“If you’re going to stand up for what you believe in, you have to be willing to pay the price.”
These wise words were spoken by Jim Serowski, founder of JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado. His words were a response to, “A Day Without Immigrants,” a nationwide day of protests held this February. The protest allowed progressives to voice their outrage at President Donald Trump’s policies regarding immigration by highlighting the effect immigrants have on the productivity of the country as a whole.
At JVS Masonry, more than 30 workers failed to show up at the job site on the day of the protest, and as a result, they were terminated immediately.
Serowski says, “I stand by what I believe in. I didn’t do anything wrong…They were warned: ‘If you do this, you’re hurting the company, and if you go against the team, you’re not a member of the team.'”
Even though employees made their absences from work apparent to Serowski prior to the protest, it still left a bad taste in his mouth. He claims to support immigrant labor, but business is business. Serowski claims he’s known most of the terminated employees for almost two decades, so this couldn’t have been an easy decision to make.
Serowski isn’t the only one who terminated employees following “A Day Without Immigrants” — terminations were made all over the country be regretful employers who just want the work to get done. Some employers showed mercy to employees and were supportive of the cause. What made a difference is how the employees handled the protest. Employers tended to be more sympathetic to employees who notified their supervisors in advanced as opposed to a ‘no call no show,’ which could certainly be grounds for termination.
The employees aren’t the only ones getting the raw end of the deal. High employee turnover rates can heavily interfere with day-to-day work functions, not to mention the cost — human resources consultants say that employee turnover costs range from 30% to 150% of the employee’s salary.
Most employees ended up going back to work on Friday, but those who didn’t are now back on the job market.