Hurricane Irma: Fired During Mandatory Evacuation
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Hurricane Irma: the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic shocked many throughout Florida. Weeks of warnings projected a devastating Category 4 or 5 hurricane leaving many Floridians to fear for their lives.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) urged residents to prepare and evacuate from this "deadly" storm. He pleaded with employers to "be compassionate with your employees as they prepare for this storm and evacuate."
Sadly, many employers ignored Gov. Rick Scott's plea. Hundreds of employees throughout Florida were forced to make the gut-wrenching choice between saving their job OR saving their life. In the midst of a life-threatening natural event, no one should have to make this devastating choice.
In one report, a manager at a popular chain restaurant threatened to punish employees who missed shifts by evacuating "too early" for Hurricane Irma. In another, an employee at a popular hotel chain was threatened of losing her job if she chose to evacuate from her home located in a mandatory evacuation zone.
An estimated 6.3 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate Florida before Hurricane Irma made landfall. If not provided adequate time or the opportunity, an evacuation plan will fail, putting millions of lives at risk.
In the state of Florida, there is no law protecting employees from getting fired if they miss work because they chose to evacuate, even if doing so was mandatory. Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which mandates that people have safe working conditions, does not have specific rules about working during adverse weather like a hurricane.
I am calling on Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to implement a law protecting employees from losing their jobs in the midst of a life-threatening natural disaster like a hurricane.
Florida will be struck by hurricanes again and perhaps more powerful as a Category 5. Allow Floridians the chance to prepare and evacuate to prevent the loss of life for future catastrophic events.
Please empathize as it may become your family member or friend that will have to face this difficult choice. Please sign this petition and share, it's time for Florida to protect its employees!
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