Previously published in Examiner
A mother from Washington, D.C., was fired because she sold Girl Scout cookies at her job. According to AOL Jobs published today, “Tracey Lewis set up a display of Thin Mints at American University… But then without warning, she claims, her boss fired her last month for “gross misconduct by soliciting” and “operating a personal cash business.” Her boss is from the food service provided to the university and is not part of the American University employees and staff.
Here in Quebec where I live all employee concerns are addressed by Les Normes du travail.
Tracey worked there for over 30 years. She worked in the food division for a company called Bon Appetit. She was called into the boss’s office and fired on the spot. Even though she had been selling the Girl Scout cookies for three years she was never given any warning prior to her termination with the company.
This does not seem to be a fair practice. In Quebec the employer would have to give her a notice eight weeks in advance before firing her. She would either work the eight or leave her job right away if she desires.
Lewis’s explanation of her actions were, “I had the cookies on a cart, and I would never ask anyone to buy them, “Lewis told MyFoxDC.com.” But, if they wanted to buy some, I would sell them.” Unfortunately, with the exception of Montana, every state including D.C., can fire an employee at will.
She would be able to file a complaint with Les Normes du travail and they would investigate the case if she was living here in my province. I have often inquired about the laws protecting employees in various jobs. Most of the time I have to admit the employer was protected; but one time we had a class action suit against an employer who closed down and did not pay us. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt and the law dictates that the creditors of the employer must be paid first. That means often times the employees do not get their money. We were not lucky enough to get ours back.
It is quite normal for mothers to want to help their children with their various charitable activities. According to their website, Girl Scouts is an organization that was founded over 100 years ago. The Girl Scout mandate is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”
The money Lewis received for any sales she had made did not go into her pocket but was given back to this worthy organization.
I was never a Girl Scout but I was a Brownie and encourage all girls to try Brownies or Girl Scouts for the enriching experience.