Employee Says Gov’t Agency Fired Him for Wearing Trump Shirt on Day Off

'It’s this whole cancel culture and some people can have their beliefs at work, other people can’t...'

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which promotes the city’s tourism and events, fired an employee who argued in a wrongful termination lawsuit that his only crime was wearing a Trump t-shirt, WBTV reported.

“It’s this whole cancel culture and some people can have their beliefs at work, other people can’t,” he said. “It’s two-sided and it doesn’t seem fair at all.”

Tim Tarlton, who worked for the CRVA’s maintenance department, said he did not share his support for former President Donald Trump at the office, whether on a shirt or in conversation.

Instead, Tarlton said his boss fired him for wearing a Trump T-shirt and drinking beer during a Zoom call on his day off.

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“I’m 100 percent positive if I had a Biden shirt on or another political shirt for the Democrat Party, I would still have my job today,” he said.

After being fired on Aug. 6, Tarlton filed a lawsuit that claims he was fired for expressing an unpopular political perspective.

Tarlton received some early indications from his supervisor, who warned him not to post anything political on Facebook because the boss, Cathy Buchhofer, could “cause problems for you at work.”

In the lawsuit, Tarlton said she is “politically liberal and would not tolerate conservative viewpoints in the office.”

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On a day off from work, Buchhofer and two supervisors asked Tarlton to join and video call and give a presentation.

He agreed, and after finishing the presentation, he decided to kick back.

“I reached into the fridge and got a beer and I cracked it and had a couple drinks,” Tarlton said.

The video called continued without incident.

“That night at 7:10 I get a phone call by Brian telling me that I no longer had a job there for drinking on the job, and I’m like you can’t do that, I’m at home, it’s my day off,” he said.

Tarlton believes he has a strong case that political intolerance, not alcohol consumption, led to his termination because the CRVA’s own policy guide does not strictly prohibit drinking, even if he were at work and not at home.
“The use of alcohol by employees while conducting business on the CRVA’s behalf is permitted only to the extent that it is not unlawful and does not adversely affect the safety of the employee or others, the employee’s job performance or the CRVA’s reputation in the community,” the policy reads.
The CRVA’s HR manager called Tarlton later and told him why he was fired.

“She said, yes we can fire you for this and also for wearing a Trump shirt on a video conference call,” Tarlton said.

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