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McDonald’s employee fired for buying food for firefighters


McDonald’s employee fired for buying food for firefighters

A McDonald’s employee who spend the past eight years working at the fast food chain was fired after she bought food for firefighters and then clashed with her boss over the issue.

Heather Levia, a 23-year-old single mom with twins, told WIVB-TV  in western New York that she was working her standard morning  shift at McDonald’s when a group of firefighters came in. The  Allegany Fire Department had been in the news recently for  putting out a house fire in sub-zero temperatures, and Levia said  she wanted to show her gratitude by paying for the group’s 25  breakfast sandwiches out of her own pocket.

Just because I appreciate everything they do,” she  said.

Another group of firefighters came in later that day, ordering  $70 worth of food. Levia said she texted her boss to see if the  store could provide it for free. When she was denied, the young  mom then called McDonald’s corporate office only to be given the  same response.

Evidently unsatisfied with that answer, Levia raised enough money  among her co-workers to pay for the food themselves. The  firefighters then called Levia’s boss to say that they never  expect free food, but it was wrong of McDonald’s to make Levia  feel as if she needed to pay for the food herself.

Whether the company told the firefighters that Levia had  volunteered to pay for the food herself is unknown.

Regardless, she found herself out of a job the next day after  being told she was fired for cursing at a superior.

You opened a whole bee’s nest,” Levia said her boss  told her before denying that she broke any rules. “I did say  this is ‘freaking’ ridiculous but it was not implied to  anybody.”

Allegany Fire Media Officer Gordon Scott told WIVB that the  firefighters were surprised by the gesture.

It was a shock. We certainly regret the fact she lost her  job,” he said. “We can’t speak on corporate policy  because we don’t know the background of it. It was a sad affair  because a gentleman lost a home. And it’s even worse because we  now know that this girl apparently lost her job because of  it.”

Tom Meyers, owner of the Olean, New York McDonald’s, refused to  give specific details on the incident but denied that management  was behind any wrongdoing.

The Meyers Organization has always valued the employees who  serve our customers every day. We likewise continue to be an  ardent supporter of our police and fire departments, along with  other first responders. They are always welcome in our  restaurants, and we will continue to support them in the  future,” he said.

We are aware that certain allegations have been made  concerning the reasons for Heather Levia’s termination. Out of  respect for Ms. Levia and her privacy, it would not be  appropriate to comment in detail on the reasons she is no longer  employed by our organization. Still, it should be pointed out  that the allegations are absolutely not true. We would never  penalize an employee for showing appropriate gratitude for the  work of our firefighters.”

Levia, for her part, told the news station that the attention  surrounding her story has already led to a number of job offers.

It’s just wrong,” she said of her dismissal. “I  wish the communities would change and help each other out. I wish  that things didn’t have to be the way they are. And if losing my  job is going to speak out to the community, then that’s what it’s  going to do.”