UPDATE: Pizza Hut offers job back to manager fired for refusing to open on Thanksgiving
A Pizza Hut manager from Indiana who said he was fired for refusing what he called a “greedy, immoral request” to open on Thanksgiving has been offered his job back.
Tony Rohr told WSBT that he recently met with his superiors and was told that opening on the holiday was mandatory.
“I said, ‘Why can’t we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off?'” he said. “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.”
After Rhor said that he would not open the Pizza Hut restaurant in Elkhart, his bosses demanded that he sign a letter of resignation, but he refused and instead wrote a letter of his own.
“I am not quitting,” he wrote. “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.”
“I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible,” Rohr added.
The local franchise insisted Rohr was not fired, but quit, but Pizza Hut’s corporate office said Thursday that the franchise had “made a serious error in judgment, one which we hope to help remedy.”
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
But Rohr said he’s not sure if he’ll accept.
“That’s something I can’t decide right away,” Rohr said as he prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. “I’ll start looking into stuff tomorrow.”
Rohr said he was surprised by the widespread attention his story had gained.
“All my friends are telling me how cool it is and how proud they are — ‘You’re my hero’ and stuff you don’t expect to hear,” Rohr said. “No, I’m just some guy who told his boss ‘No’ and got burned. There are people who save lives.”
Watch this video from WSBT, broadcast Nov. 25, 2013.