After 18 employees skip work to attend immigration rally, they receive brutal lesson from their boss

RealClear Contributor

            

Last Thursday, thousands of Americans came together to voice their concerns about Donald Trump's new executive orders on immigration. It was in the form of a nationwide protest called "A Day Without Immigrants", which sought out to show the significance that immigrants play in the U.S. workforce.

And yes, we can all agree that it was a noble cause but the protests triggered a lot more harm than good for some of the protestors. According to KTNV-TV, 18 employees at Nashville’s Bradley Coatings were fired after they informed their supervisors on Wednesday they were missing work the next day to attend the nationwide protest.

"We are the team leaders directly under the supervisors and they informed us last night that we could not go back to work and the boss said we were fired," one employee said. 

The former employee asked to remain anonymous but had this message to his former boss.

"I would tell him he was unfair, after working for them for so many years, giving him our best. They could not understand that it was just one day. We were going to make up that day on a Sunday, but they didn't understand that, and it was not the best way. They didn't give us an opportunity and just told us we were fired," he said. 

"Tennessee is an employment-at-will state which basically means an employer can end your employment at any time without reason or cause. Of course there are a lot of different stipulations, civil rights issues that could stop them from doing that," Department of Labor and Workforce Development spokesman, Chris Cannon said.  

Bradley Coatings, Inc.'s attorney released the following statement:

"Bradley Coatings, Incorporated (BCI) is a family-owned, Nashville-based business that provides commercial painting services to its clients on a very demanding schedule.  Established in 1986, BCI has always celebrated diversity and supported the immigrant community.  This past Wednesday night, certain employees of BCI informed their leadership that they would not be at work the following day.  Because of the time-sensitive nature of the jobs these employees were assigned to, all employees were told that they would need to show up for work or they would be terminated.  On Thursday, the majority of BCI’s employees fulfilled their obligations to our clients, but eighteen employees did not.  Regretfully, and consistent with its prior communication to all its employees, BCI had no choice but to terminate these individuals.  The reason these employees missed work—to engage in peaceful demonstrations—had nothing to do with BCI’s decision to terminate them.  BCI regrets this situation, but it has contracted with its clients to complete work on a schedule set by the client’s general contractor.  BCI will review its procedures in an effort to avoid similar issues in the future, and will continue to provide timely service to its clients and support to the Nashville immigrant community." - Robert Peal, Company Attorney.

So, according to the statement by the company's lawyer, the 18 employees weren't fired for attending the rally but because they skipped out on work that included sensitive projects that clients contracted Bradley Coatings for.

According to KTNV, seven other Bradley Coatings employees quit after they learned their colleagues had been terminated over their absences.

Do you believe Bradley Coatings' reason for firing the 18 employees? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

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