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. Ray

    My first reaction was "that's pretty crapy of them to fire her". But, when you think about it, it DOES sound pretty fishy for her to be the only person on duty three times in six months.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    I have no problem with her being terminated for violating company policy – she was already warned, etc. However, I DO have a problem with the company choosing not to fix the safety issues (lack of security) and then hiding behind company policy.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Smarter than U

    I thought everyone in Ohio packed heat.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    It's a "Right To Work" state, which means employers can fire you for any reason, and you have zero recourse.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      Absolutely right on the money Dave !
      Patrick-grow up and read what a right to work state is before you bash it because right to work strips all job securities.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |

      Unfortunately he's right. Hard thing to read. She'd of gotten fired if she didn't get her work done, and she's fired for this. I don't eat at the restaurant anyway......cuz they serve kat meat.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      "Right to Work" applies to not being required to join a Union to get a job. Being fired on your employers whim has no protection from this rule. Common misconception.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • hippie power 69

      people, see what happened here. she was fired for doing her job. this is what myth robmey will give us in all 50 states if he gets elected. right to work states. no unions. no worker rights. minimum wage jobs no benefits. no healthcare. no social securty or medicare if they get in. they would like to trash all of the new deal that fdr put in place for us, the american worker. now they have us at each others throats, all the while the koch brothers are laughing all the way to the bank. keep voting against your better interests people and soon this will be all of us too!! do you think carl rove cares about you? if you answer yes then keep voting repubs into office.

      October 24, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • dewed

      Right to work state means they can fire someone who refuses to follow directions and just leaves the store open after closing hours, ripe for robbery.

      I suppose if it was your Arby's, you'd be OK with how she was doing?

      October 24, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevie

      @Dave, let see you do that in a "No Right to work State". Arby’s restaurants rules are applicable in everywhere including Union friendly Sates.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Right to Work laws prohibit employers and unions from making it a condition of employment to be in a union or pay union dues/fees and it prohibits having a "closed shop" where only union members are allowed to work. These laws do not mean that an employer can fire you for no reason.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norkio

      The correct term is "employment at will" which means that you or your employer can terminate your working arrangements at any time for any reason.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Brock

      She can be fired with no recourse...? She had received TWO PRIOR WRITTEN NOTICES, and she continued to violate the company policies that were designed to keep HER safe. If she'd gotten seriously injured or killed, she or her estate would be suing Arby's for allowing her to continue operating in an unsafe workplace.

      I suppose you'd rather this NOT be a right to work state, so that the union can demand there be 3 other people at the restaurant with her, along with an armed guard.

      Then, when Arby's has to start charging $10 for a sandwich, you'd say the prices are too high.

      If she wasn't able to perform her job responsibilities as expected, this woman should have been fired.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    ...on second thought I'm still not sure the company has any fault here. Was the door locked? Article is not clear on this. Closing the store at night? First thing you do is lock the door when all customers are out. I certainly wouldn't let someone back in unless I knew the person

    October 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ohio Dave

    If this woman was working late long after closing time wouldn't the door be locked ? I'm wonder how the knife man got in and how about previous two times as well ?

    October 24, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • jkflipflop

      Ohhhhh. . . i guess there's a reason she was canned then, huh?

      October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mark

    I wasnt going to die at Arby's,Not On My Watch! -Bruce Willis

    October 24, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Don't forget, these places make money by the piece. Money made the hard way, with nice profit margin. Cameras, lights, alarms, would what, cost the owners $25,000 out of petty cash, when they hardly have any money left over, after they clear expenses?
    Let's take a moment and talk "cameras". How many ski masks do you think were sold in the U.S. last year, and hoodie jackets also.
    Let's take a moment and talk "lights". Lights can be put out with rocks, bullets, or the perps simly wait till the owner forgets to change the bulbs.
    Let's take a moment and talk "alarms". To the Police? The robber will threaten you to get away from the switch or he'll kill you.
    Now. You are going to sue the owner to install all this fancy gear? Right?

    October 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • baycap

      You must be either very old or have no concept of security measure costs. These simple additions can cost less than $1000 for both cameras and lights. And light can be made very hard to break (LED with covers). Please think before ranting your regurgitated Republic spiel. Seems like human life is worth more than you believe.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ohio Dave

    It's also hard to believe there is no security camera especially after two recent robberies.
    I thought every place had security cameras these days for that very reason.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Billy

    I lke right to work!

    October 24, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Catfish

    She is better off, Arby's is way over priced. I'm surprised they even keep their doors open.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. iceload9

    Wow 23 years. She had been warned about working late. Doesn't say anything about dealing with the reason she was working late. She should sue since they had no program to prevent an employee staying late and being in danger.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. johnquepublique

    Sounds like a "shovel-ready" job-opening in Fairborn, OH!

    October 24, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    Honestly, she was fired for BEING IN the restaurant BY HERSELF and that she was warned several times before that she couldn't do that.
    I am not trying to cut her down for the actions that prompted the firing, but lets get the facts straight, had she not been in the store by herself, the robbery probably wouldn't have gotten as far as it did.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. andres

    Hey you knuckleheads, read the article. She had been robbed twice before, both times working alone which was against company policy, she was also written up both times. This time, not only was she working alone, but left the door unlocked. This was the THIRD time she voilated company policy.

    She was fired properly, two notices and then out. If you were the owner, you would have done the same thing, you have an employee who repeately violates company policy and puts herself at physical risk and costs you money each time they are robbed would you keep her around?

    October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
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