Florida company warns employees they might lose jobs if Trump doesn’t win

October 20, 2020
Florida elections staff load ballots into machines as the statewide vote recount is being conducted to determine the races for governor, Senate, and agriculture commissioner. (Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
Florida elections staff load ballots into machines as the statewide vote recount is being conducted to determine the races for governor, Senate, and agriculture commissioner. (Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

Employees at a Florida manufacturing company got letters along with their pay stubs warning they might lose their job if President Trump isn’t re-elected.

While sending out letters like these is legal, the move was controversial enough it helped one employee decide to quit.

“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,” read the letter, which went out to the 170 or so employees of aerospace supplier Daniels Manufacturing,  Orlando’s WESH reported.

“However, if Biden and the Democrats win, DMC could be forced to begin permanent layoffs beginning in late 2020 and/or early 2021.”

Daniels Manufacturing president George Daniels, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-Trump committees and other Republican causes, defended the letter and said he respects his employees’ right to vote for their chosen candidate.

“I have been doing this for years,” he told WESH. “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.”

Daniels Manufacturing reportedly has a Trump banner outside its facilities. 

The employees, who the station reports are mixed politically, didn’t all see the letter so neutrally.

“I don’t feel like it was correct to do something like that,” employee Stan Smith said. “That’s like me coming to work because we had all these Black killings and I should come in here and wear a Black Lives Matter shirt and bring out hats and pass them out to everyone.”

The letter helped convince him to quit Daniels Manufacturing.

Mr Biden recently told the Defense News he isn’t proposing any significant budget changes for the military, and is considering increasing investment for certain military priorities.

When it comes to political speech and the workplace, things are complicated. Thanks to various Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money giving to candidates through super PACs as long as they don’t coordinate directly with campaigns.

Private companies, as opposed to government employers, who have far stricter rules, can also speak with employees about political candidates or issues, and even encourage employees to attend various political events. Because they are private employers, they can also prohibit their employees’ First Amendment political expression during work time.

If this political activity tips over into creating a hostile work environment, or discriminating against employees, however, workplaces can be penalised, though protections often vary by state.

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