Photo: Today's Orlando

Florida Pizza Hut to Employees: Don’t Flee Hurricane Irma

As the possible strength of Hurricane Irma became apparent this past weekend, state and federal officials urged Florida residents to heed warnings and evacuate if possible. Even Florida Governor Rick Scott (yeah, the guy that made climate change talk a punishable offense at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection) admitted that fleeing the destructive winds and flooding that would be caused by Irma was everyone’s safest bet. The storm was projected to begin impacting the city of Jacksonville on Tuesday morning and city officials have been urging residents to evacuate since Saturday. Unfortunately, management at a Pizza Hut in Florida’s capital have other ideas.

Images of an internal memo posted at a Jacksonville Pizza Hut popped up on Reddit, showing a set of Hurricane Irma “guidelines” that employees were to follow if they planned to evacuate their homes in anticipation of Irma’s landfall on Tuesday. “Our #1 priority is the safety and security of our team. But, we also have a responsibility and commitment to our community to be there when they need us,” began the memo. It went on to list several protocols that evacuating employees had to follow, including a mere 24-hour grace period in which employees would be allowed to ask not to be scheduled as they fled Irma.

“As a general rule of thumb, we close stores 6-12 hours before storm hits. Or night before a daytime storm,” reads one of the bullet points.”

The absurdity doesn’t stop there. Elsewhere in the memo, store management demands that its employees return for duty within 72 hours of evacuation. It does not mention anything about concessions for those who return to Florida to find their homes pummeled. It does assert, however, that no call/no show penalties will be applied to anyone that disregards the guidelines.

The corporate arm of Pizza Hut has denied approving these guidelines in a formal apology posted to the company’s blog and stated that it has addressed the issue with management at this particular Pizza Hut. “All locations in the path of Irma are closed and will remain closed until local authorities deem the area safe,” reads the statement. “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.”

Dominoes all day, anyway.

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