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. alpg49

    The headline is misleading to over-dramatize the situation. She was fired for being there alone after hours, not for fleeing.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Truth

    She clearly violated several basic common sense security procedures. First thing to do when the restaurant closes is to LOCK THE DOORS. These restaurants have pretty good locks, otherwise people will be routinely breaking into them after hours. This did not happen at closing (there would have been other employees there), this happened when she was the only one left in there long after closing. As the manager on duty she is responsible for her failings and putting herself and the restaurants property in danger by violating simple rules. To top it off she was warned previously about this.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I completely agree

      October 24, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Worked for Sears

    While employed at company owned Sears in Lake Ronkonkoma NY, we too had no security cameras or holdup alarms that worked. The company was too cheap for having them operational. Corporate Policy dictates to give anyone who steals or robs the store anything they want. No questions asked. Never confront or chase, as that could endanger other employees and customers.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. none

    “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.

    If someone is threatening you with a weapon.. Arby's says the best way to ensure your safety is to hold your ground. Do not attempt to flee.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Grand Poobah

      Learn to read. She was warned not to stay after hours alone.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • derp

      you don't read very well.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. lindaluttrell

    Nice way to treat a valuable employee of 23 years who was at least willing to work in an obviously high-crime area! I know she had been warned about remaining alone, but if work needed to be done, what was she to do before the place opened the next day??? Shame on you, Arby's!

    October 24, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. ronvan

    YES, at first glance you have to say Arby's is messed up. HOWEVER, IF their story is accurate and she had been warned then she has to face the consequence's!

    October 24, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. jfry

    Typical misleading head line by reporters trying to get their report posted. the head line should have read "Employee fired after not following company rules". Oh that is a boring report. Lets mislead the readers and say "fast food employee fired for fleeing robber!!!" that will get me published. Wonder why no one believes most reports? doh?

    October 24, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    Hope she gets a junkyard dog attorney and sues them for every penny they ever made off of her work.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • advocatusdiaboli

      She violated policy are being repeatedly warned. If she gets a cent it will be a wrong verdict.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. fish smell

    Maybe Arbys thinks she was in on it with the robber. Who would keep working late alone after being held up twice? It was three times in 6 months, not over several years where she could begin to feel safe again. Something is fishy here. Also considering that her bosses had warned her not to do it again before.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Viera

      I thought the same thing ..She could be in on it ....I'm a restaurant manager and there is no way I would stay there alone and if I had to I would lock the place up like a prison guard and I would get a gun for sure ...robbers would be leaving on a gurney in my case LOL

      October 24, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hugh Jass

    Good for Arby's! Don't let anything interfere with making money for your corporate masters. Say, doesn't Bain own them now?

    October 24, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Not Quite

      Wrong-o, smart guy - while Arby's is majority-owned by a private equity firm (Roark Capital Group), it's not Bain...

      October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    this is what Romney is talking about when he says 47% of the people think they are victims – the headline would indicate this person has been wronged – Fired for fleeing with her life – then you read she's breaking rules. How long after closing? If you tell me she is there 2 hours after closing because she has no where else to be, so what? The company gave her written notice – she shouldnt have been there to get robbed is the point. The robber is the criminal, but the store manager is still wrong – Two wrongs, still not making a right although this headline would indicate they some how do.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. greg

    Something sounds fishey here, Why would she be there alone after hours after her bosses told her specifically to not be there alone? And just how did the alleged robber get in? Did she not have the door locked? Article says nothing about door being broke into so one can assume the door was unlocked since she makes it sound like the "robber" just came in...If this robbery actually happened Im glad no one was hurt, However if I had an employee that doesnt care about security procedures and stays there alone and doesnt even bother to lock the doors...I would fire them too

    October 24, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. WES


    October 24, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. chip

    The security policies are there to prevent incidents like this from happening. After multiple warnings and multiple robberies, you have to draw the line.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Russ

    She needs a lawyer. With luck, she will get a million dollar settlement. First, she was pressured into signing that statement for fear of losing her job. Second, she left because she didn't want to die. The other issues are irrelevant. She has grounds. Arby's was wrong and over reacted.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
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