Woman fired for having pro-John Kerry bumper sticker on her car.

You have the right to Free Speech in America as well as the right to vote for whichever political candidate you want to for whatever reasons you might have… unless you want to keep your job at Enviromate in Moulton, Alabama that is. Seems a woman by the name of Lynne Gobbell was fired by her pick-of-a-boss Phil Gaddis because she had a pro-Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker on her personal vehicle.

“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.

Seems Phil also put the following handy flier in with the employees paychecks not too long ago:

“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’m not fully versed on the worker’s rights laws in Alabama, but it sounds like Lynne has the makings of a pretty good wrongful termination lawsuit here. She was originally planning on consulting a lawyer, but has since changed her mind. I say she should change it again and slap his ass with a lawsuit.

Man, when will the state of Alabama catch up to the 21st Century?

Update 9/15/04: According to a followup post on John’s site the Kerry campaign caught wind of Lynne’s plight and have hired her. So it appears she can tell her old boss that she will be working for John Kerry now.

Found over in John’s Asylym.

25 thoughts on “Woman fired for having pro-John Kerry bumper sticker on her car.

  1. OH My God! What a bunch of crap! I am outraged over this story. Should have a bumper sticker made “I got fired from such and such company cause I had a bumper sticker which conflicted with my bosses politcial views”

  2. The Washinton Interns Gone Bad blog has a phone number to call the guy and tell him what you think of his firing of this Kerry/Edwards supporter.

    I am not posting the number here because I do not know how Les would take to that …
    (Les if you want feel free to edit this post and add it grin )

  3. This guy may be an asshole but I don’t think she’s in a strong legal position to seek a lawsuit.  Alabama, like most other states, is an at will employment state and the employer may terminate an employee for no reason whatsoever.  The only guidelines are that they not discriminate by age, sex, religion, race and just recently, sexual orientation.  From what I can tell this guy was well within his rights to ask her to remove the sticker, keep the car off company property or be terminated.

    There’s something wrong with our system.  *sigh*

  4. DS-
    True, but a good lawyer can make a case even when the law is against him, and there is also jury nullification, something I am a strong believer in.

    If this got infront of a jury, the guy would lose, even if the jury was a majority of Republicans, as there is partisanship, and there is fair play 🙁

  5. He can fire her but he still has to pay her unemployment and I bet that will irk him even more.

  6. Problem is even if she manages to get a pay out from this manager hed stick a note in the employee pay packets listing all the things theyre “losing” becuz of it. If she chooses to go back to work then I guess we should let it go. If they wont let her (or she chooses not to back down) than the local Georgia Dem Party should start haveing bake sales and bar b cues for this woman and I’ll sure as shit donate!

  7. This is a good example of why “right to work” laws
    are bad. States Rights, States Rights, code words for no unions, no medicade, no help for the unlucky in life!  You got to beleive that this place has no union.  Say what you will about unions, they do tend to keep this kind of action from happening. The South has never believed in the “working class”, in “Bama working class equals poor white trash and coloreds. Don’t flame me, I don’t mean the average Sunday-go-to-meetin folks, I mean the moneied class that make policy at the state level. The ones that still hold on to the Northern War of Suppression syndrome. She has a job with a progressive group of people, some good will come of this, I am sure.

  8. That url you give for Environmate isn’t the right company, that url is a company in Fort Worth, Texas and I guess they’ve been hassled a bit as they have a notice on their site now that says:

    “Notice: Enviromate, Inc. of Fort Worth, TX, in business since 1991, has NO affiliation with Enviromate, a company listing themselves out of Moulton, Alabama.”

    So you might want to remove the link, save those people a bit of trouble that they don’t deserve. smile

  9. deadscot said, “There’s something wrong with our system [that allows an employer to terminate an employee for no reason whatsoever] *sigh*”

    Why is that wrong?  Why should YOU be prohibited from hiring anyone YOU want to and firing anyone YOU want to in YOUR private business?  If this Kerry fanatic was such a valuable employee, then her boss made a poor business decision.  How does that qualify the government to have dominion over this aspect of YOUR private business.  Why do you want to give the government more authority over YOUR private life?

    Larkinsjapn said, “States Rights, States Rights,…”.  This is an issue of INDIVIDUAL rights.  The private business owner was exercising his individual right to fire an employee he didn’t want to employ any longer.

    Larkinsjapn continues, ”…,code words for no unions, no medicade, no help for the unlucky in life!”  Does that mean, if you were a business owner and if the government wasn’t holding a gun to your head, you would not help those who fall on hard times?  I guess it’s a good thing we have socialist welfare programs to protect the unlucky among us from heartless people like you.

  10. JJL –  Welcome to the mêlée.  There is indeed something wrong with our system when an employer feels threatened by an employee’s bumper sticker and he cannot reach some emotional middle ground in between his ears.  You would get the same response had the employee quit without giving two weeks notice leaving her boss in a bind just because he was putting propaganda in the pay stubs.  It’s immature, irresponsible and not conducive to good business practices.  In both cases there should be checks and balances.

    Too much rigidity and not enough flexibility.

  11. JJL, What do you mean by “Socialist Welfare Programs” where I come from they are called a progressive safety net, and thank god that at the time they were proposed people like you were in the minority. What the hell are you talking about? Business don’t have the same rights as individuals and they never have! The attempt by the modern conglomerants to put themselves on the same footing as individuals makes me sick. The public good is the contract that all members of a republic, and that is what America is supposed to be, agree to. A commercial enterprise draws unpaid support from the community security, infrastructure building or upgrading, educating the working pool, ect. A business when it hires its employees enters a basic capital agreement of time for money. At will work contracts are just one step up from serfdom, the sophistry of your private business arguement may satisfy the letter of the law, but it fails the intent of the societal contract.

  12. How does having a Kerry bumper sticker make one a fanatic? 

    Why should YOU be prohibited from hiring anyone YOU want to and firing anyone YOU want to in YOUR private business?

    Because the labor force does not agree.  It used to be that way in business until labor/public got fed up.

  13. I spent a few minutes looking up the “at will” provisions of Alabama law. The following may have been supplanted by more progressive rulings, but regardless is pretty scary.

    In Hinrichs v Tranquilaire Hospital, (352 So.2d 1130 Alabama, 1977), the Supreme Court of Alabama flatly announced that it would not recognize any exception which would eliminate the traditional ability of an employer to terminate an at-will employee for any reason or no reason. In Hinrichs, an employee had refused to falsify medical records. Falsifying medical records is illegal. Surely it in the public good, yet the court would not grant relief.

  14. Just one more good reason not to live in Alabama it seems. Not that they need any more reasons to drive people away these days.

  15. The jerk MAY have to pay unemployment, but I don’t know anyone personally who has received unemployment after having been fired.

    My dad got fired for having his drawer come out wrong three times in a year and I was fired for being disabled (technically my former employer told me it was because I didn’t communicate properly while I was out on disability).

    I’ve already lost my house and car (and been forced to file for bankruptcy because the job I finally got two years after being fired by Principal Financial Group pays nearly $10,000 a year less than I was getting before—being a single mom that makes an enormous difference!!) and my dad is now trying to file for bankruptcy since he lost his job and is too far behind in his bills to catch back up. 

    He will probably also lose his car and house, which since I’ve had to move back in with him for the first time since I was 17, means my daughter and I won’t just technically be homeless…

    Gotta love the American Dream under Dubya’s reign!  I just read in the paper too that a builder of luxury homes thinks that things “couldn’t get better”.  Nice to know SOMEONE is benefitting from this economy and the Bush tax cuts because no one I know personally has!

    Stephanie

    **Lord, please save us from another Bush term!!**

  16. i have been waiting sooo long to say what a fucken bastard John kerry is, i was a hard core demacrat until Jonk came along what a loser and liar, he hates human life lkes gay people, is queer cant make ip his fucken mind about war. he would classify is a genuine ass hole. oh and the CBS scandal he actually called CBS a few times before their missleading 60 minutes episode with made him look like an american loser. how the fuck could this low life even exist. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT ELECTED AS PRESIDENT, JOHN KERRY WILL BURN IN HELL

  17. TECHNICALLY, he could have gotten away with it IF he had a company policy prohibiting bumperstickers on employee cars while they were on company property. It’d be just like a dress code.

    BUT somehow I don’t think that is the case, so I would say she’s got a pretty good case.

  18. how stupid im personally glad shes working for whoever now wonder what her boss is thinking? might involve a lawsuit heh

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