ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — A Central Florida worker who spoke out about a letter from his boss threatening layoffs if Joe Biden wins the election has now been fired.
Daniels Manufacturing Corporation President George Daniels included a letter with recent paystubs reading, “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 went on to say, “However, if Biden and the Democrats win, DMC could be forced to begin permanent layoffs beginning in late 2020 and/or early 2021.”
After the letter went out, DMC employee Stan Smith spoke with our NBC affiliate station WESH 2 News about it.
“Everybody has a choice to make their own decision,” he said. “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.”
This week, Smith was fired.
He believes Daniels, the president of the company that makes tools and electronics for the military, aerospace, and aircraft industries, ordered his termination because he didn’t like what he told the news stations.
When reached by phone on Oct. 16, George Daniels said he’s been sending the same kind of letter for many years and that he had a duty to inform his workforce of the possible job consequences, depending on the outcome of the presidential election.
Smith has now hired attorney, who is preparing a lawsuit.
“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,” said employment law attorney Richard Celler. “We are confident that this employer not only violated federal and state law, but also illegally terminated our client.”
Federal election law prohibits “intimidation of voters” and penalties include fines and jail time.
Elaine Parker, who is with Job Creators Network, a conservative business group that supports President Trump and is defending Daniels, said the situation is not about revenge for who wins the election.
“Employers have the right to educate their employees about the negative impacts of policy and we believe they have an obligation to do so,” Parker said.
To keep its 170 employees on the payroll, Daniels applied for PPP or Paycheck Protection Program money, intended to help businesses through the economic downturn during the pandemic.
According to federal records, Daniels Manufacturing may have received up to $2.5 million.
A review of campaign records, reveals donations of at least $614,000 to the Trump campaign, its PACs and other Republicans this election cycle.
Daniels has not returned follow-up calls from our NBC affiliate as other employees who spoke with WESH anonymously said people at the company are afraid to speak out, fearing that they could also be fired.