Marissa Holcomb, a Texas Popeyes manager, has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, after the Georgia-based fried chicken chain fired her over a dispute arising from an armed robbery. The manager, who is pregnant, was accosted by a gun-waving robber, who forced her to open the cash register and ultimately made off with approximately $400.
Because the manager didn’t follow proper “drop deposit” procedures to keep the till under a certain dollar amount, she was allegedly ordered to pay back the money herself. When she refused, she was sacked, and social media instantly lit up with outspoken criticism against the popular and successful fast food chain.
Writes USA Today: “The pregnant restaurant manager, fired after refusing to pay back money taken during an armed robbery, is now demanding $5.5 million. Marissa Holcomb is asking for the amount for emotional distress.”
Video of the incident that occurred on March 31 shows the assailant, wearing a red beanie over his face, vaulting the counter and ordering employees to the ground at gunpoint. Holcomb, who was the manager at a location in Houston, was trained to never keep more than $200 at one time in the register without dropping it into the safe, which she does not have the ability to open.
Speaking of the assault, Holcomb said: “By the back of my shirt, he pulled me up and he pushed me to the front. He told me to give him everything out of my safe… I told them I’m not paying nothing. I just had a gun to me. I’m not paying the money,” she said.
For that, she says she was fired.
Adds the Inquisitr: “The company which owned the Popeyes franchise, Z&H Foods Inc., claimed Marissa Holcomb was not fired for refusing to pay back the stolen money. Instead, they claim she violated company policy by keeping too much cash in the registers, which allowed the armed robber to get away with more money than was necessary. Holcomb defends against this claim, saying it was a busy lunch day, and she was too busy keeping customers happy instead of shifting money to the safe.”
Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder issued a statement to the media Wednesday:
“We recently became aware of a story in Houston involving a Popeyes restaurant and employee. The restaurant is operated by an independent franchisee of the Popeyes brand. We have spoken to the local franchise owner of the restaurant, and he has taken immediate action to reach out to the employee to apologize and rectify the situation. While the facts are gathered, we will closely monitor this until it is appropriately resolved. We deeply regret the distress this situation has caused.”
Holcomb said she has since been offered her job back, and the franchise owner has been authorized by Popeyes to offer her an additional $2,000.
“He just apologized and pretty much offered me if I wanted to go back to his business and work there again,” she said. Holcomb agreed to taking her job back – but at a different location. But she is also moving forward with her lawsuit.
Holcomb’s attorney, Marc Bozeman, said of Popeyes, “Even though you have offered to give the job back to her only to save face after experiencing bad publicity, the damage from your egregious conduct has been done.”
What do you think of this manager’s actions? Should Marissa Holcomb be suing Popeyes?