An Alabama woman was fired from her job last week...for having a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on her car.
[Lynne] Gobbell of Moulton didn't pay a cent for the sticker that she proudly displays on the rear windshield of her Chevrolet Lumina, but said it cost her job at a local factory after it angered her boss, Phil Gaddis.I'm no expert on employment law, but I'm pretty sure Alabama is a right-to-work state. Even though right-to-work states typically have "employment at will" provisions, isn't this illegal? (Even if it's not illegal, it's wrong.)
Gaddis, a Decatur bankruptcy attorney, owns Enviromate, a cellulose insulation company in Moulton. . .
Gobbell gave this account:
"We were going back to work from break, and my manager told me that Phil said to remove the sticker off my car or I was fired," she said. "I told him that Phil couldn't tell me who to vote for. He said, 'Go tell him.' "
She went to Gaddis' office, knocked on the door and entered on his orders.
"Phil and another man who works there were there," she said. "I asked him if he said to remove the sticker and he said, 'Yes, I did.' I told him he couldn't tell me who to vote for. When I told him that, he told me, 'I own this place.' I told him he still couldn't tell me who to vote for."
Gobbell said Gaddis told her to "get out of here."
"I asked him if I was fired and he told me he was thinking about it," she said. "I said, 'Well, am I fired?' He hollered and said, 'Get out of here and shut the door.' "
She said her manager was standing in another room and she asked him if that meant for her to go back to work or go home. The manager told her to go back to work, but he came back a few minutes later and said, " 'I reckon you're fired. You could either work for him or John Kerry,' " Gobbell said.
Adding insult to injury, her former boss enclosed pro-Bush political flyers with workers' paychecks:
"It upset me and made me mad that he could put a letter in my check expressing his (political) opinion, but I can't put something on my car expressing mine."So your boss is allowed to promote his political viewpoint, but you're evidently not.
She was referring to a flier that she said Gaddis placed in employee envelopes to remind them of the positive impact that President Bush's policies have had on them. An employee at the plant who would not identify himself confirmed the contents of the letter.
Gobbell provided a copy of the flier. It says:
"Just so you will know, because of the Bush tax (cut):
I was able to buy the new Hammer Mill
I was able to finance our receivables
I was able to get the new CAT skid steer
I was able to get the wire cutter
I was able to give you a job"
It further says:
"You got the benefit of the Bush tax cut. Everyone did."
I should note that the Decatur Daily got one thing wrong. Lynne Gobbell's former boss isn't named "Phil Gaddis"; they misspelled his name. (Martindale-Hubbell doesn't list any attorneys named "Gaddis" in Alabama.) His name is Philip Geddes. Here's his website. His e-mail address is apparently email@example.com. Here's Enviromate's address.
Won't you let them know what you think?