Douglas Moore, a former Massachusetts convenience store worker, had a double shot of traumatic events last month when he was fired by his employer just one day after getting robbed at gunpoint while on the job.
Moore, 24, was working the cash register on the evening of Dec. 22 at a Cumberland Farms convenience store in Ludlow, Mass., when a gun-wielding thief entered and stole $100 to $150, he said. The next day, he was fired for having too much money in the cash register, he told television station WGGB in Springfield. The company policy only allows a maximum of $75 to be kept in a register for safety reasons, and the rest must be stored in a safe.
"It was actually very busy," Moore told WGGB, describing why he did not put the money in the safe. "People were buying lottery, gift cards, so it was hard to keep track of the drawer and do all my other responsibilities."
Cumberland Farms, based in Framingham, Mass., defended the move to discharge Moore, saying the company did not take the decision lightly, nor was he terminated because he was a victim of a robbery or because the company suffered a financial loss from it.
"Due to a desire to maintain employee privacy, the facts surrounding his termination must remain private; however, the policy that limits the amount of money that can be held in the register is ONLY there to provide a safer environment, as well as to act as a deterrent to crime," Cumberland Farms spokeswoman Carin Warner responded with a statement.
Douglas, who is putting himself through school, had worked at the Ludlow store for about two years, earning less than $9 an hour, The Republican newspaper in Springfield reported. He worked between 36 and 40 hours a week, WGGB reported. Moore did not return a cal from ABC News for comment.
"Just as we have done in this instance, we review all similar policy violations in our attempt to determine if an exception to employee discharge can be made," Warner continued in the statement. "However, these policies must be close to zero tolerance given the potentially significant safety risks and our need to emphasize the importance of adhering to a practice that we have determined through 70 years of experience, will keep our employees and customers safe. Unfortunately, the facts in this case, even after thorough review, could not allow for an exception. As is always the case in these rare circumstances, crisis counseling was offered to Mr. Moore."
The Ludlow police told said the robbery suspect may be a "light-skinned man, possibly Hispanic," around 5½ feet tall. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans and had a large, revolver-style handgun. He demanded cash from the register, then fled the scene in a dark Pontiac Grand Prix.