October 24th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Ohio fast food employee is fired after fleeing robber

Mary Archer had been held up twice before at the Arby’s restaurant in Fairborn, Ohio, where she was the manager on duty, her daughter said. She came away unscathed both times.

But after the third robbery Friday, when a man with a knife entered the store and demanded the assistant manager turn over the restaurant’s money, her boss fired her.

“I just never thought that this would happen to me, especially since my life was at stake,” she told CNN affiliate WHIO.

Archer was terminated for staying at the restaurant by herself, “long after hours,” which is in violation of Arby’s franchise security policy, said John Gray, vice-president of corporate communications for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc.

The store location where she worked is a franchise that is not corporate-owned, he said.

Archer was not injured in the attempted robbery, even though she got into an altercation with the knife-wielding intruder.

“I had pushed him away,” she said, “because I’m like, I’m not going to die in Arby’s tonight. I’m just not.”

She screamed for help through the drive-through window, then jumped out of it to get away from the man, who fled. Someone heard Archer and called police.

Later, Archer signed a document her supervisor handed her, stating that she had violated security policy.

It was the end of her employment. January would have marked 23 years with the company, she said.

She crumpled up the security notice out of frustration.

“She had been warned in the past and had received a written warning that if she did it again she would be terminated,” Gray explained, saying that the policy was to preserve employee safety.

Archer said she was at the restaurant late, because she was closing up shop. Then she heard someone at the door.  It was the man with the knife.

“We have no alarms, no cameras,” she said. “That should have been nipped in the bud that very first attempt.”

Archer’s daughter told WHIO the store had been robbed three times in the past six months and that her mother had been on duty each time.

“I don’t want my job back,” Archer said.

She is happy to be alive.

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Filed under: Crime • Fast Food • Jobs • Ohio • U.S.
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. karen

    It sounds very much like an inside job. Or at the very least sheer stupidity on her part. Either way, she deserved to get fired. I don't understand why CNN decided to publish this story when there must be thousands of firings a day for much, much flimsier reasons.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • hello?

      Good old Republican values. Am I right, Karen????
      Get a clue. And a heart.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Really, Karen, an inside job? she jumped out the window... and nothing was taken..... an inside job? well, another good reason not to go to Arby's ever again, even along with their food quality has gone down hill..... they should be happy she wasn't hurt.....

      October 24, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • WTH

      First of all, who are you to have such a cut and dried response? We don't know what the situation was and why she was left alone in the restaurant. Perhaps her coworker got sick and had to leave the last hour, who knows. Quit judging so harshly.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Scott – the jumping out of the window and such are just HER word.

      WTH – nobody left during the last hour because she was there alone AFTER hours...

      October 24, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. crabman

    i guess he next job she might listen to her boss

    October 24, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. AuntySocial

    the reason she was probably there is that there was no one else to do it. i have worked retail (clothing, food) it's all the same. you do it because it has to be done. what there policy is and what they have verbally told her are probably two different things. I worked clothing retail management. no customers in the store, i sit down for a moment. a visiting manager says that i can't do that. i couldn't leave the sales floor because i was the only one in the store. couldn't take a break because i was the only mgt in the store. work 13 hour days with no break and see how it it. of course they would say osha rules say you must get a break, but the reality is much much different. i am so glad not to be in retail.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. merlinfire

    Inside job, but on the owner's part, not the employee. The cash drawers and safe are insured. Owner gets a cut of the take, and the insurance pays it back.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jt_flyer

      Interesting theory

      October 24, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jt_flyer

    Robbed 3 times yet the owner doesn't feel any security equipment is necessary.

    That wouldnt be the case If his life was on the line.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Logo 102

      Owner is female. Thanks for playing.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. 1984

    I will quit doing business with this company , just like I have with other companies that do stupid stuff like this.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • JudgeNot

      If you boycot every every business that makes a mistake you will eventually be living off the land. Still, yes, the owner should improve the securiy at his business. There should be some recourse for the employee with regard to having been knowingly placed in harm's way by the owner after repeated robberies.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Lindy

      Amen, boycott Arby.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kay

    I'm sure she was told unofficially that she'd be written up or fired if she didn't complete the paperwork on time, it's just one of those retail policies. Told to do one thing but if you get caught, hey, you violated store policy, you're fired!

    October 24, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rick

    And, this kind of garbage is why unions are important to protect the workers from the company.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      So they can rob you instead?

      October 24, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • jkflipflop

      Unions have no place in modern society. You can keep that garbage.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fooloof

    Assuming the company's set of facts is true, I agree with the firing:

    1. she was warned she would be terminated if she stayed late.
    2. she had already been robbed TWICE and still insisted on staying late and by herself. makes no sense to me.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Keel Hauler

    That's just great. you stay late to finish work that HAS to be done, you get robbed an your life put at risk AGAIN, and then you get fired after 23 years. Nice loyalty, Arby's. And the cheap basterd owner is lucky she or others weren't hurt or killed because of his unwillingness to install any security devices. You people that say she got what she deserved are some unsympathetic jerx. Put yourself in her place.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bob Creshnalt

    I was in Arby's once. I ran too.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. fast food manager

    Why did she let the guy into the store? She deserved to be fired for a security policy violation...

    October 24, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • WTH

      What the hell is that supposed to mean? Did he have a sign that says, "I'm a robber?" She probably thought he was a customer. Duh.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • GTA

      WTH,
      Why would she let anyone into the store, regardless of whether she was alone at the time, after it had closed? So far, the facts simply don't add up.
      I suspect that the store owner already had concerns with this employee, especially given that she had received written warnings in the past.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J

    This article should have been more specific. How long after closing was she in the store? How long after closing is she allowed to be there? After 3 robberies, why doesn't the store have cameras? Maybe someone will have pity on her and hire her for a better job.

    October 24, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. philabias

    i hope she sues and owns a bunch of resteraunts whenits done. and i bet she watches out for her employees. the owner needs 10 minutes in an alley

    October 24, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • K rice

      I agree. Those "policies" are ways to punish someone else for their stupidity. 23 years with the company? They were looking for a way to get rid of her anyway. Republican owned undoubtedly. Sue them for not protecting their employees!

      October 24, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    It sounds like the headline is wrong – she was fired for being there, not for fleeing.

    October 24, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • HB

      Well, the headline isn't wrong, she was fired after she fled through the window. The headline just makes it a bit misleading. Either way, she shouldn't got gotten fired.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Disgruntled_girl

      Correct, Jim! This is Cnn – again – generating misleading headers to create more interest. That is called Lying. Something they fail to understand. If they feel the article would be too boring that people would be interested in reading it, then they need to either not run it or reconsider if they are (more than likely) falling out of touch with reality.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocket

      @HB, the headline is not a "bit" misleading, it is a flat out lie. The headline clearly states she was fired for fleeing the robber, but then you read the story and she was not fired at all for for fleeing the robber, she was fired for something she had already been written up about, staying in the store after hours.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Rocket – read the headline again. It says Ohio fast food employee fired AFTER fleeing robber, not fired FOR fleeing robber (unless it has been changed from when it was originally posted). To me, it's implying that, even after having to flee for her life, she was still fired (which, for the record, based on what I have read, I feel it's a justifiable firing, but who knows?). Definitely misleading, but I wouldn't call it a lie...

      October 24, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
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