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. 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."Look, it's a well known fact around the office that I'm a narcissistic, self centered jerk, so when I saw all these people dressed up the same I just automatically assumed it was about me," said the executive, who asked that his name not be used because he was being considered for a promotion to Associate Director, Ambulance Pursuit Division. "I've got my career to think about," he said.
The law offices of Wellborn, Doofus, Bevis and Butthead P.A. offered "no comment," but off the record one staffer agreed with the executive's description of himself as a "jerk" and added, "in his defense, this is a Law firm after all. Jerk is a job title around here."
After the 14 employees were fired, an executive said anyone wearing orange for an "innocent reason" should speak up. When asked what an 'innocent reason' might be employees were told one with a $50 bill attached. "Like I said, this is a Law firm," he added.
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. "We adhere to the 'stay the course' philosophy here," said the executive. "We model it after president Bush's successful strategy in Iraq."
"There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing," fired employee Lou Erik Ambert said. "Some violations are so obvious they don't need to be spelled out in a policy," a spokesperson for the firm countered. "I mean, come on. The shirts were orange for crying out loud. Orange! All of them."
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," said Eric K. Gabrielle, a labor and employment lawyer. "See, labor law is supposed to protect the rights of the people, and like Mittbot 2.1 said, Corporations are people. Unfortunately, in Florida, people aren't people."