Two Georgia women are out of work after they claim Lululemon in the Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners fired them for calling the cops on thieves who were snatching up the store’s merchandise.
“All of a sudden we see some gentlemen run into the store in masks and hoodies,” Jennifer Ferguson, the store’s on-duty assistant manager, told 11Alive. “They swiped until they couldn’t hold any more product and ran out the door.”
Rachel Rogers, who had worked at the trendy shop for five years, caught the robbery on camera.
Considered a “key leader” at the store, Rogers said, “We didn’t really feel very protected or know what else to do.”
According to Rogers, the Lululemon location had for months been the victim of thieves.
“I was not working and someone sent me a picture of the front entrance table. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we just sold all of the product. Good job!'” Rogers said, recalling a separate incident. “And they were like, ‘No, someone just came in and stole everything.'”
The police had not been called after the previous robberies, but Rogers and Ferguson broke with the company’s policy and picked up the phone.
“We are not supposed to get in the way. You kind of clear path for whatever they’re going to do,” Ferguson said, “And then, after it’s over, you scan a QR code. And that’s that.”
“We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people,” she explained. “We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”
The three alleged thieves Rogers and Ferguson faced are now facing felony robbery charges, the Gwinnett Police Department confirmed to 11Alive, but the two women were “immediately” fired.
Exactly why they were fired “wasn’t very clear,” Rogers said. “They didn’t give specific reasoning besides just saying they have a ‘no-tolerance policy.”
They were similarly vague with Ferguson.
“They said I was terminated immediately with no severance because they have a zero-tolerance policy,” she said.
“That was my sole income,” Rogers said, “So, I did have to file for unemployment and use all of my savings to pay for my car payments, car insurance payments, my dog’s food, my food.”
Furgeson, a mother of four, said the termination put her family in “a bit of a bind.”
“My husband is self-employed,” she said. “So, we’re trying to figure out insurance. There was no severance.”
On Twitter, the shocking story caught the attention of military veteran and conservative author Graham Allen.
“Are you kidding me. These two employees were FIRED for calling the cops on shoplifters,” he tweeted. “HAS THE WORLD GONE BACKWARDS????”
Are you kidding me.
These two employees were FIRED for calling the cops on shoplifters.
HAS THE WORLD GONE BACKWARDS???? pic.twitter.com/4iglYKVYip
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) May 27, 2023
In a lengthy Facebook post, Ferguson’s husband, Jason Ferguson, blasted Lululemon.
“This is real life. Not a game,” he stated. “And when the adrenaline of the scary situation hits, your brain goes into fight/flight/freeze mode.”
“I am more than proud to announce that my wife went into ‘fight’ mode,” he wrote. “She protected herself and the other employees and the store by yelling at them to get out. She defended her space and her people. They tried to video the getaway car to get the license plate. And then, they for the first time after any of these incidents, called the police to report it.”
He called his wife and Rogers “heroes”:
These are two exemplary employees, both leaders and looking to advance within the company. And what was their reward? They were immediately terminated without mention of severance or any financial consideration. Then, as the two terminated employees compared notes on their zoom call experiences, it comes out that the Regional Manager for Lululemon openly questioned why they would call the police. Stating that it would “look bad for Lululemon to be the company calling the police”. Are you kidding me? These ladies are heroes of sorts. They did what we all HOPE we could do in a similar situation. They were brave and courageous and honest and good citizens.
Lululemon’s policy, Jason argued, will lead his community on the destructive path that liberal cities such as San Francisco and Portland have taken.
“I do not and likely you do not want our area to end up like San Francisco or Portland, where retailers are pulling out of the cities due to theft and crime,” he wrote. “Where citizens are afraid to go to certain areas because the police are not or will not be called.”
“If we, citizens of the community, allow criminal activity to go unchecked, that is tacit approval for them to continue their ways,” Jason stated. “This is not what our country, state, or community are about. Law and Order must have a respected place and criminal activity must be punished. Furthermore, brave and courageous citizens and employees should be commended, not punished, for taking a stand.”
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