Were they wearing orange shirts on Friday to protest management? Or to get psyched for happy hour?
Either way, orange-shirted workers no longer have jobs at theDeerfield Beach law firm of Elizabeth R. Wellborn P.A.
A spokeswoman said the law firm had "no comment at this time."
Four workers tell the story this way: For the past few months, some employees have worn orange shirts on pay-day Fridays so they’d look like a group when they went out for happy hour.
This Friday, 14 workers wearing orange shirts were called into a conference room, where an executive said he understood there was a protest involving orange, the employees were wearing orange, and they all were fired.
The executive said anyone wearing orange for an innocent reason should speak up. One employee immediately denied involvement with a protest and explained the happy-hour color.
The executives conferred outside the room, returned and upheld the decision: all fired, said Lou Erik Ambert, 31, of Coconut Creek, a litigation para-legal who said he was terminated.
"There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing," said Ambert. "I feel so violated."
Meloney McLeod, 39, of North Lauderdale, said her choice of shirt puts her in a tough spot: "I’m a single mom with four kids, and I’m out of a job just because I wore orange today."
Now, this is justly awful. But if the question is "should it be illegal," well, I don’t know. First of all, what’s the actual rule? Secondly and much more importantly, however, is that this would be just fine if there were full or near-full employment. Under those conditions the perfectly able and competent people fired by the idiot law firm would be hired by competitors or firms in other lines of work that aren’t run by morons, and this moronic law firm would be less competitive, develop an awful reputation, and either learn from its mistakes or probably go out of business. Now, it is certainly being shamed, so that’s one thing, but the real problem is that Florida has 9.6% unemployment so these workers are now competing with all the other unemployed people in Florida for scarce good jobs. If they had the security of knowing that another good job was just around the corner, getting fired by cretins for absurd reasons would be far less of a blow.
Also, if they had decent unemployment benefits and guaranteed health insurance regardless of employment status, that would help, too.