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Pizza Hut of Kansas City Informative - Fired ?????

Review by Frizzen on 2006-06-02
GLADSTONE, MISSOURI -- Hello, Just wanted everybody to know what Pizza
Hut if really like. Well I woked there for 15
years, and was fired because a asst. manager
overhead a remark I made to the Manager. The
Manager is very short 5 ft. 2 and was complaining
about being too short, so I told her what I had
heard on the radio which was that short people
make better lovers. The asst. who is about 6 ft 2
overhead that, and I was told that he took offense
to it, and according to policy they had to fire
me. This was with no warning or nothing. The
next time I came in to work, I was fired as soon
as I came in the door. This happenend in Gladstone, Mo. Also 2 days later the asst. was
transferd to another store. I belive that they
were trying to get rid of me for a long time, and
this was just a excuse. I am 63 years old and can
not move around like I use to. Also I have been
haressed for the last year.MO. has no right to
work law, and I don't know if they will fight my
un-employment or not. Knowing the Co. they probably
will. I just think this is a rotten way to treat a employee of 15 years.
Comments:42 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-08-07
Posted by tander on 2006-06-02:
There's strict policies at places of employment about sexual harassment, it doesn't have to be physical, it can be words said, it sounds like you offended someone, and they fired you, you should of at least gotten a warning.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-02:
You should no better, in this day of age, to make comments about your peers. 15 years, hmmm, well if you were in a union you may have a case. Check your employee manual about terminations. Mamma mia, pappa pia!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-02:
Interesting
Posted by glc on 2006-06-02:
Frizzen...you say you were harassed....why? You know there are Federal guidelines regarding age discrimination which you might want to pursue.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-06-02:
Employers these days, state that they can terminate employment with no just cause...because someone took your comment as offensive,they can make a complaint. I think that after you've worked there for that many years, a warning would have been enough...any little thing anyone says can be offensive if someone chooses to report it. I think that was extreme for the comment, but they will have the policy to back them up. I've had worse things said to me but never felt it was worth someone losing their job over it. Most company policies state that if an offensive comment is made, and the person is told about it and THEN continues, then they can be terminated...if they never had this issue with you before, I'd check the company policy book and take it from there...usually (I can't speak for all companies) there would be a verbal warning, written warning, final warning then termination...with the choice of skipping the earlier warnings based on the severity of the issue...Check you policy...I'd say it was more of an age discrimmination than anything else, they were probably waiting for something like this to use to get rid of you. I would check it out and move foward with it...don't just let it go.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
Although you meant no harm by your comment, the Assistant Manager to whom you spoke did not have to feel "sexually harassed" in order for your comment to qualify as such. Anyone within ear shot of the remark could technically take offense to present a valid claim of sexual harassment. Most employers fear claims of sexual harassment (except mine). That being said, that comment should not have been inflammatory enough to justify your termination. It also troubles me that the person with whom you were speaking was transferred to another location so quickly after your dismissal. Barring that Assistant Manager requesting a transfer previously that was just now being honored, I'm inclined to think they are trying diligently to cover their tushies.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
What kind of documentation was given to you when you started working for Pizza Hut (assuming, of course, they gave you any)? Did those materials discuss sexual harassment? Were you ever trained on sexual harassment - what constitutes harassment, what to do if you feel like you have been harassed, etc? I don't want this to come across the wrong way, but given your age I assume there is an obvious generation gap between yourself and your former co-workers (making the definition of sexual harassment more challenging for you to grasp - ESPECIALLY without proper and repeated training).
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
What reason (if any) were you given when you were discharged? Do you know how to contact the Associate Manager at her new location (or better yet, privately)? If she objected to your dismissal, she may have been transferred intentionally so she could not defend you / provide you with information. If you were the eldest employee at that location (the greater the difference in ages, the better), you should contact the EEOC to inquire about filing an ADEA complaint. What were the employment laws in your state when you were hired at Pizza Hut? Could an attorney argue that you had an "implied contract" by their actions and / or policies?
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
Another concern (which you might not know to wonder about) is your re-hire status with Pizza Hut. Did they mention whether or not you will be permitted to work there again? If you have a friend working in HR somewhere, ask them to call your former Pizza Hut for an employment reference on you. If you don't know anyone in HR, just ask a friend whom you trust to make the call. You want to know whether or not you are eligible for rehire and you want to know what they will say about your performance and why you left. If Pizza Hut is smart they won't answer those questions. If they aren't so smart - they could be looking down the barrel of your lawsuit.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
My condolences for the loss of your employment. I recently tried to use the name of an African COUNTRY (starting with N-I-G...) in a my3cents.com post. I got a response that I had to remove the "offensive" language from my post or I could be suspended from this site. The nanny-state is everywhere, even here. You are a victim of the PC culture...move on and recover. Not easy when you are 63 years old. While this American can still say it without going to prison..."God Bless you." I wish you well.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
If you still believe any type of "free speech" still lives...save yourself the agony. Put the muzzle of a pistol in your mouth and pull the trigger. The insane are running the asylum. A murderer gets more sympathy today than someone who "offends" someone else. God help us all.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
I think you remark you heard and said was correct and I am living prove, well use to be. I have always had the short man complex but I can say for sure the Asst. manager how over heard this was just being an ass. I think there is not much I could add to some of the best advice and comments I have read here by DebtorBasher, tawanda and Docj. I wish you the best and don’t give up.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
how I meant who
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
Doc I heard one today about the bare that killed the mother and her child along the Blue Ridge Parkway. No one is aloud to carry a gun on the parkway because they might shoot the animals, so no one could help the mother and child. The people took up a collection for the poor bear.
Another one was this guy ran over a 14 year old dog. The owners sued and won 1.3 million. The judge stepped in and talked to the 12 and got them to lower the amount. They awarded the plaintiffs $56,000.00. Point being, kill an old dog or a bear and you will pay. Kill a mother and child or fire someone 63 years old, who cares… God Help Us All, Amen
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
Lid-Amen Bro. We live in a truly messed up world. Encourage others, pray, and help your fellow when he stumbles. The sad thing..."Frizzen" is a real human being and a fellow American...he's 63 years old and out of work because of silliness. Life is not a spectator sport...I hope this guy finds a replacement job...soon. And, to Hell with Pizza Hut for being spineless wimps.
Posted by Brenda Leah on 2006-06-03:
Personally, I would be offended and... well.. grossed out if a man that age made a comment like that to/around me. A person shouldn't have to deal with that in the workplace. That's why you get training on sexual harassment and are given sexual harassment policies. Do you HONESTLY think that the reason you got fired was because the guy was tall and you implied he was a bad lover? Give me a break! The manager did his job. Seriously, I am so sick of older men thinking that they can make these kind of comments to younger women. It happens too often! We shouldn't have to deal with dirty old men in the workplace.
Posted by Doe3001 on 2006-06-03:
This society is sick. It seems that everybody is looking for an excuse to feel "offended" and take advantage of other people. Soon, we are not able to talk about anything. Most of the times a "bad comment" should not be a big issue and can be resolved with a "friendly" talk. Of course narrow minded people cannot do that. Should we sue these people for "insulting the intelligence and common sense of others"?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
Brenda leah: Please explain to me what is offensive here
Fired because an “Assistant manager”
overhead a remark I made to the “Manager.” The
Manager is very short 5 ft. 2 and was complaining
about being too short, so I told her what I had
heard on the radio which was that short people
make better lovers.
Where is the harassment here? Why was the assistant manager ease dropping? I find that very offensive just as I fined your remark about people 60 and older being “dirty old men” un-called for and offensive. So when I hit 60 from there on out I am a dirty old man? I see nowhere in this where the guy was gross or sexually harassing anyone. The manager did not complain and he(frizzen) said she was short. I am totally against “real” sexual harassment but I listen to the younger generation today and how they treat older people and quite frankly I think a lot of them need their disrespectful, smart mouth little butt’s kicked. I fined nothing offensive or harassing here except you comments.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
Brenda Leah gives us valuable insight here. In today's society, it is "offensive" if one makes a comment about certain "protected" groups. Unfortunately, "Frizzen" is not a member of a protected group. "Frizzen" is a male, probably white...as such he is a member of the most maligned component of society. Females can demean men in popular media (When was the last time you saw a male in a sitcom or other program portrayed to be anything but a dolt dependent on either a "precocious ten year-old" or his female companion?) This is acceptable. Remember "Animal Farm"? "All animals are created equal, except some animals are more equal than others." As to Leah's observation that the Asst Mgr "was doing his job"...nope, his job is to supervise the making of pizza...not social engineer.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
Brenda makes a true point. It's only sexual harassment if you are grossed out by the person offering the comment otherwise it's just flirting. I personally must have a signed waiver of liability in my pocket before I converse with anybody of the opposite sex in the workplace. I wish the poster well. Great comments by all.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
Stew-The waiver idea is great...and sadly true. Nice comment! Had the offending comment been made by an attractive individual instead of by someone perceived as "gross" there may have been a date instead of a firing. I'll comment no further (unless provoked ;-) on this), except to say with regard to "offensive comments"..."The boy kills the frog in sport, the frog dies in earnest."
Posted by Ponie on 2006-06-03:
I guess I misunderstood the situation from the comments I'm reading here. I picked up: The Mgr. is a 5' 2" female, to whom frizen made the comment he heard on the radio. But the 6'-something Asst. Mgr. objected to the remark, which resulted in frizzen's dismissal. If I got it correct, my question is: Why was the AM listening in on the conversation? Doesn't he have any friends to associate with? Or does he have a Lurch complex? Probably falls into the same category as Brenda--'I'll tell you what you can or cannot say while I'm eavesdropping on a conversation which is no concern of mine!' Dirty old man--indeed! This political correctness garbage should come to a screeching halt. The sooner, the better. If I sued anyone whenever they called me a Kraut, I'd be a zillionaire by now.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-06-03:
I think they should do away with the "protected class" all together...it is discrimminating against the single white female.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
DB did they fix it yet? How are you today? Wouldn't it be nice if their was no more protected class and we nolonger had to be "politically correct"
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-06-03:
No, Lidman, you did not fix it yet.
Posted by Brenda Leah on 2006-06-03:
Ponie, the OP never said the manager was eavesdropping on their conversation. He said the AM overheard it. That doesn't mean he was intentionally spying on them!

Anyway, it doesn't matter. There are strict polices against sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. He broke policy.

Doc- I think that women should also be expected to keep any inappropriate comments to themselves. Trust me, I've worked with the DIRTIEST old woman ever! Her comments were off the wall. If they offended any of the men they didn't speak up. I do know that she would have been punished the same way as any of the men would have though.

And Doe, no one is LOOKING for a reason to be offended. His comments didn't even have to offend the manager. He made comments that were unappropriate and against policy. Just because it DOESN'T offend somebody doesn't mean it's right. Work is for working, not for making sexual comments.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
Brenda Leah - while I understand some of the points you are trying to make, some of the assumptions made in support of your statements are quite likely incorrect.

There is no guarantee this Pizza Hut location provided ANY formal, written polivies to ANY employee. Can we all agree that it is difficult (to say the very least) to follow policies and procedures when one is not even aware of what they are?

There are TWO legal standards for sexual harassment - severe and purvasive (hostile working environment) and quid pro quo (sex = continued employment / promotion). The incident mentioned by the original poster meets NEITHER of those standards. I would question whether or not the "Manager" responsible for the firing has himself been trained on sexual harassment, let alone any of the subordinate employees.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
I doubt most fast food locations provide employees with written policies and procedures (cost effectiveness issue with very high employee turnover rates), and I seriously doubt the likelihood of them providing training beyond the basic essential functions of the position. Sexual harassment training does not exist in that kind of an environment - too many locations, too much turnover, and a SEVERE lack of HR knowledge.

The EEOC flambayed Burger King (maybe it was McDonald's) last year. A large group of teenage employees from several locations were sexually harassed (many were quid pro quo) and the EEOC opened the door to a class action lawsuit. I remember the article written by the EEOC said that even they were disturbed by the severity of the harassing conduct.

The generalization made about "dirty old men" can be percieved in the same fashion as the comment madde by the original poster - some may take offense, others will just ignore it. Is it worthy of a sexual harassment complaint? Does it justify terminating someone's employment?

Statistically speaking, 80% of all sexual harassment complaints can be resolved by the victim simply confronting the other party letting them know their conduct and / or comment made them feel uncomfortable.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
I honestly think this gentleman meant no harm by his comment, and dismissing him for it seems extreme and legally unjustifiable based upon the information presented.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-03:
How interesting
Posted by Doc J on 2006-06-03:
Yes, tawanda, yours is reasonable. If one is offended, one says, please do not do "x" as it offends me. A polite person will refrain from the offensive conduct and apologize. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in. The "real world" has countless folk looking hopefully to be offended so they can become part of the "protected class" and get some bennie from their offense.
Posted by Brenda Leah on 2006-06-03:
Tawanda - Every retail store I have worked at has provided me with a handbook, I would hope that fast food establishments provide the same kind of handbook (and I'm sure we have a very high turnover rate because of the idiots mgrs they hire sometimes but that's another story.. LOL).

If it was my store than I wouldn't fire somebody right off the bat I would speak to them and give them a serious warning. However I don't fault them for firing him. They probably see him as a liablity. What if he says a comment to the wrong person and that person sues them? I def. don't think that he meant harm but the comment wasn't appropriate.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
Doc - I should have taken the time to state that most people are simply not comfortable confronting their harasser (which could possibly be the case with this original post - was the manager offended and afraid ro speak out? We don't know). In the three years that I have worn the additional hat of "Corporate Trainer", I have become considerably more outspoken about this type of conduct.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-03:
Brenda - I'm glad retail stores in your area have provided you with their P & P in writing. None of the stores I worked at while in college did so, and because I work in HR I get calls from different people from time to time with questions about the law (even though they aren't a part of my organization). Based upon what is known from the original post, a reprimand is warranted for the comment because it is inappropriate for the workplace. (I have to wonder - if he had received training on sexual harassment would the incident in question still have taken place?) That's not to exclude any other possible employment issues that may have existed and factored into the dismissal (some supervisors simply over-react and fire employees, too, without cause). That one isolated incident by itself does not seem to warrant a dismissal, though.
Posted by tawanda on 2006-06-04:
For an organization to defend itself against sexual harassment charges in court, they should train all employees on sexual harassment at least once a year (dispite my arguements, mine does not provide refresher training on this topic - I've been ordered to "shut up" about it). During my time with my present employer I have been sexually harassed by my HR Director and more than one elected official. I have asserted my rights to a respectful work environment and the conduct has stopped for the time being. I have witnessed an elected official sexually harass and proposition two co-workers and when I demanded the HR Director address the issue I was told that "he sexually harasses everyone" (as though that made it acceptable) to which I angrily responded "and you point would be?!?" I was then ordered to shut up, so my organization is now sitting wide open to be sued. My biggest concern? If this is how an elected official employee treats employees, what do they do to members of the public? (The HR Director pretended he didn't hear this concern).


I do understand both sides of the issue - but if this gentleman's dismissal was based upon this one comment, Pizza Hut may have let the door swing too far in the opposite direction.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-04:
I would take them to court and make them prove me wrong. Make Pizza prove that tall people are better lovers...or meat lovers...or pepperoni lovers, etc.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2006-06-04:
Somewhere in these responses, the story seemed to have changed...remember, this person was talking about a comment that was said on a radio program they were listening to that morning...somewhere it got turned around that the poster made the commment to the co-worker.
Posted by Brenda Leah on 2006-06-04:
I was just thinking, sometimes it seems that people who SERIOUSLY sexually harass others are let of too easy. I had a "situation" when I was 16 and I was working at Office Max. I don't want to go into detail but it involved a naked mgr IN the store (which of course I didn't want to see). He was at least in his 30's. I wasn't going to tell anybody but then my parents saw I didn't want to go to work anymore and they asked why and insisted I tell them. So anyway, they let him quit. I don't think he should have been given the chance to quit! He didn't even deny what he did. They should have fired him the day they found out. Sorry, had to let that out.. LoL.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-04:
Brenda Leah: I totally agree with what you said here, the real ones are let off too easy. They should be put in jail among other things. I raised two girls and a boy so I know what you are talking about. As a man this kind of thing really doesn’t bother us if it is a woman doing it to us but God have mercy if some guy does it to one of my girls. Sorry that happened to you.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2006-08-02:
You just made a comment about what you had heard on a radio station. You need to find the station that played it and if you can prove it you were just stating what was said. If you never did anything else in a sexual manner at work before you should have a case. I want to know did you say anything like "sex", or "in bed", because if your exact words were lovers that could be defined in many different ways including as casual as a couple in love can be called lovers. Fight it.
Posted by delivery_guy on 2006-08-21:
that's just ridiculous,thus again this shows how much Pizza hut cares about their employees.I don't think using the word "lovers" really applies to sexual harassment.I totally agree with the post above me,sounds to me like you're a victim of false accusations pertaining to sexual harassment and incompetent managers.I would most definitely talk to a lawyer.
Posted by doescustomerserviceexist? on 2007-08-07:
Did you take any action?
How did this situation pan out?

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