Yesterday we talked about how First Amendment claims require the claimant to be able to identify the involvement of state action and that workers don’t have free speech in private workplaces. While wearing a Packers tie to work is in fact extremely offensive*, it is hard to see how this guy should have been fired. Unfortunately for him, he’s got no First Amendment claim to make and will have to hope that public attention to his situation gets his boss to rethink the firing.
John Stone said that when he went to work Monday morning at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, he decided to wear a Green Bay Packers tie he’s had for years to honor his late grandmother, a huge Packers fan.
Little did he know that the seemingly innocent gesture would cost him his job, Stone said. Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and then ordered him to take off the Packers tie or else he would be fired. 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’m joking.