ELKHART, Ind. - Pizza Hut has offered to rehire the manager of a northern Indiana restaurant who was fired over his refusal to open up on Thanksgiving Day.
Tony Rohr said he has worked at the Elkhart restaurant since starting as a cook more than 10 years but was told to write a letter of resignation after his refusal. He said he declined in a meeting with his boss and instead wrote a letter explaining that he believed the company should care more about its employees.
"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?'" Rohr told WSBT-TV.
Rohr said he was thinking about the other workers at the restaurant.
"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," he said.
Pizza Hut's corporate office issued a statement Wednesday saying it respects an employee's right to not work on the holiday and that the store owner has agreed to reinstate Rohr.
"This was clearly an unfortunate situation, and we are very upset by what has transpired in Elkhart," the company statement said. "While the choice as to whether a restaurant should be open or closed on a holiday is handled at the local level by our independent franchisees, we feel strongly that this situation could have been avoided."
Rohr said he hasn't decided yet whether to accept the job offer.
"That's something I can't decide right away," he said.