Irma: Pizza hut manager threatened staff over evacuating for hurricane

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Pizza Hut has apologized after a Florida store circulated an announcement saying employees would be disciplined for fleeing Hurricane Irma outside of a narrow time window.

"To all Team members".

"If evacuating, you will have a 24-hour period before storm "grace period" to not be scheduled", the manager told employees via a note posted to the company wall. The memo had statements written in it, workers whoever if fails to the assigned shifts at job would be further considered a "no show/no call" and a written document will be issued regarding it. However, he went on to remind his employees of their "responsibility and commitment to our community" and then shared a set of "guidelines" with regard to the approaching storm.

Critics blasted the store's policies on social media, arguing that such restrictions could endanger the lives of their workers.

The note also appeared to urge the chain's employees to get ready for the hurricane immediately by "buying supplies".

"I worked with retailers all week at the largest level and the smallest locally-owned shops and really the theme throughout has been compassion for their employees and the safety of their employees", he said. Before the storm could touch the foot of Florida, about 5 million inhabitants, which one-third of Florida's population- were asked to evacuate from the state for their self-safety.

And, in fact, emergency responders advise that evacuating within the last 24 hours before a storm of Irma's magnitude is extremely risky due, in part, to traffic snarls and other complications such as flooded roadways that can occur before the main storm hits.

Speaking with Business Insider, a Pizza Hut spokesperson said a single manager at the Jacksonville location was responsible for the memo, which violated the chain's guidelines.

Pizza Hut said a local franchise operator had addressed the issue with the manager involved and told them they had contradicted company policy.

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