Hudson woman fired after wearing Obama T-shirt to work

11/06/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

A Spring Hill woman was fired from her nursing home job in Hernando County today, a day after wearing a homemade Barack Obama T-Shirt the day after the election.

Tracy Thomas has worked at the Windsor Woods Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for nearly 10 years. She said she was wearing her usual white T-Shirt to work on Wednesday, where she had written in Obama’s name on one side of the shirt with a magic marker, and the phrase “We need a change” on the other side. She said as she was smoking a cigarette with colleagues before she began the work day, she and others were loudly celebrating Obama’s victory.

But she says after she began working, her supervisor approached her and asked, “What was her problem?”

Thomas said she went home for the day after she was told to leave the building.

On Thursday, she returned to work. But at 6:30 this morning, she says she was confronted by her boss, who said she was being suspended from her job, until further investigation.

Thomas says that unlike others at the home, she is not required to wear any type of uniform, and has frequently worn T-shirts with various names on them.

WMNF spoke with Tracy’s boss at Windsor Woods, Kathy Hawk. She told WMNF she could not speak with us at the time, but would call us back before our deadline. She never did.

WMNF also spoke with Tracy Thomas’ union representative, Bill Berry before he was to meet with Windsor Woods Rehab and Health Care Center. He joked with WMNF that he was going to meet with management while wearing an Obama T-Shirt.

However, he also did not return several phone calls from WMNF late in the day.

We then called back Tracy Thomas, who confirmed that she had been fired. She said she could not comment further.

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