Restoration of wrongfully-terminated coworker (Frank Template Campaign)

We’re sharing a series of templates designed to help workers draft campaigns for organizing in the workplace. If you’re interested in using this campaign at work, join Frank for more resources.

Get Frank
Frank’s Resource Center


By: Noor Al-Sibai (contributor to Frank)

[Coworker name 1], an integral part of our team at [ABC Company], has been wrongfully terminated by management, who cited “editorial discretion” as their reasoning. Such a flimsily-excused termination would be egregious enough during normal times, but management’s decision to weaponize this power during a global pandemic goes directly against the [company/organization]’s stated values.

This unilateral action, taken without consideration of any members of our team, is part of a pattern of such actions by management, who terminated [former coworker’s name 1] on [date of termination 1] and placed pressure on [coworker’s name 2] after an editorial disagreement on [date of mgmt pressure 2]. When viewed alongside the wrongful termination of [coworker name 1], these decisions constitute a pattern of unethical business practices.

We demand management rehire [coworker name 1] for their previous position and provide them with back-pay for their missed wages.

Why this matters:

While we live through these unprecedented times, the security provided by steady work is more crucial than ever before. [Coworker name] was not just our friend and coworker — they were also an indispensable part of our team, and their absence has resulted in lower work standards, lowered productivity, and lowered output for us all.

Without each essential member of our team, which includes [coworker name 1], [ABC Company] and its employees cannot hope to achieve its highest output capacity, thus risking the security not only of employees, but also the health of the business itself.

Beyond the benefits to the company and our team, we must stand in solidarity with our wrongfully-terminated coworker who was subject to unethical treatment. If one of us is expendable, all of us are — and we cannot allow such a precedent to be set during this time of uncertainty.

Wrongful termination during the COVID-19 pandemic has already resulted in a number of labor lawsuits, per The National Law Review. We do not wish to join the ranks of the countless lawsuits and believe that we can learn from those companies’ mistakes.

Here are our demands:

  • Immediately rehire [coworker name 1] to their previous role with a 5% salary increase as compensation for their wrongful termination.
  • Immediately issue [coworker name 1] back pay for the time between their wrongful termination and their rehire date.
  • Present management with a legally-binding letter cementing their intention to keep our full staff, including [coworker name 1], that proposes a foundational severance and notice amount for layoffs.
  • This section should include specific time frames for layoff notice (a recommended 90 days, to potentially be bargained down to 60 or 30), minimum severance amounts (9 weeks pay, to be bargained down to 4–6 weeks), layoff order based on reverse seniority, and a rehire list that laid off employees can choose to opt out of, but are automatically enrolled in (usually based on seniority).

And here’s our outlined course of action:

  • Organize at least 75% of coworkers to support this campaign on Frank.
  • Deliver our introductory demand letter to [ABC Company] management and ownership that gives them no more than 72 hours to respond.
  • If they fail to meet the deadline or reject any of our core proposals, we’ll hold a meeting to determine escalation, including sick-out and/or social media campaigns.

End of Template is a digital tool for non-management workers, in any type of job, to privately organize with their coworkers and create campaigns to improve their workplace. Want to use this template to make a change at your workplace? Want more, including examples, resources, and commentary from the author? Sign up to join Frank.