Panda Express — wrongful termination
To whom it concerns,
My name is Anthony Hill and I was an Associate with Panda Express. There was an incident on October 11, 2018 in between 8-10 pm that ultimately led to my termination on October 12, 2018 at 5:39 pm from store 1413. My Employee ID was 1367394.
A woman came into the store while other Panda Express Associates were conversing with a man from an unrelated manner, I was standing in front of the fried rice steamer stirring the rice when she approached me and has a statement to the effect of, "Please help me, I'm homeless and i just want something to eat." I thought for a second, regarding my plan on how i would effectively allow her to be given food without violating Panda Express's policy. Which in retrospect. I didn't. I gave the woman a Panda Bowl with Full Fried Rice and Shanghai Angus Steak. The is no policy governing the time of food exchange vs the time of payment, and it doesn't require Authorization from a manger. Me knowing, and given this concept. I gave the woman the food, I had full intention to pay for the food when i was presented the opportunity after I opened my register, yet I was terminated before presented the opportunity, less than two hours after my termination I came back to Panda Express store #1413, and paid for a Fried Rice Bowl with Shanghai Angus steak, an employee discount was applied which I did not request. I feel as if Ricardo Mejia, the General Manager of the Panda Express Store #1413 was quick to an assumption that I did not intend to pay for the food. I paid for the food on October 12, 2018 at 7:13:23 PM My server was Ricardo Mejia, and I paid a total of $6.41.
I am the Chief and Leader of US Customs and Border Protection Explorer Post 202. We volunteer with veterans, provide food for the homeless regularly and given that I've been an Explorer for the past 2 years. My Core Ethical Values would not allow me to see me in a position to help and not do so. The same ethical values that drove me to pay for the homeless woman's food in the stated above incident are the same ethical values which required me to have an intention to pay for the food. Which again, in retrospect i was not predisposed before my termination.
Prior to paying for the food, Ricardo Mejia stated verbatim after we asked the reason for my termination, "For not ringing up the items". Given that I paid for the food, I did not violate Panda Express's Purchase Policy and the item was compensated and paid for. In short, I was terminated for Distributing an item that was ultimately paid for. I was terminated for "not ringing up the items". If I apply for future jobs i will be categorized as someone who "stole" when i did not.
Also given that this incident was directly prior to closing we average discarding over a 100 Pounds of food per week. Which could be used for a more practical purpose then being thrown in the trash. It would cost the company little to no extra money to create containers to donate the additional food 1+ days per week to a homeless shelter to allow it to be discarded in a humane, helpful manner. If possible I would like to continue my tenure as an associate at Panda, and to ensure a misunderstanding like this will not arise again.
Sincerely, Anthony Hill
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