A Washington state teenager was fired from his job this week for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey.
Nathaniel Wentz, a 17-year-old from Tacoma, was an employee at an Odyssey 1 children’s entertainment center until Sunday, 9News.com reports. On that day, his manager told the store’s workers that they could wear football jerseys to work in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII.
But when Wentz showed up to the Odyssey 1 store wearing Demaryius Thomas’ No. 88 Broncos jersey, he was told he would have to go home and change his shirt. When the teenager decided not to return to work that day, he was fired, 9News.com reports.
"It was all about you can't. You can't represent your team. There's something wrong with that," Wentz told King 5 News. He added that he wasn’t specifically fired for wearing the Broncos jersey; rather, his decision to not return to work on Sunday until his father had a chance to speak with the manager resulted in his termination.
Still, 9News.com reports that wearing the Broncos jersey could have constituted a firing offense if the store’s manager deemed the action necessary. According to local attorney Patrick Leo McGuigan of HKM Employment Attorneys, employers reserve the right to fire an employee if they disapprove of his attire.
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"An employer has a common law right to terminate for no cause, good cause or a cause that's morally wrong, as the courts like to point out,” McGuigan told 9News.com.
Still, Wentz isn’t allowing his firing to ruin his mood. The Tacoma teenager pointed out that the loss of his job will allow him to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 instead of working at Odyssey 1. “I was worried about that, I’m not gonna lie,” Wentz told King 5 News.
This isn’t the first time that an employee has lost his job over football attire. In 2011, a car salesman was fired when he wore a Green Bay Packers tie to his job at a Chicago-area car dealership, For The Win notes.