Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
As we stagger toward Labor Day, it’s worth thinking about the state of labor.
America is near full employment. Some of the jobs — and some of the employers — aren’t, however, necessarily the finest.
Kameisha Denton discovered this recently, when she received a text from her boss at Jersey Mike’s sandwich emporium in Marysville, Washington.
As KIRO 7 reported, Denton had texted him to ask about her shift schedule. She said she’d only worked there for a little over a week and didn’t appear to have been scheduled at all.
His reply took her aback:
I am sorry to inform you but it’s not going to work out with Jersey Mike’s. It’s not a good time for us to have someone who is leaving for maternity leave in several months anyways. You also failed to tell me this during your interview.
Oddly, it’s illegal in Washington to use pregnancy as a reason not to hire a woman — or demote her or fire her.
You might think that the Jersey Mike’s manager could have known that.
Of course, discrimination still happens. And how.
But the basic humanity — the lack thereof — in this Jersey Mike’s case is staggering.
That a manager could think it perfectly acceptable not only to fire a woman because she’s pregnant, but to actually say so in a text, suggests a mentality that’s drifted to troubling climes.
The owner of the Marysville Jersey Mike’s told KIRO 7 that he was sorry and offered Denton her job back.
The churlish might suggest the fear of legal action might have spurred him to such generosity.
Denton says she didn’t accept the offer and has had plenty of approaches from other employers since her story became public.
I, though, asked Jersey Mike’s headquarters what it thought of this dip into mindless myopia.
A spokesperson told me:
This does not reflect our history or our values. Additional training is being provided.
How much training does it take to tell a manager that they can’t fire a woman because she’s pregnant?
How much training does it take to explain that women should be treated equally?
Oh, please don’t answer that. I fear I know what you’re going to say.