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. Cindy

    Rules are rules. This worker had been written up for not following them, and now fired. It also sound like this person should not have been promoted to manager.

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

    Get back into your binder now, ma'am.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott B

    I'd understand with a newbie, but she had been there 23 years. Unless she had other issues and this was just the last straw, that's pathetic of the company. Give her the option for a demotion and pay cut if you don't trust her in a managerial position, but just firing her shows zero loyalty at all to an employee that has showed loyalty.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chuckie

    If she left at the appointed security time limit, her evaluation would have said that her not staying to get the work done indicated a lack of committment.

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

      Police need to investigate if this and the others were an inside job. It's so easy for everyone here to say she is guilty of a robbery, YOU ARE NOT THE POLICE ! And if she was fired for staying behind to finish her work ..... then I guess millions of people are about to lose their job too. How late did she stay over ? The article never stated and everyone here makes it sound like it was 5:00 am when the Arby's closed 7 hours earlier .... get a grip people and give an opinion when you know the true facts.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HR Management Professor

    The term that should have been used to describe the state policy is "employment at will." Often states that have a "right to work" policy also have an "employment at will" policy, which leads to using the wrong term. My adult students often made this common mistake.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • alice

      utah is also a 'right to work' state which has always meant to me 'right to fire at will.'

      October 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Student of Writing

      So in this case, since there is not a "right to work" policy there isn't an "at will employment" policy?

      October 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dispater

    "Closing up shop" and "long after hours" doesn't make sense. Also, if a business had been robbed once they manager should have implemented a 2 person closing at least. To be completely unharmed in 3 robberies all occurring while alone, at night, and the same closer is unbelievable. I expect another article soon about what comes out of an investigation into the victim. I have never seen a restaurant that opens their door after closing time. They lock them and they don't open them just to tell you they are closed and if you persist they call 911.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. t3chsupport

    What a load. I used to work at a place like that, saying you'd be off at a certain hour, but keeping you hours afterward to 'clean up'. To hell with Arby's and to hell with John Gray.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Agreed. They would have fired her if she had left on time, because she would have had to leave the store in a mess. The company fired her to avoid a lawsuit.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dike

    Sounds fishy, like a job done with an insider help but cant prove, you see where I am going...

    October 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Camelspyder

    Complete inside job! No other explanation or excuse. If the restaurant is closed, the doors get locked, period! The only time it is unlocked is when the next employee leaves to go home. She should have been fired after the first time she was robbed for leaving the door unlocked after operational hours. Staying extra late like that all of the time was just her making the planned robbery look believable. Oh, the physical altercation with the robber was also a nice touch for dramatic effect. The only reason she cannot get arrested is because they have not caught the robber to associate him with her, therefore they have no proof.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GTA

    The headline may be factual, but it is misleading. One would probably infer that the employee was fired for fleeing the robber as opposed to standing her ground and protecting Arby's money. However, the article itself states that the employee was fired for what she did before she was robbed a third time, i.e. staying in the building until well after business hours.
    As others have already pointed out, how would this woman be in peril from a knife-wielding suspect if said suspect was on the outside of a locked door? If the door was not locked, why not? If the door had been locked, why would she (presumably) unlock it, especially if she were alone? Her judgement should be questioned, if not her motives. Something is not right here.
    In any case, CNN should prepare better headlines.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeDee

      GTA, you're right. That was my original interpretation of the headline. But, you know CNN has to make it sound that way in order to get attention.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • eric

      good poin T

      October 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Follow AshLayJay

    She is lucky and happy they just fired her and not investigate her, SMH...She set that place up to get robbed, DUH!!! She knew how easy it was to get away with it, considering no cameras and security. It will be her word against let's see....NO ONE. Besides the criminals in OH do crap like that...*shrugs*

    October 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Your opinion....

      ....is wothless. Any evidence to vack this up? No? Then wait for the investigation to conclude, Columbo.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DeeDee

    So she let him in, or were the doors already unlocked??? Either way, I can see that she was wrong. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see her stupidity allowed the robbery to take place. I can understand Arby's firing her because even if she's not involved, what happens next time when she does get hurt or murdered during a robbery because she failed to follow the simple rules. Then who are they going to get to sell Arby's nasty food??????

    October 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nathan

    I pledge to never eat at Arbys again which will be easy to do since I don't eat there anyway. Who's going to join me?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaoticman

      Why would I choose not to eat at Arby's again? Nothing in this article would lead me to that decision. The woman violated the owner's policies and was fired for it, nothing more complicated than that. I can't find anything here to be outraged about, certainly.

      October 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    Don't quit your day job, journalism is not your thing.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DyingLoyalist

    It seems she should have locked the doors and none of this would have happened. The business was closed, so locking the doors would seem pretty obvious. No wonder she lost her job. No company should be forced to pay people who do not think about what they are doing, especially with these kind of results. She sounds as much like a suspect as a victim. The money was missing and so was the robber. No security cameras. Hmm...

    October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
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