I often tell clients or potential clients that in an at-will state, like Texas, your employer can fire you for anything. They can, for example, fire because you wear a blue shirt to work. Well, the law firm of Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A. in Ft. Lauderdale did just that . . . almost. They fired 14 employees for wearing orange shirts to work. See Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel report.
According to four workers, they were wearing orange on Fridays simply because they would go to happy hour after work and wanted to easily find each other. But, an executive called 14 workers into a conference room last Friday and said he understood they were wearing orange as part of some protest. The executive asked if anyone had an innocent reason for wearing orange. A worker then mentioned the happy hour plan. The executive conferred outside with other managers. He came back in the room and said they were all fired.
Later, one woman complained she was a single mom with four kids at home and she just got fired for wearing orange to work. Other workers were quoted as saying they wore the orange for the happy hour. They were not aware of any protest. There was no company policy regarding orange. The workers were not issued any warnings before the firing about wearing orange.
It is ironic, because if the employees were wearing orange as some sort of protest, then their conduct might be covered by the National Labor Relations Act which allows workers to discuss conditions at work. But, regardless of their motivation, I think the law firm of Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A. is not a happy place to work.