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Pizza Restaurant Hell: Fired For Being Sick

ThebritWell, I've been canned at Pizza Pit.  The story isn't very exciting, but I'm gonna tell it anyway simply because it bothers me still, after over a week.

Sunday before Christmas, I was feeling pretty crappy.  I woke up exhausted, which is unusual for me, and kept hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock.  I was feeling warm and woozy, and ended up calling my boss and telling him I didn't think I could make it in that day, as I had already missed the bus and I was SOL for a ride until way after we opened.  Right after I did that, my boyfriend woke up with an alarming temperature and immediately started vomiting, so I had to put my feelings of crappyness on the back burner whilst I took care of him.  My poor boy was really ill all day, and I was fetching him applesauce, blankets and drinks for most of the day.  The next day he was feeling much better, and I cleaned up the apartment a bit whilst he went to work.  Tuesday the woozy feeling was worse, but I managed to haul myself into work and ended up swaying through most of my shift.  

I figured that some good sleep on my day off, Wednesday, would help out, but turned out I was wrong.  Thursday came and I was far sicker than my boyfriend had been on Sunday.  I had to run to the bathroom to shout a rainbow about every ten minutes.  My father, bless him, drove me to work because I didn't think I could handle the bus, and I knew I couldn't call off again.  As soon as I got to work, I was on autopilot, turning things on and getting everything ready whilst fighting back the urge to lie down on the floor and die.  Bestie was driving, and as soon as she got there, she was alarmed. Apparently I was extremely pale and looked like I was about to become best mates with the Grim Reaper.

It was at that time that the toilet broke.  Well, the flusher broke anyway.  Nothing was going right at all that day.  I tried to soldier on, though, knowing that the next day I was going to New York for Christmas for a few glorious days, and I could rest and relax in the clean, fresh air of my hometown.  So I flushed the toilet with buckets of water. The lunch rush hit and Bestie and the kitchen staff jumped to my aid.  I tried not to breathe on anyone's food whilst ringing them up, and many customers looked concerned as I handed them their money.  

After the twelfth time in the bathroom that hour, I made the executive decision to call the boss and let him know that I couldn't continue.  He'd understand, I thought.  As it turned out, no, he would not.  

He got there, glared at me, then immediately went into his office.  My father had arrived by that time to take me home, so I made it out of the door and into the car. Halfway from downtown to my house, my cell phone rang.  Bestie informed me that Rude needed to see me RIGHT NOW.  I informed her that I was a good ten minutes away and on the verge of changing the colour of the interior of my dad's car, but she told me that I really needed to come back.  Rude was angry.  

So my father pulled over to the side of the road, I vomited, then we went back to Pit.  I walked into Rude's office, and he told me he was firing me, and he needed my key back immediately.  At this point, I was on the verge of passing out, so I gave him my keyring.  He then followed me out of the office, yelling that I obviously didn't care about him or his business, and that I deserved to be unemployed, blah blah blah.

It was very inconsiderate of me to be ill, Rude.  Next time I'll check your schedule and have a stomach flu at a time more convenient for you.  Also, thanks for firing me three days before Christmas.  Mighty jolly of you.

Anyway, I'm out of a job.  I'm considering going for unemployment; the job market here is miserable, and money is growing ever tighter, especially since I need to save up for my move in April downtown.  Do you guys have any advice?

Love, kisses, and what the fuck am I going to do now?




Fortune Cookie

That sucks big time. I am short of suggesting that you should have thrown up on his shoes. That would have taught him.

Also, is it legal to fire people for being sick? I would imagine not. It's not like you get a stomach flu intentionally because they are so much fun...

Token Female

What, you don't like throwing up? But it's so much fun!

I'm really sorry you had a shitty boss, but I'm with Fortune Cookie here - check with the legality of firing someone due to illness that could potentially spread to customers. Personal opinion says that if you were as sick as you say you were, you were a danger to the customers around you without intending to be so and shouldn't have gone into work in the first place.

In terms of your question about unemployment, I have no real experience with it personally, but if it's a way to pay the bills, keep a roof over your head and food on the table while you search for another job, it might be the best thing you can do, especially if the job market in your area is really shit. I wish you the best of luck in any case, and hope you figure something out soon.

Sales Agent Guy

I seriously think you should file a complaint for wrongful termination. You had no way of controlling that, and Rude was pretty much living up to his name. Hell, I'd like to confront him personally and chew him out for this.

Stockroom Slave

This may not be true where you are, but certainly here it is actually unlawful to work in a food-related role if you are sick, and for (I think) 48 hours after you stop throwing up. Definitely look into your local laws because you might well have a case. I hope you can manage in the meantime - that was really cruel of Rude.

Just Jess

@shut up... What is your problem?! I don't know if you are a troll or just an insensitive prick, but it seems like whenever someone starts something (which isn't very often on this site luckily) it's you. How many people who have worked in food have written on here that they had to come in sick or they are fired. It's obvious that thebrit got fired because of leaving, not coming in sick. Seriously though. Keep this site a helpful venting site and not a bashing site!


Apparently Shut Up lives in a perfect world where we can stay home every time we're sick with no repercussions. Wow. I want that job! Are they hiring, Shut Up?

Anyway, thanks to everyone. I am indeed going to march my ass down to the unemployment office and try and get at least something. It's a pity, I actually quite liked my job, but what are you gonna do, I guess?


Cookie, you said it before I could!

heavy melvanova

Go for unemployment, why not? You've been paying into it, get something out of it. I did after decades of regular employment and now no jobs in my professional field. It ain't much but it's money. You can still get partial if you work part time like I do now, under 4 days. Check with your state's Labor Dept. website.


I'm sorry you got fired, but I can't help but wonder how many customers you infected.

I will say that I put most of the blame on your douchebag managers, since they created the environment where you did not feel like you could take another sick day off since you'd just had one. However, you did also risk other people's well being and the business. I say that because if an outbreak of the stomach virus you had were to get linked back to the restaurant, it could mean bad press, the health department breathing down their neck, possibly even fines...it's happened to restaurants before!

I'm not saying this is all your fault or that you deserved to be fired, but that this is a major problem in food services. Whether it's the server who didn't take a day off because they wanted the money, or management threatening their job if they didn't come in to work, a server running to the bathroom to puke in between delivering food is just all around not okay!


hey shut up, how about you sit down, learn some legal and some manners and have a nice cup of STFU?

@TheBrit: i'm with everyone else on checking into the legality of Rude firing you. where i live, it's illegal to fire someone due to illness.


shut up is a troll, quit feeding it.

I so wish you had puked all over him. That would have been awesome.

Queer Geek

You should have puked in front of customers in the restaurant as you were leaving and made a statement like,

"Damn I hope I didn't get samonella or food poisoning from here again!"

Lady  Red

I agree with the others, I'd check on the Legality of firiing someone because they are sick. You had no control over when you would be sick and its not right they fired you for it.


That's horrible...a logical manager would send you home at the first sign of illness, since you work in food service, and the last thing a restaurant wants is a outbreak of illness from it's customers.
Plus, you were visibly sick, it's not like you were just feeling crummy and didn't want to work.
I agree with the idea of barfing on his shoes, there were times at my workplace where we've threatened to do that to mangers who won't let us go home when we've been barfing all shift.
You tried, at least you came in and tried to work. Did you have any other marks against you other than the call off from that other day? Most places give you at least 3 days worth of absence/tardiness before they terminate.
Rude was an ass, he will regret doing that in a couple days I'm sure.



Not sure if anyone else posted this. As a fellow brit, it is a legal requirement that we take 48 hours off of work if we work in the foodservice industry and we are leaking from either end, or if we have been in close contact with a housemate or family member etc who is leaking from either end. (though, I know from experience this is rarely possiable :( )

From what I can tell, unless you have a doctors note signing you off officially as being unfit for work, employers can fire you in the UK.


I'm sorry but if you are sick (throwing up) You have to call out if you work in food service. NO one wants you to be sick around their food. It's a health issue. If a Health inspector had shown up the entire place would have been shut down. You should have called out as soon as you started throwing up. It sucks you got fired but you can't be around food if you are sick.

Bitch Boy

This is a message to ALL employees of ANY (USA) job out there:

If you are fired/terminated/laid-off - file for unemployment! You have paid for it! It comes out of your paycheck! It IS your money!

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, file! Companies will continue to do this until we, the employees, fight back on this kind of behavior.

Just make sure it truly is wrongful termination and not something akin to "I was fired for smoking a joint on the job and I feel that (boss) was wrong."

@TheBrit - In your case, I would have immediately had parental unit take me the doctor's office (or hospital) and been diagnosed with whatever was making me sick. Afterwards, when I was feeling a bit better, I would immediately contact my coworkers that were working the day bossman decided to yell at me in the main area and get their statements. Then I would have filed for unemployment and sought the assistance of a local attorney with the documentation.

Granted, nothing might have come from that action. But to see the look on the bossman's face when you served him court paperwork would have been PRICELESS!


You know, I had a friend who devoted over 3 years to Subway back when I lived in Tennessee. Whenever she was sick, they would generally MAKE her come in. Whether it was a stomach bug or her general health(lots of problems there), even if she was puking they would threaten to fire her if she didn't come in. I know that in Tennessee, you can be fired for any reason, unfortunately.


I may get in trouble here, but with the mood I'm in I'm just gonna say it: what happened to people being compassionate? I used to love to come on this site because it made me laugh and people stood up for each other, but now between the trolls and people posting things that are painfully obvious (like if you're sick you shouldn't be working around food) I really don't like visiting here! The Brit, go get unemployment or fight what Rude did, he was just a jerk!

Timekeeper's Twit

I'm very sorry that happened to you honey! I hope you get either unemployment or a new job soon!

Chicajojobe said something interesting, about bad press.. I wonder if places started getting more bad press perhaps some light can be shed on some of these very questionable practices used by employers. (sick time etc)


Employers pay for unemployment insurance, not employees themselves so I would like to see where it actually is coming out of anyone's paycheck because that would be illegal. Of course I'm not saying that people shouldn't apply for it when they've been unfairly terminated as in this case.


@TheBrit: I know you've said before that you're in Michigan... so one of the places you might want to contact would be the county health department. I'd imagine it's at the very least a health code violation to allow a physically ill employee with a communicable disease to work. Firing one for leaving work because of that, well...


I don't think we should call into question what TheBrit should or shouldn't have done - that is victim blaming. She was psychologically coerced by the other employees/boss which compelled her to work even whilst sick. Her illness would enable her boss to fire her in any case - first for being unable to continue working and second if she had been able, for increasing the risk of infection to the customers/other employees which would almost guarantee dismissal had it occurred. The boss just didn't want her to be sick AT ALL and devote every fibre of her being to "him and his business" as if he owned and was entitled to control her life simply because he handed her a paycheck which, I'm assuming, wasn't that fabulous to begin with. I'm sorry this happened, TheBrit, I hope you find something better :(


Having suffered norovirus (Severe 24-72hr diarrhoea + vomiting), you should not have gone into work at all. It is highly contagious from mouth droplets (especially if you have been vomiting), and both the vomit and diarrhoea are both highly infectious.

I was forced (by legislation in the UK), to call in sick when I had this bug. File for unemployment though, as others have said, you have paid for it.


Two words: Wrongful Termination.


In the hopes that maybe, just maybe, this has never been explained to him... mind, based on his past behavior, I fully expect to be insulted in return, but I'm trying to be civilized here.

@Shut Up: It's not (necessarily) what you choose to say, it's how you choose to say it.

Saying that TheBrit shouldn't have been at work that day... okay.

Saying that knowingly coming in when you're sick to the point of vomiting and you work in foodservice should be cause for termination (not what TheBrit was fired for, for what it's worth)... okay. A little crass, perhaps, given the circumstances, but okay.

You were the only commenter who chose to elevate it to the level of a personal attack by calling TheBrit a "fucking dumb shit", and later by calling everyone here "fucking morons". This same sort of sensitivity (if you can call it that) shows in your comments on other articles as well.

That is why you've been called a troll. That is why you will continue to be called a troll until you change the manner in which you comment on articles.

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