Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicago Car Salesman Fired for Wearing Green Bay Packer Tie

In yet another story of at-will employment gone awry comes the story of a Chicago-area car salesman who decided, perhaps in bad judgment, to wear a Green Bay Packer tie to work in the wake of the Chicago Bears loss to the Packers this past Sunday. The salesman, John Stone, wore the tie as part of a fashionable outfit for the day intended to be good-natured but his boss, Jerry Roberts, did not see it that way and told Stone that he had two options: take off the tie or get the hell out of his store (he might not have framed it exactly like that). For some reason, Stone decided not to undo the tie. So, Roberts fired him.

When asked why he fired Stone over something relatively benign, Roberts responded:
“(The tie) makes it harder to sell cars in what’s already a competitive sales environment.

“We spend $20,000 a month on advertising with the Bears on WBBM during the season, and we have Bears players including Corey Wootten driving loaner vehicles, and here was a salesman openly undoing that work.”

That's just how at-will employment works. This salesman's rights were not violated, so far as I can tell, and now he has to search for another job because he refused to take off a certain tie. Very unfortunate.


  1. Sounds like football was a religion for both guys...religious discrimination?

  2. That is definitely a novel claim but I *think* religious discrimination claims have a component of a "sincerely held belief" ;-) I would like to think there isn't a plaintiff's attorney who would push such a case and I think the one attorney in my town who would has been disbarred.