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By Will Racke

More than 20 immigrant workers in Michigan were stunned to find themselves out of a job after they skipped work to attend a “Day Without Immigrants” rally in February.

The former employees of Detroit-area auto parts maker EZ Industrial Solutions LLC say they were wrongfully fired, despite warnings from company management that there would be repercussions for missing work without permission.

They are now taking their case to federal labor regulators, the Detroit Free Press reported. In a charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America claim EZ Industrial Solutions unjustly fired them for taking part in a political protest.

The complaint alleges that “the employer coercively questioned employees” on two separate occasions about their plans to attend rallies scheduled for February 16. Workers also say they were fired even though company management previously said they would only be handed a one-week suspension for skipping work.

EZ Industrial Solutions says it acted within the law when it fired the workers. Operations manager Jordan Yoder defended the company’s actions in an e-mailed statement to the Free Press:

“The law is quite clear that employees can’t just not show up to work when they’re expected, and also that they are not free to participate in political, non-work related protests during their work day without consequences. We therefore deny any wrongdoing and are confident that the charge will be dismissed.”
Tony Paris, a Detroit lawyer who filed the NLRB complaint on behalf of the fired workers, claims EZ Industrial Solutions doesn’t normally require its workers to call in about missing work because they have an informal schedule.
“Workers wouldn’t be punished for not calling in, because they don’t have to do that anyway,” Paris told the Free Press. “The employer never cared. You could not go in for three days” and then show up and work, he added.
Yoder told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that “the allegations that were made by Tony Paris are inaccurate.” He declined to add further detail, citing a policy not to discuss pending litigation.
The Detroit office of the NLRB has forwarded complaint to the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters for further review.
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  • Dave O’Connor

    Hopefully big brother, in the form of EZ Industrial Solutions LLC, will get so badly burned other companies will stay out of the lives of their employees.

    • Raymond Gareth Cross

      What? How is the company taking the role of big brother here? The company fired employees who decided they needed to protest more than they needed to work. Thee company decided it needs employees who show up to work. Who are you to tell a business owner how to run their business?

  • critter

    Hopefully immigrants who think they can do what ever they please, whenever they please, have learned a lesson in keeping a job, and the company who fired them will hire other Americans who need work.

  • Paladin

    Well the company will just have to hire and train more immigrants to do the job nobody wants. What ever happen to calling in sick?

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