Dozens of U.S. workers were let go from their jobs after participating in a nationwide protest against President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
On Feb. 16, protesters attempted to demonstrate the economic contributions of both undocumented and legal immigrants by boycotting work. The protest was titled "A Day Without Immigrants."
Nationwide, several businesses fired participating employees en masse, with over 100 losing their jobs, NBC News reports.
Reported layoffs occurred in Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, New York and Tennessee. Employers have maintained that the decision to let the boycotting staff go was not politically motivated.
Roughly 30 bricklayers working for JVS Masonry in Colorado had their employment terminated after skipping work to participate in the protest. One of the former employees, Ray, told KDVR that he and his co-workers were standing up against the Trump administration's immigration policies out of concern for their families: "The guys that we have out here that have families that are afraid to go out and get a gallon of milk, get gas, going to get groceries in case they get stopped and deported."
Jim Serowski, the founder of JVS Masonry, said that he had warned his employees against snubbing work to take part in the protest.
"If you're going to stand up for what you believe in you have to be willing to pay the price ... I stand by what I believe in," Serowski told CNN. "I didn't do anything wrong."
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, 12 line cooks of the I Don't Care Bar and Grill were let go after skipping work in solidarity with the protest.
"(They're) upset they stood for something they felt was necessary so the community would stand together, and they got terminated for that," an anonymous friend of the former employees told KTUL.
Bill McNally, the restaurant's owner, had texted the 12 employees "You and your family are fired. I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you."
McNally asserted that he terminated their employment because his business has zero tolerance for not showing up to work without prior notice.
"I'm on their side but we have rules ... If you're going to be late, call in," McNally said. "If you're not coming to work, call us. That's the American way."