News November 03, 2020 at 08:00 am

Florida man says he was fired for disclosing boss’ plan to lay off workers if Biden wins

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey November 03, 2020 at 08:00 am

November 03, 2020 at 08:00 am | News

Stan Smith said he was fired for speaking out after his boss sent a letter threatening layoffs if Trump loses the presidential election -- Screenshot via WESH 2 News

A Black worker at Daniels Manufacturing Corporation in Florida says he was fired for speaking out after the president of the company sent a letter threatening to layoff employees if “Biden and the Democrats” win the November 3 presidential election.

In the copy of the letter that was added to paystubs for the employees, the president of the company, George Daniels, outlined the supposed fate of the organization and consequences that may befall employees if Trump is not retained. The letter in question was obtained by WESH 2 News.

“If Trump and the Republicans win the election, DMC will hopefully be able to continue operating, more or less as it has been operating lately,” the letter read, adding: “However, if Biden and the Democrats win, DMC could be forced to begin permanent layoffs beginning in late 2020 and/or early 2021.”

Speaking to the news platform about the contents of the letter on October 16, the now aggrieved worker, Stan Smith, said he felt the message it was sending was unfair.

“Everybody has a choice to make their own decision,” he explained. “I don’t feel like it was correct, to do something like that. That’s like me coming to work … and I should come in here and I should wear a Black Lives Matter shirt and bring out hats and pass them out to everyone. I felt like it was unfair.”

Smith said he was fired last two weeks, and according to him, he believes Daniels was behind his dismissal as he wasn’t too happy with him speaking with WESH 2 News about the letter.

Daniels, who was reached out by the news outlet about the contents of the letter on October 16, said he has been sending similar letters for a number of years and was only exercising his official duties by explaining to employees how the company’s workforce – which is over 150 – will be impacted by the next president of the country. Daniels is a Trump supporter and has reportedly donated over $600,000 to his campaign.

The company, which manufactures equipment and electronics for the military, aerospace and aircraft sectors, also may have received up to $2.5 million after applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds following the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on local businesses, federal documents revealed, according to WESH 2 News.

Smith intends to take legal action for his dismissal. “We believe that the evidence here is very clear… that (DMC’s) intent was to influence its employees to vote for one candidate over another to preserve their jobs,” his attorney, Richard Celler, said. “We are confident that this employer not only violated federal and state law, but also illegally terminated our client.”

Per federal election law, voter intimidation is illegal and culprits can face fines and/or jail time. The president of Job Creators Network, a Trump-supporting conservative business group that is defending Daniels, however, told WESH 2 News the letter wasn’t intended to suggest employees would suffer if Trump loses.

“Employers have the right to educate their employees about the negative impacts of policy and we believe they have an obligation to do so,” Elaine Parker said.

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