An Indiana Pizza Hut manager says he was fired for refusing to open the restaurant's doors on Thanksgiving.
"Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they're closed in the whole year and they're the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off and spend it with their families," Rohr, of Elkhart, Ind., told WSBT-TV.
Tony Rohr said he was fired from his job at Pizza Hut for refusing to open the store on Thanksgiving. (Image source: WSBT-TV)
When the man who started as a cook 10 years ago and worked up to manager was told Thanksgiving was a mandatory workday this year, he told the news station he said in a meeting, "Why can't we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off?"
In response to his refusal, Rohr said he was given a resignation letter to sign.
"I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company," he wrote in a letter to the company. "I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible."
WSBT spoke with one of Rohr's supervisors who countered his claim, saying the man was not fired but that he quit.
Watch WSBT-TV's report:
Pizza Hut's main Facebook page has seen criticism for for the company's decision to open on Thanksgiving this year.
"Here's another customer gone. If you are so greedy as to insist that the stores be open on Thanksgiving and to fire a manager who protests, you don't deserve my business or anyone elses," Jeffery Campbell wrote.
"Why not give you employees a day off for Thanksgiving? It's a national holiday enshrined by law," another commenter, Hardy Haberman wrote. "A day they should be able to spend with their family and friends. Are you seriously firing a manager because he believes in an American tradition?"
As of last week, Rohr said he is still unemployed and believes the Pizza Hut where he worked will still be open and will still sell pizzas on Thanksgiving. But he's glad he took a stand.
"I just didn't think it was right," he told WSBT.
Update: Late Wednesday, Pizza Hut posted a message on its Facebook wall about the situation.
"...we feel strongly that the situation involving our independent franchisee and the local store manager could and should have been avoided," the post on the restaurant chain's social media page read. "We fully respect an employee’s right to not work on a holiday, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed. We look forward to them welcoming Tony back to the team."
Featured image via Radu Bercan/Shutterstock.com