Can They Do That - Pregnant Fast-Food Manager Canned for Not Paying for Armed Robbery - Carlos Gamino

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By Carlos Gamino

The last thing you’d expect after being the victim of an armed robbery is to be fired from your job – but that’s exactly what happened to Marissa Holcomb, a Popeyes shift manager in Channelview, Texas.

An armed robber waltzed into her store on March 31, demanding all the money in the register and insisting that she open the safe. Within moments, the robber walked away with almost $400.

And then Holcomb was given a choice: repay what the robber stole or lose her job.

“I told them I’m not paying nothing [sic]. I just had a gun to me. I’m not paying the money,” Holcomb told KHOU in Houston. Holcomb is pregnant with her fourth child.

Amin Dhanani, owner of Z&H Foods and franchisee of that Popeyes location said that Holcomb was fired for keeping too much money in the safe.

“I don’t think it’s right because now I’m struggling for my family because what I had to do to keep my life,” said Holcomb.

Dhanani has since apologized to Holcomb and offered to rehire her, and he’s given her nearly $2,000 in back pay for the time she’s been out of work. Although Dhanani won’t speak publicly on the matter, Z&H Foods issued a statement that said:

“We deeply regret the way this matter was handled. We are committed to continuing to work with Ms. Holcomb, and we apologize to her, our employees, the public and other franchise operators of the Popeyes system. We have let them down and are committed to do better.”

Some critics of Dhanani’s actions suggest that he’s attempting to regain public goodwill (and a dip in business since the robbery and the subsequent firing) by inviting Holcomb back to her position. Others think he’s simply trying to pacify Popeyes’ corporate office, and still others think he’s afraid of legal action.

As for Holcomb, she’s not sure what to think.

“I do need a way to support my kids,” she says. “I don’t want to go back to a business where I’m treated the same and I just get pushed back out if something else happened.”

What Do You Think?

Was the franchisee out of line for firing Holcomb, and is he trying to cover that up by offering her back pay? I’d love to hear your opinion, so join me on Facebook and chime in with your thoughts.

Carlos Gamino