Last week, 14 law firm workers were fired, apparently, for wearing orange shirts in an orange-shirt free environment.
The drama took place in Florida, a lawless swampland where the air hangs thick with injustice and malformed logic. However, even for Florida, the initial details of this case seem sketchy.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 14 workers wearing orange shirts were dismissed from their positions at the Law Offices of Elizabeth R. Wellborn last Friday after an executive accused them of wearing the color in a threatening protest against management.
The workers claim they were wearing the orange shirts as a sign of boozy brotherhood, so that they would look like a group (of convicts?) when they went out for happy hour after work.
Under the "at-will" doctrine of U.S. Law, Florida workers not under contract can be fired at any time, for any reason, as long as that reason is not illegal.
It is perfectly legal, therefore, for a boss to fire employees because he does not care for their orange shirts. It is not, however, legal to fire employees for protesting against working conditions, which, again, the workers claim they were not doing.
While a spokeswoman for the firm had no comment, an oh snap-laden video interview with fired employee Janice Doble posted on the Sun-Sentinel website provides some additional insight on what may have been the motivation behind the firing.
Here's a partial transcript. It sounds like things were kind of tense.
"We had a group of people going out to happy hour at a club, Vegas. We all get together, usually on a payday Friday. [We had t-shirts printed for the occasions but] we're not allowed to wear them at work because of a word they state. So we decided to wear orange. A new manager…started [in our office] on March 2nd. I guess she had a complex about her tanning. She's orange. So they said we were actually threatening Elizabeth Wellborn, [who] was nowhere in the building to be found when [the firing] was going on. Her husband was the one that fired us." (Emphasis added.)
Now we are left to wonder:
1. What is the unspeakable word printed on the t-shirts?
2. Just how orange is that new manager?
[Image via Getty]