As more restaurants open on Thanksgiving to boost sales, one Pizza Hut manager decided that he'd had enough - and it cost him his job.
After working his way up from cook to general manager at the company, Tony Rohr was fired, he said, for refusing to open his Elkhart, Ind., store on Thanksgiving, which he was told was mandatory.
"I just decided I wasn't going to agree to it," Rohr said. "All of these people the whole year had been told they were going to have the day off."
He said that in his 10 years with the company, this was the first time any location has asked him to work on Thanksgiving.
Many spots are opening on the national holiday in an effort to squeeze out extra sales from holiday shoppers.
"They just said it was a competitive decision and that everyone was open, so we will be too," Rohr added. "I said, 'Why can't we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees, and let them have the day off?' "
He has not been in touch with the chain since his termination, he said.
Pizza Hut posted this statement on its Facebook page Wednesday:
This was clearly an unfortunate situation, and we are very upset by what has transpired in Elkhart, Indiana. 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. We respect an employee's decision not to work on a holiday if they so choose, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. The stores that are open to service their local communities are staffed by team members with the willingness to work on this day as determined by their own personal situations. We will monitor and evaluate this situation closely and regret what has occurred.
Despite being laid off right before the holiday season, Rohr has no regrets.
"No, not at all," he said. "I'm glad I did that."