In general, most employees will do a good job for their employer when they are treated with respect and paid an acceptable wage. If there are too many California workers who are dissatisfied with current conditions, there is a chance that a group will strike out in protest. A large group of team members does not need to be unionized for their voices to be heard. Should an employer respond to employee actions with wrongful termination, however, that response is not only unwanted but also illegal in most cases.
Retail giant Wal-Mart is now facing its largest complaint yet. During the holiday season of 2012 on Black Friday, employees went on strike against the company. According to the complaint by the National Labor Relations Board, workers were threatened and warned preemptively of the consequences for participating in the rallies. The warnings were allegedly also made known on television to alert employees of the potential consequences.
The complaint states that 19 employees were terminated for being active in the strikes. Additionally, other involved workers received discipline or were intimidated as a result of participating. According to the company, those employees who were fired were not fired as a result of the protests but for other reasons entirely.
California employees who choose to speak up about what they feel is right do not deserve to succumb to a hostile work environment or wrongful termination. If this case goes in favor of the workers, any and all negative actions taken by Wal-Mart could be reversed. The employees involved could also be reinstated and possibly receive back wages.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "U.S. accuses Wal-Mart of labor violations," Tiffany Hsu, Jan. 15, 2014