Trump supporter claims double standard after firing

Friday, September 4, 2020
Chris Woodward (

'Trump 2020' hat (close up)A supporter of Donald Trump was fired from his job for wearing a “Trump 2020" cap and says he was singled out after fellow employees supported Democrats.

Dave Sunderland began work at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2012, where he says he has witnessed co-workers wearing clothing that supports Barack Obama and, later, Hillary Clinton.

Dave Sunderland tells OneNewsNow he wore a "Trump 2020" hat every day to work for the last four years and was never disciplined until recently.

"I was clocking in, and I was wearing my hat on the way in, and another supervisor who I've never seen before told me that I couldn't wear that," recalls Sunderland. "Well, according to the rules of the shipyard, I only have one boss and I only listen to one person. So as I did every day, I went to where I report in for work."

About 15 minutes later, Sunderland says the supervisor had complained to the general foreman, and the foreman yelled at him, too.

According to Virginia-based, the issue involves a company policy against "campaigning" on the job. Sunderland maintains he was not campaigning but was simply wearing a hat.

Asked to respond to Sunderland’s negotiations, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, instead emailed a lengthy response:

The complexity of our work requires an extraordinary level of teamwork to be successful.  To that end, we have policies and procedures to eliminate anything that could negatively impact that teamwork.  These long standing policies and procedures are designed to minimize disruptions and enable our work teams to remain focused on doing their jobs safely, efficiently and effectively.  These policies and procedures are not specific to any particular election or candidate.  Instead, they cover all manner of expression that could cause distractions from our very demanding work.  Typically, when an issue comes to our attention it is handled quickly and informally.  However, if an employee refuses to comply with the policy, it is treated as insubordination and discipline is administered accordingly, up to and including termination.

Asked if he was bothered by fellow employees supporting Democrats, Sunderland insists it did not bother him because they were expressing their views.

“I'm a conservative and I disagree with them,” he says. “But it doesn't bother me because it's their right to believe what they believe and support what they support.”

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected to state Sunderland was wearing a "Trump 2020" cap, not a "MAGA" cap. 


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