A manager of a Florida Pizza Hut in the path of Hurricane Irma threatened to punish employees who evacuated for too long.
Before the storm made landfall, nearly one-third of Florida’s population left the state after being told by Governor Rick Scott to “leave now, don’t wait.” As people heeded Scott’s orders and fled, the Jacksonville restaurant issued a much different warning to its crew.
In a now viral Twitter post, a Pizza Hut team member shared a photo of a memo that advised employees on hurricane “guidelines.”
“To all Team members,” the printout begins, before laying out a policy that dictates that employees cannot evacuate more than 24 hours before the storm and must return within 72 hours. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call/no show and documentation will be issued,” it reads. “After the storm, we need all TM’s available to get the store up and running and serve our communities as needed.”
— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) September 11, 2017
Twitter users quickly took the restaurant to task, accusing the company of putting profits ahead of its employees’ safety:
Capitalism at its FINEST
— Tomas T (@Tomas3percenter) September 12, 2017
— kyle matteson (@solace) September 11, 2017
Rights are PULLED for your lack of concern for your employees! NPC is what is wrong with corporate America today! SICK
— America’s Freedom 76 (@1AngryAmerican_) September 12, 2017
Pizza Hut was quick to clarify that the store’s actions do not reflect corporate policy, posting the following statement on its website today:
We are uncompromising in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our team members. All locations in the path of Irma are closed and will remain closed until local authorities deem the area safe. We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines. We can also confirm that the local franchise operator has addressed this situation with the manager involved.