Employee fired after helping put out van fire
An Otsego County man says he was fired from his job after doing what he considered was the right thing to do during an emergency situation.
David Bowers was let go from the Meijer store in Gaylord last month.
He says he got in trouble because he left his post as a greeter to help a customer put out a fire in the parking lot.
Bowers knew that his actions were going against company policy
but he believed that in this instance the customers urgent need came first.
"When the guy came in and said his dashboard was on fire I grabbed the fire extinguisher and I followed him outside and sure enough his dashboard was on fire," Bowers said.
They quickly put out the fire and Bowers returned to his post.
He was later called into the store director's office where he was suspended for his actions.
"The one supervisor told me that my heart was in the right place, but my brain wasn't," Bowers said.
Later that week, he was fired from his job for not following company policy.
Meijer representatives say they cannot comment on personnel matters, but they did release this statement.
"The safety of our customers and team members is a top priority at Meijer. We have a very specific protocol in place for our team members to follow when emergencies occur and we can't allow any deviation from the policy that could put our customers or team members at risk," Meijer responded.
But for Ken Kuzon, who was the customer in need, he says without Bowers help, the situation would have been much worse.
"My truck would've been completely burned that fire was going," Kuzon said.
Kuzon says he doesn't understand why Bowers lost his job.
"I just think it's ridiculous why should you be penalized for being a good samaritan," Kuzon said.
Bowers did admit that he was suspended several years ago for leaving his post when he chased after a shoplifter, but he still does not understand how he could lose his job.
"I thought that was what we were supposed to do, you know you have somebody that is in need, don't you help them, but I guess not," Kuzon said.
Bowers says that he has been searching for a new job in the area, but has had no luck finding a new position.