Just as Addicting Info has reported attempts by several employers to openly influence the election (Recent Article)—threatening adverse economic impact on their businesses (and employees) if President Obama was relected—we are now hearing reports of actual layoffs, firings, or work hour cutbacks coming immediately after the election.
Certainly, if it can be proven that employers are punishing their employees for exercising their electoral freedoms to support and vote for the candidate of their choice; it would raise serious legal issues and may even lead to ‘wrongful termination’ suits in some jurisdictions, as well as a call for new laws to protect our democratic rights.
Employers are entering new–uncharted–territory here, as they exert more and more influence on workers which may—thanks to the infamous Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court—decide political outcomes. This is especially true in tight races like we have just seen, where a particular sector of the economy—like the auto industry—might play a pivotal role in a given state or states and, thus, swing an election.
Today, in a C-SPAN telephone interview (Video/Audio), a small aviation service business owner in Georgia complained that Obama’s reelection has forced him to cut back on hours from 30 to 25 and to lay off two employees to bring his company under the employment caps which trigger coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The employer, who was only identified in the interview as “Stu,” acknowledged that—not only had he voted for Mitt Romney—but that he made sure that the employees he laid off had voted for President Obama!
In a separate report from a lasvegas.cbslocal.com , a Las Vegas business with 114-employees, claims they fired 22-employees as “a direct result of President Obama’s re-election” The caller in this story, identified as only “David” said
“Well unfortunately, and most of my employees are Hispanic — I’m not gonna go into what kind of company I have, but I have mostly Hispanic employees — well unfortunately we know what happened and I can’t wait around anymore, I have to be proactive. I had to lay off 22 people today to make sure that my business is gonna thrive and I’m gonna be around for years to come. I have to build up that nest egg now for the taxes and regulations that are coming my way. Elections do have consequences, but so do choices.
While it is too soon to really know how widespread such “business decisions” (or actual revenge) will be in the wake of this week’s election, it is—nonetheless—disturbing that a new dynamic has apparently entered our democratic process…open employer influence (pre-election) and retribution (post-election) of the very freedom of expression of their employees, in exercising their right to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice.
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