The memo said employees can not evacuate due to their "responsibility and commitment" to the community, and that employees who needed to evacuate would get only a 24-hour "grace period" before the storm and must return within 72 hours.
"To all Team members". "You can not evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event!" said a memo from the manager. The employees who hadn't applied for an off for evacuation that day were supposed to show up or else there would be a no call/no documentation would be issued against them. However, he went on to remind his employees of their "responsibility and commitment to our community" and then shared a set of "guidelines" with regard to the approaching storm. Pizza Hut did not mention if the manger was disciplined in any way. According to The Atlantic, this means that "laws that protect workers' pay still stand, but because in Florida, workers are employed at-will, it also means that workers can still be fired for their absence".
Critics took to social media, blasting the manager for failing to put safety first, with the "Fight For $15" movement taking the charge.
Pizza Hut said that all restaurants in the hurricane's path had closed and would not re-open until the area had been deemed safe by authorities.
The Washington Post reports during the eye of the storm, a note for employees of the pizza chain were designated not to leave their part-time jobs or they would face a strike on their records.
Pizza Hut posted a statement declaring that "We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines". "You may find yourself in a auto during a hurricane, which is not the best place to be".