Hot Button

By A.C. Smith

Here comes stupidity again!

A Home Depot cashier in West Palm Beach, Florida was recently fired (read article here) when he refused to remove a button that the company claimed violated its dress code.

When quickly reading the article, these are the following key points that I remember.

1.)    The associate was wearing the button for over a year.

2.)    The button says “One nation under God, indivisible.”

3.)    It is a policy that all associates are expected to know when they are hired to work in Home Depot.

4.)    The associate states he wore the button to support his country as his 27-year-old brother is set to report for his second tour of duty in Iraq.

5.)    The words on the pin are straight from the Pledge of Allegiance.

6.)    A person in the company stated that the associate chose to wear a button that expressed his religious beliefs.

I would ask some questions to get people to think.

Like… would it be reasonable for someone to think they were not breaking a policy if they knew someone personally who had died at war or on the police force and a ribbon or bracelet was worn.
Not necessarily. This person states that he wore the pin to support his brother who joined the efforts to protect our country. Someone who would appreciate the support more now than (God forbid..Oops, is it okay to say God?) when he is not alive. We all, along with our United States companies, should express more support to the men and women on duty.

How can we say that a person is expressing a religious belief if it doesn’t suggest a specific belief on the button? It contains a quote from the Pledge of Allegiance for Christ sake! Oops! Did I do that again?

My bottom line is that a private company should be able to allow someone to wear or not to wear the pin on the work uniform but the company gives up some squatter’s rights if they allow a situation to go on for a while. The company should be able to get things back under their control but only after some pains to remedy the issue. The pains should be similar to what a landlord has to go through to evict someone like an unlawful tenant. I also think the managers who did not uphold the company rules or obtain a waiver for this associate, should be disciplined.