Arkansas Days Inn fires woman for telling reporter she backs 25-cent minimum wage hike
An Arkansas woman said this week that she was fired from her job as punishment for telling a reporter that she backed the state’s 25-cent minimum wage hike.
In a profile by The Washington Post last month, Shanna Tippen talked about how just $2 a day extra in pay would make a difference in her life.
Tippen said that an extra $520 a year wouldn’t pull her out of poverty, but it did mean that she could afford the more expensive diapers that did not irritate her grandson’s skin.
Washington Post reporter Chico Harlan noted on Monday that Tippen had called to say that she had been fired by Days Inn hotel manager Herry Patel, who had told the paper that the wage hike was “free money” for his employees.
“He said I was stupid and dumb for talking to [the Post],” Tippen told Harlan. “He cussed me and asked me why you wrote the article. I said, ‘Because he’s a reporter; that’s what he does.’ He said, ‘it was wrong for me to talk to you.'”
“As of now, I’m looking for any kind of job at all,” she added. “Flipping burgers. Cleaning. Anything. It doesn’t matter.”
Wyndham Worldwide, owners of the Days Inn brand, said in a statement that the company did not control staffing decisions at franchised locations.
“While we can’t speak to the specifics of this or any particular situation at a franchised location, please know that ours is an organization which values and respects the contributions of all associates and that we encourage each of our franchisees to do the same,” the statement said.
According to Harlan, Patel had introduced him to Tippen, but then later threatened to sue the Post if it published the story with her comments.