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Florida Pizza Hut Threatens Employees Fleeing Hurricane With Discipline If They Miss Work

The social media backlash was swift and severe

Exterior of a Pizza Hut restaurant Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As Hurricane Irma barreled toward Florida, a restaurant in the storm’s path warned evacuating employees they could face disciplinary action if they missed shifts. Management at a Pizza Hut in Jacksonville posted an employee memo demanding that employees not evacuate more than 24 hours before the storm and return within 72 hours, the Washington Post reports.

The memo, a photo of which began making the rounds on Twitter over the weekend, specified that evacuating workers who missed a scheduled shift would be considered a “no call/no show” and would be written up.

Twitter users quickly took the restaurant to task, accusing the company of putting profits ahead of its employees’ safety:

As the Post points out, Miami’s mayor specifically warned Floridians against waiting until the last 24 hours to evacuate due to dwindling supplies and the possibility of getting stuck in major traffic.

Pizza Hut was quick to clarify that the store’s actions do not reflect corporate policy, posting the following statement to 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.

Though Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm as it swept across mainland Florida on Monday morning, it killed at least four people in the state and has left an estimated 6.5 million residents without power. Restaurants shuttered for business in droves as residents evacuated or prepared to weather out the storm, though some are beginning to reopen today.

A Pizza Hut Told Irma-Fleeing Employees They’d Be Punished for Skipping Shifts [WP]
How Miami Restaurants Are Preparing for Hurricane Irma [E]