1. On Friday March 16, 2012 14 workers of the Elizabeth R. Wellborn law firm in Deerfield Beach FL were fired for wearing the color orange to work. During the course of the work day the 14 employees were called into a conference room and told by management that they had interpreted the practice as some kind of a protest. One of the employees then responded by saying the group was wearing orange in order to promote that they were all together when they planned to go out for drinks after work. After conferring, the managers returned and announced that they all were immediately fired. Florida, like many other states, is a work “at will” state meaning technically the reason for the employees firing does not matter. Employees who are at will are not under contract for any definite period of time and can be fired at any time for any reason, good or bad, or no reason at all as long as the reason is not illegal or discriminatory. The former employees of the firm are basically claiming that the firm violated some of the accepted limitations to the “at will” rule.
2. Of the many judicially imposed limitations to the rule one of the generally accepted is that employees are protected from protesting working conditions. This brings up many questions for this specific issue as to the exact facts of why the employees were terminated. Originally they were told their orange shirts were being seen as some sort of a protest. After the employees denied this the management then meet outside the room and decided that they all would be fired. The question that arises is were they fired because they were thought to be staging a protest, or just because they had all decided to wear orange? Also, since the employees have publically denied actually trying to protest does that mean they are not protected by the limitation? Another possible issue with the firing is whether or not the employer was acting in good faith and fair dealing. Under...
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