Manager fired after refusing to open Pizza Hut on ThanksgivingPosted: Nov 25, 2013 3:45 PM PSTUpdated: Nov 25, 2013 3:47 PM PST
ELKHART, IN (WSBT/CBS) – Many stores and restaurants will be open this year on Thanksgiving Day and an Indiana man says he lost his job because of it.
Tony Rohr says he doesn't think people should have to work on a holiday like Thanksgiving.
Rohr worked at Pizza Hut for more than ten years, but says he was fired recently because he refused to open on Thanksgiving.
Rohr started at Pizza Hut as a cook and worked his way up to being a general manager of the Jackson Boulevard Pizza Hut in Elkhart.
Rohr was told opening on Thanksgiving this year was mandatory, so at a meeting with his superiors he decided to take a stand.
"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," Rohr said.
Rohr says it wasn't about him. It was about his employees.
Rohr told his bosses that he would not open the restaurant he managed 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 said.
Rohr says he was told to sign a letter of resignation, but he refused. Instead, he wrote a letter explaining his position to his boss.
In the letter he wrote "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."
His letter went on to say, "I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible."
Rohr's girlfriend and his family support his actions.
"I was a little shocked," Rohr's girlfriend, Rachel Wible, said. "I kind of thought something would happen, but I wasn't sure. But I'm proud that he did stand up for what he believed in.
Rohr is still unemployed and looking for a new job, but he says it was worth it.
"They're still going to be open," Rohr said. "I'm sure they're still going to sell pizza but I just didn't think it was right."
One of Rohr's bosses claims Rohr quit. He says opening on Thanksgiving wasn't an individual's decision, it was a company decision.
The man also pointed out that Pizza Hut's choice to be open on Thanksgiving is in line with several other national and local stores and restaurants.
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