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Did McDonald’s Fire Manager for Act of Kindness towards Firefighters?

A McDonald’s manager says she was fired after eight years of work for a the fast food chain because she donated food to a group of firefighters. Heather Levia, who started working at an upstate New York McDonald’s as a teen, lost her job the next shift after after her act of kindness.

After battling a blaze in subzero temperatures, a group of firefighters came into Levia’s restaurant and ordered breakfast sandwiches and hash browns. Overwhelmed that the local fire department had worked so hard to save the house despite the frigid temperatures, she offered to pay for their breakfast.

The 23-year-old and single mom of twins reached into her own pocket and pulled out the $83 for their meals, “just because I appreciate what they do.”

When another unit of firefighters came in shortly after, Levia texted her boss to find out if the store would cover their meals, saying that “It’s very common in our store,” to provide free meals to first responders.

When her boss refused, she called the corporate office to cover the meals. When she received a second no, she asked her co-workers to pull together to come up with the $70 to cover the breakfast order.

The next shift Levia was fired by her boss, who said that Levia’s swearing was to blame for her termination.

The local fire department, some of whom had called the store to complain after they felt Levia and her co-workers had been pressured by her boss to pay for their meals,  said that “it was a shock,” when they found out the girl who offered them kindness had been fired.

“We certainly regret the fact she lost her job,” media officer Gordon Scott said. “It was a sad affair because a gentleman lost a home. And its even worse because we know now that this gal apparently lost her job because of it.”

The owner of the Olean McDonald’s has categorically denied that Levia’s firing had anything to do with her giving breakfast to firefighters, but refused to comment further.

“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,” Tom Meyers said via statement.

He added that he and his McDonald’s team are “ardent supporter of our police and fire departments, along with other first responders.” and, “we will continue to support them in the future.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot/WIVB

 

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.