OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A former employee of a dispensary claims he was fired for refusing to sign a policy that prohibits employees from bringing meat to work.
He said he was fired after he stood up for a coworker who was sent home because of a sandwich with lunch meat that was discovered in the fridge.
"He was belittling her on. 'I can't believe you brought in dead animal flesh into the store,'" Chad Story told News 4.
Story is talking about his former boss, the owner of Friendly Market, a dispensary with a policy that no meat is allowed in the store at both the Norman and OKC locations.
Earlier this week, Story said one of his coworkers broke that policy.
"She brought meat into the store. She had lunch meat," Story said.
When management discovered it inside the fridge, Story said his co-worker was sent home for two days.
"She was literally bawling her eyes out," Story said. "I saw her on her way out the door."
Story said he decided to stand up for his coworker and confronted the owner.
"He said, 'Well, Chad, this doesn't concern you.' And I said, 'Well, it does.' And he said, 'Well, have you brought meat into the store?' And I said, 'Absolutely.' And he said, 'Well, good. You'll have a meeting right after her,'" Story told News 4.
Story said he was fired during that meeting because he refused to adhere to the 'no meat' policy, which reads in part, "Your personal thoughts on this subject are respected by your freedom to consume meat products anywhere you want, EXCEPT inside the Holy space we've created at Friendly."
"I did my best to try to try to talk with Chad, as long as I could, to try to explain it to him but he was adamant that he was not going to adhere to the policy," Robert Cox, the owner of Friendly, said.
Cox, who's a vegan, said the policy is in place because of a personal conviction.
"The death and dismemberment that is associated with the getting meat on your plate, I'm just saying, I'd like there to be a higher vibration at Friendly. We're really trying to raise vibrations," Cox told News 4.
Oklahoma is an employment-at-will state, so the policy and the reason Story was let go is legal.
"You can't fire them for being black, but you can fire them for knowingly bringing a turkey sandwich in," Ed Blau, an attorney, said.
So at the end of the day, it's a difference in two opinions at the heart of the situation.
"I just ask them one thing and one thing only, don't bring meat into the store," Cox said.
"If there is no harm being done to a human, then everybody should be able to keep doing what they're doing," Story said.
Cox said he offered Story severance and Story declined it. Story said that's because he feels if he accepted it, what he is standing up for would be "for nothing."
Cox also said he doesn't like the word fired, and feels Story chose to abandon the job when he wouldn't adhere to the policy.
Editor's Note (11/21/19) : The original video had an incorrect banner stating 'two' employees instead of 'one' were without jobs. We have corrected that video.