Pizza Hut Offers Job Back to Manager Who Refused to Work Thanksgiving

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(Photo Credit: WSBT video still via CNN)

(CNN) — Shortly after a manager announced he was fired for refusing to open on Thanksgiving Day, Pizza Hut is offering him his job back.

Tony Rohr has worked at the franchise in Elkhart, Indiana, for more than 10 years.

When he refused to open on Thanksgiving Day this year, he says, he was told to write a letter of resignation.

Instead, he wrote one explaining why the store should remain closed.

“I said why can’t we be the company that stands up and says we care about your employees and you can have the day off,” Rohr told CNN affiliate WSBT on Wednesday. “Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they’re closed in the whole year. And they’re the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off to spend with their families.”

Rohr told the affiliate he refused to quit and detailed his frustration in the letter.

“I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company,” he says he wrote. “I hope you realize that it is the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.”

He was fired shortly after, he says.

The local franchise told the affiliate that he was not fired, but he quit. Pizza Hut’s corporate office told CNN the franchise “made a serious error in judgment, one which we hope to help remedy.”

It sent CNN a statement that said the store has agreed to hire him back.

“We fully respect an employee’s right to not work on a holiday, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving,” the corporate office said in a statement. “As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed. We look forward to them welcoming Tony back to the team.”

No word on whether Rohr will take his job back.

–By Faith Karimi, CNN

–CNN’s Jose Lesh contributed to this report.

22 comments

  • jackie

    Outstanding!!! Good for him! I guaruntee the person that fired him will be at home with their loved ones for the holiday…maybe the big wigs need to come work the holidays and see how much they like it..maybe stores/restaurants would be closed, as they should be for the holidays! The world will survive without pizza for a day…i promise!

  • Jerry Montgomery

    I think all business should close for the holidays stay home and be with family no gas no one open no one working. Walmart close , gas station close. If we all stand up and don’t go any place no shopping stay at home we can all plan ahead and have the car filled have all the food bought stand up and let the stores know we will not be buying anything on thanksgiving Day

      • ottokell

        And for the record, no, I haven’t been watching football or television for that matter. I prefer to do a little something called spending my time talking to my family and enjoying their company and good humor.

  • Mary Gulledge

    AMEN!! I am so glad he stood his ground…more people should do that as well It is for money only and no respect for family life that stores and businesses open on holidays. My husband works at an establishment that is open today and he must work all day…thus we will have no time for a Thanksgiving dinner or have any time together until late this evening. Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends…not to be working just for the sake of the “almighty dollar” bottom line for businesses.

  • Jeffrey Saunders

    He should have remained fired! There are jobless people in this country that want to work. He has no right to keeping his job, where else can you be insebordant and that is okay? For everyone out there that says buisness sshoukd be closed, you mean the fire department, hospital, police department and those that produce Fox8 and other news stations? This week and Christmas weeks are done of the busiest weeks at Walt Disney World, cruise ships and resorts. Not everyone has families. But I guess if we all just stayed in our homes and did not watch tv today especially no parade or football game you’d all be happy with that?

    • Sharon Ulman

      Since when is sticking up for Employee rights insubordinate? You’re a real piece of work! Are you any relation to Scrooge? Sure there are people without jobs that want to work, but I’m wiling to bet they also want to spend time with their loved ones on the holiday.

    • Justin

      Jeffrey Saunders, you have shown what a heartless, greedy individual you are, not to mention one who is incapable of seeing the difference between a fast food establishment, which undoubtedly gets little if any business on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and a radio or TV station which doesn’t just play music or TV programs, but provides news and weather information which is necessary for our safety. Pizza Hut can definitely afford to be closed on two major holidays. I work in a community college cafeteria, which is closed today and tomorrow, and will be closed for a week while the entire college is shut down for Christmas. That undoubtedly is a money saving action right there.

    • K. M. Kelley

      Non-essential services should be closed. People who make the choice to work in a more essential field (medical, law enforcement or other public services) know going in that holidays will be mandatory, and their work serves a very vital function in terms of the community at large. No one is going to die if Pizza Hut is closed, or any other fast food establishment or retail outlet. In fact, when I was younger people did something called “planning ahead”, so that way they would not need to run out for gas, groceries, prescriptions, large screen television sets.

    • Bri

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Is one day off really worth a job? Like we need any more people on unemployment and over what? Many people worked on Thanksgiving.

  • z

    Good for him, he should have thanksgiving off, I know a lot of Jewish people take numerous days off throughout the year and corporations can’t fire them for their holidays, plus they get off on our holidays as well

  • Mark

    Typical poor management techniques. You know you are wrong to fire him, so you tell him to write a letter of resignation… nice words for “you don’t have to quit, I don’t have to fire you, everyone is happy… well”.

    He called their bluff. They acted. Now they pay.

    If I had to eat out today pizza would not be my choice… nor donuts. Or subs…

    • richie zoom

      I agree. They tried to weasel out, he raised and called ’em.

      Hey Rohr, move on, don’t go back ! Pizza Hut will make your professional life very difficult. Best o’ luck where ever you end up…

  • Crystal Dugger Krynicky

    Pizza Hut open on Thanksgiving? I mean you’re not talking about a grocery store here. There was a day when you had to make sure you had EVERYTHING the day before including gas. It’s amazing the effect of the old mighty dollar.

  • Joanne

    I think all businesses should be closed on major holidays. I think Pizza Hut should get a life. Someone give this man a real job and then holidays off

  • Linda

    Good for him. I will not shop in any store or support any restaurant onThanksgiving,Christmas,Easter. & some other National Holidays,Some states still have a Blue Law. Personally I think it should be reinstated for Holidays & Sundays in all states. Essential businesses only!!!No retail,fast foods,etc. Greed from retail is partly responsible for the demise of family life.

  • Allen crow

    There was a time when businesses were closed for holidays and Sundays. The country was a better and safer place to live. Now everything immoral effects us and the love if money is the root of the evil. Thank God Almighty i have good paying job that even pays me to have the day off. My only hope is that my wife becomes less infected by this disease from this wicked world.

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