A Black employee claims he was fired from a Florida company after he spoke out about a letter sent by his boss threatening workers with layoffs if presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the election.
Stan Smith said he was fired from Daniels Manufacturing Corporation in Orlando after he spoke to a local news outlet about the letter attached to workers’ paystubs on Aug. 12 that threatened permanent layoffs if President Donald Trump does not win the election.
DMC, which initially denied Smith’s termination noting Smith resigned, and the company declined to retract his resignation has now proposed a reinstatement offer after it came to light that Smith was seeking legal options against his termination.
The letter read: “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. However, if Biden and the Democrats win, DMC could be forced to begin permanent layoffs in late 2020 and/or early 2021.”
“Everybody has a choice to make their own decision,” Smith told WESH 2 News on Oct. 16, before he was allegedly fired. At the time, he planned to quit working at DMC because of the letter, signed by DMC president George Daniels – a Trump supporter who has reportedly donated thousands to the president’s campaign.
DMC specializes in production of electronics tools for aerospace, aircraft, and military industries and employs 170 people.
Smith felt the letter was unfair and “I don’t feel like it was correct, to do something like that,” “That’s like me coming to work — because we had all these black killings — 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, who believes he was fired because he spoke out about the letter is in talks with a legal counsel in preparation for 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.”
George Daniels in a public statement regarding the letter said: “I have been doing this for years. I have an obligation to let workers know what could happen, based on the outcome of an election. They certainly should vote for the candidate they want.”
Later, the company said it did not fire Smith, writing: “DMC did not terminate Mr. Smith.” The statement claimed that Smith initially resigned, then asked the company if the resignation could be rescinded.
According to documents obtained by WESH, Daniels has contributed more than $600,000 to the Trump Campaign, political action committees and other Republican candidates this election cycle. He reportedly contributed $139,000 to the Trump Victory Fund.
It is not illegal for companies to discuss politics with employees, but it is illegal to threaten voters. Federal election law prohibits intimidation of voters, with penalties including fines and jail time.