Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Just in time for the Super Bowl, this story is just in and provides another example of how the at-will rule really means that employees can be fired for any reason. In this situation, a Chicago car salesman was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work (shortly after the Packers beat the Bears). It appears that he'll land on his feet, as he's already been offered a job by a different dealership. Here are some of the facts, courtesy of WGN:
Stone said he wore the tie at Webb Chevrolet on Monday – one day after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears in the NFC championship game at Soldier Field – because he’s been a Packers fan since Ahman Green became a star running back for the Packers in 2000. He also said he wore the tie in honor of his 91-year-old grandmother, a Packers fan who died this month.
Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and told him he would be fired if he didn’t take off his tie. Stone said he thought Roberts was joking and went back to work.
An hour later, Stone said, Roberts came to the showroom floor and again demanded he take off the tie. When he didn’t, he was fired, Stone said.
“I didn’t know you could get fired for wearing a tie,” Stone said. “I’m supposed to dress up. I’m a car salesman.”
Asked by a WGN-Ch. 9 reporter if he’d fired Stone for wearing a Packer’s tie, Webb Chevrolet general manager Jerry Roberts said, “Correct.”
Roberts said the dealership had previously done promotions involving the Chicago Bears. “I don’t feel that it was appropriate for him to go directly in contrast with an advertising campaign that we spent a lot of money on,” Roberts told WGN reporter Judie Garcia.
But Stone said Roberts’ reasons for firing him were never made clear to him, nor did he get a chance to explain the tie’s emotional significance. Roberts told WGN-Ch. 9 that he didn’t know that Stone’s grandmother was a Packers fan.
I'm guessing that the next person who might need to look for a new job is the general manager, thanks to all the bad publicity this is causing.
Hat Tip: David Schwartz