Woman Fired After Tipping off Police That Mom Had Murdered Newborn Twins
A manager that tipped off police that her employee may have given birth but refused to speak of any child was fired for taking time off to heal from the emotional stress. Teresa Anderson, a former manager at Casey’s General Store in Huxley, Iowa had originally offered to help her ill-looking employee, Jackie Burkle, who refused the manager’s aid.
On the morning of Jan. 7 2012, Anderson covered the shift for her employee whose appearance had drastically changed, and according to a complaint filed in federal court, “pleaded with her to let her take her to the doctor.”
When she noticed something was amiss with Burkle’s appearance and suspected Burkle may have been carrying a child and given birth, which Burkle had routinely denied, Anderson contacted local authorities and asked them to come to the store for a cup of coffee to discuss her concerns.
The next day, Jan. 8, Anderson learned not only had Burkle been pregnant, but that she had given birth and killed twin girls, whose lifeless bodies were found in Burkle’s car trunk by police.
Anderson said that the event, left her “completely overwhelmed and slightly paranoid about Ms. Burkle attempting to retaliate against her for calling the police.”
After consulting with a psychiatrist who urged her to take time to heal, she talked with Casey’s human resources who advised her that “this was not a Casey’s issue.” Anderson also reported feeling intimidated by the meeting and left with the feeling that they were trying to fire her.
The added pressure of her general manager, who demanded that he needed her back to work to do the bookkeeping, coupled with turning in an employee she cared about over to police, caused Anderson to seek out mental health treatment to help her handle her trauma and ultimately led her to take time off work.
“The stress of the situation of being the one to report Ms. Burkle to the police, the lack of support she received by management and the threats that her job was now at stake, was simply too much for plaintiff to handle,” the complaint said of the days after the dead infants’ discovery and Burkle’s arrest.
Anderson’s gut instincts about her employer also proved correct. Hours she returned from FMLA leave which she used to heal her emotional scars from the events, Anderson was fired by management. Casey’s management also downplayed Anderson’s role by claiming no Casey’s employee knew or suspected Burkle was pregnant, contradicting Anderson’s observation to police that her employee was due to giving birth.
Anderson is currently seeking damages in federal court for violations of the Family Medical Leave Act which made when management refused her support and fired her upon her return. Burkle ultimately pled guilty on two counts of murder for her infant girls’ deaths and was sentenced to 50 years.
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