A Florida firm is currently on hot water for allegedly firing employees because of wearing orange. The Elizabeth R. Wellborn law firm has been sued for allegedly firing eight employees who wear wearing orange as a sign of protest against the newly imposed work restrictions. However, there are two sides of the story.
Why They Filed for Complaint
According to the complaint filed by the employers’ attorneys, not all those who were wearing orange that day joined the silent protest against the new work rules. There were some who wore orange to match the color of the bar they were going to after work for a happy hour. It was a gesture of mutual consent for the purpose of an after-work fun.
But what the management only knew of is the fact that workers were wearing orange to mimic the uniform of inmates at the Florida Department of Corrections who are stripped off their freedom. Fired employers say that they were protesting against the new set of work rules that prohibit them from taking coffee breaks or going to the cafeteria while on the clock. New rules also prohibit them from taking to their co-employees over cubicles even if it’s to discuss work-related issues.
In addition, the husband of the firm’s owner was noted to have told employees that if they were protesting work-conditions, they would better pack their things and leave the company premises.
The complaint filed was stated in such a way that emphasized on the violations against the National Labor Relations. According to the section seven of state law, employees have the right to self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining. Therefore, the law makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights.
The Other Side of the Story
However, the Elizabeth R. Wellborn law firm negates any allegations of firing employees because of the color of their shirts.
Wellborn released in a statement that any assertion that the firm take disciplinary actions against employees because of the color of their shirts is ludicrous. The firm says that the employees were discharged from the company because of harassing and intimidating a new office manager into quitting.
In fact, the new manager got so scared that she has left the state.
The Florida firm also says that they have accumulated enough data to support their side of the story. The firm says that the company hopes to keep a working environment that is free of any forms of discrimination against each other and against their superiors. In fact, the company believes that hiring qualified relatives of employers helps further in fostering the said ideal environment.
A law professor at the Florida International University, Kerri Stone, said that in Florida, an employee can be fired for any or no reason at all as long as employment was presumed at will.
But the laws in Florida regarding employment vary greatly from more law-bounded states like Louisiana. In Louisiana, any company that fires employees for no reason at all can be penalized. Likewise, companies that do not provide the workers’ compensation benefits can get sued. So if you have issues about employment in Louisiana, call John Fox & Associates at (504) 891-3303. You may also visit their website at www.johnfoxassociates.com.