Monday 20 August 2018

Irma: Pizza Hut manager threatened staff over evacuating early for hurricane

A Pizza Hut manager threatened to punish staff who evacuated Florida early
A Pizza Hut manager threatened to punish staff who evacuated Florida early

Harriet Agerholm

A manager at a Pizza Hut restaurant in Florida threatened to punish employees who evacuated early for Hurricane Irma.

In a message addressed to all staff, the manager of the Jacksonville restaurant in northeast Florida said there would only be a 24-hour "grace period" before the storm hit.

"You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event," they said. "Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call/no show and documentation will be issued."

Read More: Hurricane Irma: Parts of Florida inch back towards normality

The notice added that employees were required to return to work 72 hours after the storm.

Pizza Hut said a local franchise operator had addressed the issue with the manager involved and told them they had contradicted company policy.

"We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team member can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines," the restaurant chain said in a statement.

Read More: Florida inching back to normality as workers restore power and fuel

The mayor of Jacksonville Lenny Curry issued evacuation orders on Friday for residents in low-lying areas and in those living in mobile homes.

The deadly storm, which swept across the Caribbean and Florida, hit Jacksonville with record levels of flooding and 356 residents had to be rescued from the rising waters, the mayor said.

Damaged houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys (Washington Post/AP)
Damaged houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys (Washington Post/AP)

Independent News Service

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News