Worker at Kansas company claims he was fired for supporting Obama

The Kansas City StarOctober 16, 2009 

Elliot Snell believes he was fired from KK Office Solutions in Kansas City, Kan., because he voted for Barack Obama.

As evidence, in a lawsuit filed this month in Wyandotte County District Court, is an e-mail sent by the company's president and CEO, Matt Brandt.

A week before the November 2008 election, Brandt sent a "Notice to All Employees" outlining "new policies" if Obama was elected. It concluded with: "If for any reason you are not happy with the new policies, you may want to rethink your vote on November 4th."

Snell, who said he was a vocal Obama supporter, was fired two weeks after the election.

William Tretbar, Brandt's attorney, said the e-mail was a forwarded joke and "obviously a poor decision and one he already regrets."

Tretbar said the company didn't know whom Snell voted for and "given the outrageous statements in the e-mail, any reasonable reader would conclude it was an attempt at humor."

Lawrence Williamson, the attorney for Snell, said it didn't look that way to Snell.

"The company president signed his name to it," Williamson said. "You just shouldn't see something like that from a company president."

Tretbar said the decision to fire Snell was based on "failure to achieve reasonable sales goals" and was made by the office manager in Kansas City, Kan., not by Brandt, who lives in Wichita.

But Williamson said he's "confident the evidence will show that Mr. Snell was a top performer and that he was not subject to any discipline or any bad performance ratings prior to his termination."

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