Olive Garden manager fired after time-out tirade: ‘If your dog died… prove it’

Olive Garden manager fired after time-out tirade: ‘If your dog died… prove it’

  • Finance
  • December 9, 2022
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An Olive Garden restaurant manager is out of a job for threatening workers to take time off, saying those who are ill or whose pets have died “have to come and prove it to us”.

Employees at the Olive Garden in Overland Park, Kansas, were recently reprimanded by their manager for canceling work with “an appalling frequency” and warned that no excuses would be tolerated going forward.

“If you quit from now on, you might as well go out and find another job,” the unidentified manager wrote in a message to all team members, according to a local CBS affiliate KCTV5. “If you’re sick, you have to prove it to us. If your dog died, you have to bring it to us and prove it to us.”

The unidentified executive described not missing a day’s work in nearly a dozen years at Olive Garden, which operates more than 800 restaurants and is known for its unlimited breadsticks.

“I came in sick. Once I literally got into an accident on the way to work, airbags deployed and my car was totaled, but you know what, I made it to work ON TIME! There are no more excuses. We, together as a management team, have enough. If you don’t want to work here, don’t do it,” the manager said.

“We broke up”

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, owner of Olive Garden and other restaurant chains including LongHorn Steakhouse, confirmed the message was sent to employees and the author was no longer employed by the company.

“We strive to provide a caring and respectful work environment for our team members. This message does not correspond to the values ​​of our company. We can confirm that we have parted ways with this manager,” a spokesman for the restaurant chain told CBS MoneyWatch in an email on Friday.

While experts including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention question the wisdom of going to work sick and potentially infecting others, the recent spate of diseases like RSV, COVID-19 and the flu is causing more workers to Staying at home, which increases the frustration in the company already understaffed.

Parents are under particular pressure as more than 100,000 Americans were out of work in November after hitting record levels in October due to childcare issues, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“If you can’t send your kid to school, a lot of parents have to stay home with their kid and that’s really taking a toll on people’s wallets,” said Dr. Celine Gounder told CBS News in November.

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