Justice for the Orange-Shirted Employees:
So here's the alleged story. It's a seemingly simple one, but it gets complicated later. A group of fourteen employees, paralegals, assistants, others, at the law office of Elizabeth R. Wellborn in Deerfield Beach, Florida, wanted to show their pride and unity for a payday night out last Friday. It had become a tradition, four of them said, to wear orange shirts on Fridays, when the happy hours of local bars called them to celebration. They were all going to go out together. They wore orange, in Florida, by the way, which grows a shitload of, well, you know, because they wanted the other happy hour party people to know they were together: a large group of workers who actually enjoyed each other's company at the start of the weekend.
Apparently, an executive at the firm was told or believed that the orange shirting was a protest of some kind. And he called all 14 so-shirted employees to a conference room, asked what the shirts meant, was told it didn't mean protest, and fired them on the spot. For wearing the shirts. Said one fired paralegal, "There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing."
Funny thing is that if they had been whistleblowers, they would have had protection. And if they were all part of a religious group that demanded the adorning of the self with orange on the fifth day, they could not have been fired, according to Florida law. But because they were just regular people who did something that annoyed some lawyer or executive at the Wellborn offices, they have no recourse. That's because Florida is an at-will state with regard to employment. And that means that any employer can fire any employee for any reason at any time, with limited exceptions (like contracts or adherence to federal laws). And the employer never has to tell you why you were fired because it doesn't fucking matter. Your boss could dislike the smell of your farts and fire you. Your boss could dislike it if you don't like the smell of his farts and fire you. Fart-related firing is rampant, in case you didn't know.
And you wouldn't. Because, again, in at-will states, ones that don't have good faith covenants, you can get a phone call that says, "You're fired," and you never have to be told why. Essentially, it could be called "Joseph K's law" because of how Kafkaesque it is. Labor lawyers in Florida are saying that there is nothing that can be done about the Orange Shirted 14, that nothing in the firing violates the law.
How do you like that freedom, America? The freedom from government interference in the ability of a capricious boss to fuck up your life? And if you tried to change the law to prevent firing without cause, businesspeople, allied with conservatives, would get the outrage machine a-running because, you see, any time the government does anything to protect labor, it's socialism run amok. Any time the government does anything to protect capital, it's just, you know, good ol' fashioned capitalism.
Want an extra kick in the nuts with this story? That'd be what exactly the firm of Elizabeth R. Wellborn does. It's a bunch of cocks and cunts representing banks and mortgage firms. Well, here's how the website describes what they do: "We are proud to represent institutional and private lenders in the reclamation of titled assets. We maintain attorneys who are well versed in replevin, attachment and foreclosure. In fact, the foreclosure department represents the lender in the reacquisition of real estate assets, resale of those assets in it's 'REO' department and pursues deficiency judgments in effort to make our clients whole." Business must be mighty damn good, too, because foreclosure rates remain high for that area of the state, in the sweet spot between Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.
Oh, and Wellborn goes that extra mile: "Our Post-Sale and Eviction Departments manage the steps necessary to move a foreclosed property, occupied or not, out onto the market." Don't worry, though, homeowner, because of Wellborn's loss mitigation people who are ready to help you: "This department assists our clients in providing alternatives to foreclosure; promoting home retention and protecting the interest of our clients." Now, what do you think the firm has a greater stake in doing?
Goddamn, how this complicates our story, does it not? Sure, one of the fired people said, "I’m a single mom with four kids, and I’m out of a job just because I wore orange today." How easy it would be to say, "Fuck you. You worked for the motherfuckers, the bad guys. You were one of Mr. Potter's goons, asshole. Reap what you've sown."
But even assholes don't deserve to lose their jobs working for motherfuckers just because they wore orange shirts one day. If you want justice to rain on the righteous, you have to let it drip all the way down.