Being Fired For Being a Packers Fan


By now you've probably heard the story of John Stone, a seemingly very good car salesman who was fired by his Oak Lawn employer (and Chicago Bears sponsor) for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work yesterday.

Allegedly his boss told him to take the tie off.  Stone apparently thought his boss was joking and didn't do it.  Later on when his unapologetic boss saw him with the tie still on, Stone was told to hit the bricks.

I'm sure John Stone didn't wear the tie thinking he'd get fired or provoke his boss.  He also probably didn't expect to wake up yesterday and become a nation wide news story; but he has.

While a lot of the sympathy has come down on the side of Stone, others agree with his boss.  So since this is my blog, the question is do I think he should have been fired?

The answer is who cares what I think.  Under Illinois at will employment law, any employee without a contract can be fired for any reason as long as it's not an illegal reason.  And the fact of the matter is that it's not illegal to fire someone because you don't like what they are wearing.  It is illegal to fire someone for their race, religion, age, pregnancy, because of a job injury, etc.

Firing someone because they are wearing a Packer tie or because you as the boss are in a bad mood or because you want to hire your girlfriend or any other unfair or untrue reason is irrelevant.  It also wouldn't matter if they falsely thought he was a Packers fan and fired him for that reason.  Unfair is irrelevant under Illinois law.  You are either fired for an illegal reason or legal reason.

I think most people in this case can grasp that this was just an unfair, but not illegal termination.  John will probably win an unemployment claim and land back on his feet.   That said, if you get fired for an unfair reason, it's difficult to take out the emotion involved over being let go without cause.   That is especially true I find when I talk to people who have been working at a place for a long time and feel they gave a lot to building the company.

If you are fired or having trouble on the job, you need to look for evidence (that means facts, not your personal belief) as to what illegal is occurring.  If you don't have that evidence your only possible right is unemployment benefits.

On a final note, if you work for me and are reading this blog, if you come in to the office this summer in a Cardinals jersey, consider that your last day. :)


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  • Rude, condescending Bears fans deserved this loss. The Bears fans talked so much sh*t about Packer fans before this game, they deserved this loss. Karma sure is a biznatch!!!

    I will remember January 23, 2011 the rest of my life...and so will the Bears fans. The biggest game ever. Where was I you ask? I was in Solder Field in Chicago watching the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears for the Halas Trophy. After the game it was sea of Green and Gold Packer fans celebrating,dancing and partying at Soldier Field in Chicago. Priceless.

    Oh yeah, get used to this feeling Bears fans. The Packers are a young team that will only get better in the future, especially when our starters come back next year.

    We got A Rod...and your fans are burning Cutler jerseys. Good luck with that future.

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    You are a douche. Good luck with that future.

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    ...just another example. Stay classy Bears fans.

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    You decided to comment on an employment law article, unprovoked, with a Bears fan-bashing screed. That makes you either a context-ignorant dipshit or a trolling douche. I guessed the latter. Either way, I wish you luck with that.

  • In reply to donov2707:

    CD, I found a video of you and your Dad getting ready for the game on Sunday.

    Enjoy watching the Packers in the Super Bowl.

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    The game was hideous on both sides. Bear fans burning Cutler's jersey without hearing a diagnosis is pretty trollish.

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    What is it about those bears fans, WHAT THE Hay!!

  • In reply to ChitownPackerFan:

    And just like that, John has a job now, So the moral of the story is that if you are going to get fired for a legal reason, make sure you get a lot of publicity out of it. It's probably just 15 minutes of fame, but the guy is probably better off career wise for it all.

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