Up for Debate: Fired over a T-shirt?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:32am

A Rocketown employee claims he was fired after wearing a T-shirt supporting same-sex marriage to work. Do you believe the business acted too harshly or should have used greater discretion in the firing? Should the employee expect any concession by the business?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

89 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 1/23/13 at 1:41

He should have been fired immediately if not sooner.

By: Ask01 on 1/23/13 at 2:04

An employer does have the right to set a dress code while an employee is on the clock, on their payroll, acting as a representative or agent of the company.

Simply firing someone for wearing a tee shirt is, while harsh, within their rights. That said, except for a few crusty old skinflints I've had the displeasure to encounter few employers would fire someone, especially after seven years, for such a trivial infraction unless there were other issues of which we are not aware.

It is possible a new superior could, for whatever reason, take a dislike to a veteran employee and seek the merest excuse to terminate said employee. List that under a benefit to living in a "Right To Work" state. It is no wonder the phrase has been twisted into the more apt, "Right To Fire."

If this was the only incident, the patrons of Rocketown could, and should, just to exercise the power of the consumer, force the rehiring by chastising the mangement publicly or better,refusing to spend their money in the establishment, if they feel strongly enough about the termination.

If however, this was the final link in a chain of substandard performance, inappropriate clothing, or other behavior contrary to company policy, the young man needs to re-evaluate his attitude and behavior while at work before moving on to another job. If, that is, he can find employment.

Tennesseans need to re-evalute the concept of "Right To Work" to consider the manner in which employers can simply terminate someone with no notice, for no reason other than a spat with their significant other.

Perhaps we have gone too far into this idea of catering to business owners, and ignoring worker rights.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 5:29

As usual Ask01 makes good points about a subject. A 7 veteran being fired over a t-shirt seem to be to extrema. Maybe there is more to the story.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 5:36

Another narrow view comes from our veteran troll. His remark won't hide his past.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 6:06

There has to be more to the issue. A verbal warning would have sufficed, then escalate if necessary.

Unless Rocketown is attempting to insert itself in the national discussion, then well played.

Ask, workers rights? What are you...Socialist? lol

By: yogiman on 1/23/13 at 6:46

The young man was working for the company, he wasn't doing the company a personal favor to work for them.

Private employment is like serving in the military, you serve the company by going by the company's rules.

I understand the company gave him a request to not wear his T-shirt which he ignored thus earning his release... which will not be a good recommendation for any new seek of employment.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 6:56

"Rocketown does not comment on personnel issues, but, generally speaking, an employee would not be fired for expressing opinions on marriage. ..."

A statement from Rocketown. So, as I said, there are other things going on.

Now, after reading the article cited, it appears that Rocketown (I have never heard of it) was created by Michael W. Smith, the Christian artist, so it should be no surprise that the t-shirt would be incompatible with their mission (even though Jesus never really commented on the subject, but that never stopped Christians from mangling his message).

I think that the employee set a trap and Rocketown took the bait. In the end, it will just galvanize everyone who has already made up their mind about the subject.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/23/13 at 7:26

I agree. I think there is more to the story. The guy probably was not doing a good job and was figuring he was going to be let go so he wanted to go out with a bang. Just my opinion.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 8:04

And, the written warning, which wasn't signed by the employee, stated that he could be either suspended or terminated. Usually, and I mean that, the next step would have been suspension, especially after years of employment. That's why I think there are other things going on.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 8:31

The other hot topic of the day, is did Beyonce lip syncing or not. And who cares?

By: BenDover on 1/23/13 at 8:32

The employee decided to make a political statement against the organizations stated values. Organization did not wish to be represented in this manner and fired employee.

Pretty simple.

By: budlight on 1/23/13 at 8:35

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/23/13 at 7:26
I agree. I think there is more to the story. The guy probably was not doing a good job and was figuring he was going to be let go so he wanted to go out with a bang. Just my opinion.

I just have to agree on this one. More to the story.

It's cold outside!

By: budlight on 1/23/13 at 8:44

I can't stop laughing and have to pass this on. Mayor Bloomberg is a blooming idiot! This story is the ultimate in recent "control freak" stories. These people are so crazy. If you tell me I can't drink a 32 ounce big gulp coke, what's to say I won't drink 4 - 8 ounce cokes? Or 3 - 16 ounce cokes? Don't these people in NY have real issues to tackle -- like crime? People who are going to be unhealthy actually seem to resent someone telling them about it. At least that is what I see and hear.

"NEW YORK (AP) — Opponents of the city's limit on the size of sugary drinks are raising questions of racial fairness alongside other complaints as the novel restriction faces a court test.

The NAACP's New York state branch and the Hispanic Federation have joined beverage makers and sellers in trying to stop the rule from taking effect March 12. With a hearing set Wednesday, critics are attacking what they call an inconsistent and undemocratic regulation, while city officials and health experts defend it as a pioneering and proper move to fight obesity.

The issue is complex for the minority advocates, especially given obesity rates that are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. The groups say in court papers they're concerned about the discrepancy, but the soda rule will unduly harm minority businesses and "freedom of choice in low-income communities."

Lots of waste of taxpayer and other dollars having to fight something like this in court.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 8:57

Maybe you should read what I posted at 6:56, Ben. Apparently it's not that simple.

Regarding Beyonce, most singers pre-record their version, Whitney did. It's no big deal. There are many issues as the reason...making sure there's no screw-up, venue acoustics, etc. Though Clarkson, who didn't lip sync, blew it out of the park.

It really is another example of a non-issue being blown up by the media.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:08

Good morning, Nashville.

Sounds like a disgruntled worker, at a dubious Christian enterprise, in a right-to-fire state....the T-shirt stunt worked, the dude is now making the news and probably looking for a shyster legal firm, to sue his former employer...a huge settlement in mind....go for it!

I don't know this Rocketown "teen center"....but it sounds like a front for child abuse; indoctrinating kids into right-wing, born-again Christianity should be illegal, not tax exempt.

The NCP should investigate Rocketown....I smell a rat.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 9:13

That must be Ratsputin you are smelling Loner.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:16

The big stories that we can take away from the inauguration ceremonies:

1. Sasha yawned during BHO's speech.
2. Beyonce may have lip-synced the national anthem.
3. Michelle Obama wore bangs.
4. Mister Wu designed the First Lady's gown.
5. Barbara Walters slipped and fell on her way to the inaugural show.

Did I miss any of the big items?

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:18

No, Captain Nemo, the Rasp has a distinctive odor...Grey Poupon & cheap gin. This is definitely different....the smell of a Christian rodent is quite unique.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:26

The recent shootings in NM are an example of the Christian rodent in action.

Looks like another well-armed, born-again, home-schooling, Christ-centered family self-destructed.

Nehemiah Griego, aged 15, shot and killed his parents and three siblings using the family's firearms.

One of the young gunner's victims, the dad, Greg Griego, was an ex-con and former gang member, who "found the Lord" and became a born-again pastor, according to named sources in the link below.

Ex-cons, felons, are prohibited from owning firearms in most states, if that is true in NM, then the dad was not a "law-abiding gun owner" as alleged. Who bought the guns for the ex-con turned preacher and will they be charged with a crime?


By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 9:26

6. The President gave a Liberal inauguration speech - much to the surprise of Conservative simpletons.

7. Obama flubbed a line in the inaugural (that cracks me up every time)

8. Wolf Blitzer knows the capital of Delaware, all other CNN correspondents do not.

9. John Boehner and wife have the complexion of an Umpa Lumpa.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/23/13 at 9:34

10. Joe Biden had the time of his life.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:38

Too much church; not enough spirituality....homeschooling, born-again, right-wing, Christians, with arsenals of firearms are a rather common feature of the mass hysteria sweeping the fruited plain....once in a while, one of these Jesus freaks snaps...or a family member snaps and this is the grim result.

As a civilizing influence, organized religion is highly over-rated.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:42

Yeah, I missed those major items...thanks, Gd & Bn....I think that Slacker can add to the list....I'm sure that Ben Dover could help us complete this list of inaugural historical/hysterical happenings.

Ben...Slack...any comments?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 9:47

I agree Loner that there are not enough Spiritual in Religion.

Where did all of the fire arms come from?

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:53

The Newtown mom was a "prepper"...the Griegos seem to have been like-minded...in both cases, these were well-to-do people....of the Rasputin class, I suppose..."productive members" of society.

Apparently, Christ packed heat.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:54

Again....the monster kid in a well-armed home effect?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/23/13 at 9:57

If more guns is supposed to make us safer, shouldn't we already be the safest country around?

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 9:59

We should give a name to this American phenomenon.... I suggest: MKIAWAH...( Monster Kid In A Well Armed Home). Any other suggestions?

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:01

Excellent rhetorical, Bn. I'm sure that the NRA would have a snappy comeback to your well-phrased question.

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:04

Loner, I didn't watch the inaugural festivities.. but I'm betting they had an aide assigned to Boehner with a large box of tissues.
Boehner's shoes and wardrobe are protected by ''Scotchgard'' he's their leading spokesman.. owns a piece of the company I heard.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/23/13 at 10:06

The NRA way to a safe and happier life style.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:07

Boehner the Bawler....hairspray, liquid tanning solution and tear drops, all rolled into one man....Mister GOP.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:08

Dammit, if only the 3 and 5 year-olds had a gun, they could have saved themselves and the others....that's the NRA way to secure the home....arm every member of the family....pets too.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:11

Slack, Boehner owns stock in a Scotch (whiskey) company, not Scotchguard....the right-wing media twisted the story.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 10:18

I saw a story on arming teachers last night on one of the local stations. Stacy Campfield has put forth a bill that would allow teachers to arm themselves, provided they are properly licensed and trained (at their own expense, of course). He made the statement that he would prefer a shootout versus a massacre.

First, what's the difference? Second, the FIRST and ONLY priority of the teachers should be to protect the children, not find their gun and/or escalate a shootout.

Now I understand the concept of putting armed security/police in schools, but arming teachers is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard of. Have these people lost their mind?


By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:21

Loner, I should have known.. sneaky arsed conservatives.
Scotch whiskey & ''Man tan'' are the exact color.. something wrong here.

By: BenDover on 1/23/13 at 10:22

Just taking a little poll here. When the economy doesn't recover because your cure is the cause and we just doubled the dosage... who are you guys going to blame?

When we blow another $4 Trillion in deficit over trend of our grand children's yet to be earned money to prop up 4 more years of flawed policy and basically tread water and not reform any of the entitlement programs that are on a catastrophic path to insolvency... when the rest of the world stops loaning us money and Bernanke's stash from buying equities at the bottom of the market during the TARP crisis is exhausted... and his printing presses result in Weimar-inflation... who will you blame?

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:26

Ben I can help here.. they'll say it would have been worse if Romney had been elected.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 10:28

I think Ben was a colicky baby and he's never recovered.

By: BenDover on 1/23/13 at 10:28

Why would a teacher with the same qualifications as an SRO (and supposedly the conditioning and temperament of someone who has accomplished at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college such that we trust them with the education of our children) be any less trustworthy than a security guard?

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:30

Just don't give those drunk janitors firearms.. is all I've gotta say.

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 10:33

As I said Ben, a teacher's first priority is to protect the children, not wait until he/she gets the gun out of the safe (I would at least hope they'd lock up the weapons so the children can't get them...you know, that pesky gun safety BS...)

What the f**k is wrong with you gun nuts?

By: gdiafante on 1/23/13 at 10:36

And just remember, the same dolts who constantly complain about how incompetent teachers are, now want them armed to the teeth. Does anyone else find this completely ridiculous?

By: BenDover on 1/23/13 at 10:40

New Policy for Nashville Police. Trigger locks on all holstered weapons.

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:43

Newsflash.. drunk school janitor, armed with a Glock 40.. and using a dust pan as a shield, fires at a milk delivery man, believing him to be an invader.. story developing.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:44

Ben conducts a pole...without getting permission from the Polish government and the power company:

Q: Just taking a little poll here. When the economy doesn't recover because your cure is the cause and we just doubled the dosage... who are you guys going to blame?

A: The Bush family dynasty and their appointees, of course.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:46

Slack: Drunken, well-armed, school janitor stumbles into a gay piano bar.....

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:46

How many little Polls does it take to screw in a light bulb?

By: slacker on 1/23/13 at 10:50

Orders up a Porto Flip.. and proceeds to bore bar-tender with clean-up stories.

By: Loner on 1/23/13 at 10:50

Gd....Stacy Campfield? Is that the guy with the coonskin cap, festooned with tea bags? I once knew a stripper named Stacy Cumfield....just sayin'.