A business owner in Utah has become the latest employer to blame President Obama's health care reform bill for layoffs and has doubled down on his public disdain for the current administration by admitting he singled out Obama supporters.
Terry Lee, owner of Cedar City-based Terry Lee Forensics, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he was so impressed by a Vernal, Utah, smoothie bar's policy of asking liberal patrons to pay more, that he, too, took action to recoup losses he said were incurred by Obamacare.
George Burnett, owner of I Love Drilling Smoothie & Juice Bar, said recently he is asking liberal customers to pay an extra dollar for their beverages.
Lee posted a commiserating comment on The Tribune's smoothie bar story this week:
Love it. We had to let two employees go to cover new Obongocare [sic] costs and increased taxes. Found two Obongo supporters and gave them the news yesterday. They wanted the idiot in the Whitehouse [sic], they reap the benefits.
When contacted by the paper, Lee said it was perfectly within his rights as owner to take an employee's political leanings into account during hiring and firing deliberations. The Tribune confirmed that this was in fact the case.
AOL Jobs notes that most employees in the United States can be fired for any reason, excluding matters pertaining to the employee's race, color, religion, sex or national origin. California, New York, Connecticut, Colorado and Mississippi are the only states that have additional laws prohibiting firings based on political affiliation.
In November, a CEO in Las Vegas, Nev., made national headlines when he fired 22 of his 114 employees as a direct result of Obama’s reelection. The move -- technically legal -- was a reminder that “elections have consequences,” the CEO said.
Meanwhile, Burnett's smoothie markup calls to mind comments made by Papa John's CEO John Schnatter, who claimed Obamacare would cost the company more per pizza and might even lead to firings.