There's been plenty of coverage lately about the legal staffers in Florida who were fired for all wearing orange on the same day. The workers have taken the position that they intended to go to happy hour after work and wanted to look like a group. I can definitely see that as a plausible explanation. Their employer, though, decided to take the paranoid route and fire them all. (The latest can be found here.)
For one thing, it's illegal to fire a bunch of people who were just wearing the same color shirt, unless your employer requires you to wear a uniform. Hell, there wasn't even anything on the shirts, they were just all the same color. Even if it wasn't illegal, it still makes you look like a damned idiot for taking something like that so seriously. Some of the terminated workers have (wisely) lawyered up.
Their lawyer has suggested that some of the fired employees may have been using the orange color to protest workplace conditions (orange is the color of Florida's prison jumpsuits). Apparently, a lot of recent policy changes occured, allegedly some that were highly restrictive such as not being allowed to leave your desk for coffee or talk to your co-workers over the cubical walls during working hours.
If those allegations are even close to true, it sounds like these people had a genuine greivance. I've worked in some pretty bad places. My first private-firm job was at Satan, Beelzebub & Hitler, LLP, and even they weren't that crazy.
Still, even if there actually was a protest of some kind going on, so long as the employees were within their legal rights and obeyed company policies, then that's an employer just begging to be sued. If everyone can wear green on St. Patrick's day, then why not Orange on a random Friday? Is there really any difference?
I say all paralegals and legal staff nationwide should wear something Orange this Friday in a show of support. Anyone with me?