No shelter from the storm

Pizza Hut faces backlash for hurricane memo
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/02/2017
A Pizza Hut in Florida faced backlash recently after a manager apparently threatened to discipline workers who evacuated for Hurricane Irma at the wrong time. Credit: ProStockStudio (Shutterstock)

JACKSONVILLE, FL. — A Pizza Hut in Florida faced backlash recently after a manager apparently threatened to discipline workers who evacuated for Hurricane Irma at the wrong time, according to the Washington Post. A memo stated workers could not evacuate more than 24 hours before the storm, and had to return within 72 hours after. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call/no show and documentation will be issued,” it said. “After the storm, we need all (team members) available to get the store up and running.” But social media was not impressed: “Pizza Hut wants its minimum wage employees to risk their lives for corporate profits,” said @KatiSipp. But Pizza Hut said it did not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and said the manager “did not follow company guidelines.”


TIMMINS, ONT. — A waitress at an East Side Mario’s in Timmins, Ont., recently complained that her manager wanted her to wear a bra at work, according to the CBC. Geneviève Loiselle said a female manager took her aside and told her she needed to wear a bra as part of her work uniform. “It’s a violation of my rights as a person to dictate my undergarments,” said Loiselle. “It was a really sexist thing to do.” When the server pointed out that men with large breasts weren’t required to wear a bra, Loiselle said the manager told her “People don’t look at women’s bodies the same way they look at men’s bodies.” Later, the manager apparently backtracked and said she just wanted to know why the waitress was not wearing a bra. And Loiselle was told by both the owner and manager she was not required to wear the bra.


CHATSWOOD, AUSTRALIA  — Normally, when a boss yells, it’s not a good thing — but not at PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand. That’s because CEO Robbert Rietbroek believes it’s important to send a message to employees by having leaders declare, loudly, why they are leaving work, according to the Daily Telegraph. For example, if Rietbroek leaves at 4 p.m. to pick up his daughters, he’ll make sure to tell people around him. “Because if it’s OK for the boss, then it’s OK for middle management and new hires,” he said. The “Leaders Leaving Loudly” program is meant to reduce presenteeism, said Rietbroek, because workers who are younger or more junior “need to be able to see your leaders go home, to be comfortable to leave.” The CEO has also been championing family-friendly, flexible work policies, and after-hours work emails are discouraged at the company. Through these policies and others, the company has reduced its annual staff turnover from 12 per cent to seven per cent.


MIAMI — In an unusual marketing tactic, Burger King ran a very brief promotion offering free Whoppers recently to anyone who was fired. The promotion only ran from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, and to get the free meat, fired workers had to go on LinkedIn, publicly confess they were fired and use the #WhopperSeverance hashtag. The chain said it planned to hand out 2,500 burgers as part of the promotion. The tie-in? Well, the burgers are flame-grilled — so being fired is bad for a worker, but good for a hamburger. The chain also gave away 30-minute career coaching sessions with a career consultant to the first 100 people who applied for the promotion. Burger King really, really likes to point out the flame-grilled thing. Just read the statement it posted on the website “We know, we know. You really wanted to admit you got fired for a free flame-grilled Whopper sandwich... The bad news is Whopper severance has ended. The good news is you can still buy a flame-grilled Whopper.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Instead of the United States president, it was a senator who managed to get into hot water recently with his Twitter account. Somehow, a pornographic post briefly appeared on Ted Cruz’s Twitter feed in September after it was “liked” by someone with access to the account, according to the Associated Press. Cruz quickly said an aide was responsible: “It was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent. It was a mistake. It was not a deliberate action.” The 2016 presidential candidate also joked about the incident: “If I had known that this would trend so quickly, perhaps we should have posted something like this back during the Indiana primary.”


REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — A McDonald’s worker got into considerable trouble recently when she was discovered trying to flush her newborn baby down a toilet at work. Sarah Lockner was working on Sept. 4 when she complained of stomach pains, according to the Daily Mail. After Lockner went to the washroom, two female employees when to check on her and found Lockner inside a stall, surrounded by a pool of blood, having just given birth to a baby. One of the co-workers called 911 and paramedics were able to resuscitate the infant. Lockner, who claimed she did not know she was pregnant, was arrested on charges of attempted murder and child abuse.

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