An Illinois bus driver thought he was doing the right thing by wearing a pink tie to help raise breast cancer awareness — until his employer slapped him with a one-day unpaid suspension for the wardrobe choice.
William Jones, 46, bus driver for the Springfield Mass Transit District in Springfield, Ill., says he was told he must take a day without pay for violating the district's dress code, according to the State Journal-Register.
He told the newspaper that he wore the pink tie to honor his relatives who have battled cancer, including his grandmother and his sister, and didn't think it would be a problem, given that his pink tie coincided with the first Friday of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
His employer declined to comment on the specific personnel matter, though Linda Tisdale, the SMTD’s managing director, told the Journal Register that employees are given a standard uniform, which includes neckties.
“Any time there is a deviation from the uniform, the employee must ask in advance,” she told the newspaper.
Even so, since Jones' suspension the transit district has agreed that agreeing that employees can wear pink on Fridays in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Jones, meanwhile, has filed a grievance against the transit district for being singled out for suspension.