Man says he was fired for refusing to work Thanksgiving
Refused to open Thanksgiving
Many stores and restaurants will be open this year on Thanksgiving Day, and one local man says he lost his job because of it.
Tony Rohr worked at Pizza Hut for more than ten years, but says he was fired recently because he refused to open on Thanksgiving.
He says he doesn't think people should have to work on a holiday like Thanksgiving.
He started at Pizza Hut as a cook and worked his way up to being a general manager of the Jackson Boulevard Pizza Hut in Elkhart.
He was told opening on Thanksgiving this year was mandatory, so at a meeting with his superiors he decided to take a stand.
"I said, 'Why can't we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off?'"
Tony says it wasn't about him. It was about his employees.
He told his bosses that he would not open the restaurant he managed on Thanksgiving.
"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 and spend it with their families," Rohr says.
Rohr says he was told to sign a letter of resignation.
He refused.. instead he wrote a letter explaining his position to his boss.
In the letter he wrote, "I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company."
"I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible," his letter went on to say.
We tried contacting Pizza Hut's headquarters but did not hear back.
Rohr's girlfriend and his family support his actions.
Rohr is still unemployed and looking for a new job.
He says it was worth it.
"They're still going to be open. I'm sure they're still going to sell pizza but I just didn't think it was right."
Again we left a message for Pizza Hut's headquarters in Texas but never heard back.
We did speak to one of Rohr's bosses on the phone who is the director of operations for several Pizza Hut locations in Indiana and Illinois.
He tells me Rohr was not fired but that he quit.
He says opening on Thanksgiving wasn't an individual's decision it was a company decision.
The man also pointed out that Pizza Hut's choice to be open on Thanksgiving is in line with several other national and local stores and restaurants.
Rohr says he plans to spend Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and his parents in South Bend.