OLEAN, NY – A 23-year-old mother of twins, working two jobs and in nursing school has been fired from McDonald’s after buying first responders lunch.
According to WIVB, several fire crews worked to put out a house fire in subzero temperatures and stopped at the fast food chain afterward for breakfast.
The crew ordered 25 breakfast sandwiches and hash browns.
To thank them for their work, 23-year-old Heather Levia pulled the $83 from her own wallet to cover the food.
Shortly after, a second fire house ordered $70 of food, so Levia texted her boss to ask if the company would cover their meal.
She said the restaurant often gives discounts to emergency crews so she throught the it might donate the food this time.
Levia said her boss said, ‘No,’ so she called the corporate office but received the same response.
Again, she and her coworkers reached into their own pockets to foot the bill.
When firefighters found out about her private thank you, some called the chain to complain, concerned she felt obligated to pay for their meals.
WIVB reported Levia said her boss told her, “You opened a whole bee’s nest.”
Levia said after working her next eight-hour shift, she was fired.
She said the manager told her the terminable offense was “swearing at a superior,” which she denies.
Tom Meyers, the owner of the Olean McDonald’s, gave WIVB the following statement:
“The Meyers Organization has always valued the employees who serve our customers every day. We likewise continue to be an ardent supporter of our police and fire departments, along with other first responders. They are always welcome in our restaurants, and we will continue to support them in the future.
“We are aware that certain allegations have been made concerning the reasons for Heather Levia’s termination. Out of respect for Ms. Levia and her privacy, it would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the reasons she is no longer employed by our organization. Still, it should be pointed out that the allegations are absolutely not true. We would never penalize an employee for showing appropriate gratitude for the work of our firefighters.”
Levia said she has already received several job offers.