-will" state too - I think all states are.

    If you don't have a contract, you can be fired for any reason or no reason (except for reasons related to protected categories - i.e. it's not legal to fire someone b/c of their age, sex, religion but you can fire them because you don't like their smile, or you just felt like it.)

    And that is why we really do all need unions and contracts.