Fla. Restaurant Owner Fires Workers En Masse By Text [UPDATE]

Getting fired is never a nice experience. But there are better and worse ways to receive the news. This is probably one of the worst: via a text message. That's how a Winter Park, Fla. restaurant owner named Gregory Kennedy delivered the bad news to his entire staff when he abruptly shut down his bistro, Barducci's, according to a report by local television station WFTV.

Waitress Jodi Jackson said in an interview with WFTV that at least a dozen employees learned about their job losses in the Orlando suburb via text message. The text message that Jackson received was brief and started like this:

Jodi, I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci's effective immediately.

Update 7/12/2013 4:47PM (The rest of the text read: Despite my efforts there were circumstances that I was not able to address. I wish you all the best and sincerely thank you for everything you have done. Any final payroll checks will be addressed after the accounting has been finalized.

Jackson had worked almost two years at the restaurant and got her termination message on July 4th. Call it an ironic form of independence celebration. "I think it's immoral," she told WFTV. "I think it's cowardice." Jackson alleges that her final paycheck still has not arrived and thinks that the other employees are also waiting on theirs.

More: 7 Worst Ways Employees Were Fired


Sometimes employers deliver bad news via email or text so as to avoid an emotional confrontation. It's not clear why Kennedy did, however. AOL Jobs tried to reach Kennedy through the restaurant Facebook page but has not heard back. When WFTV contacted Kennedy, he responded to them via a text message, too. It read:

Unfortunately, businesses are forced to close across Orlando every day, especially in the restaurant sector. I am working to resolve issues including final paychecks as quickly as possible.

The Barducci's Facebook page is still up without any indication that the restaurant has closed. The restaurant's webpage is similarly live and says that customers can order pizza online.

Being fired by a text message, sadly, is nothing new. In 2010, 900 truck drivers like Randy Dakin were left stranded on the road when Oklahoma-based Arrow Trucking Company reportedly shut down, cancelling fuel credit cards. The next day, the drivers got two text messages: one telling them they were fired and the second offering a bus ticket or $200 in cash to get home. Last September, Demos' restaurant in Florence, Ala. allegedly closed, texting nearly 65 employees not to show up for work. The owner reportedly planned to give employees two-weeks severance pay in addition to their final paychecks.

Experts warn managers not to fire by text. Although it might be necessary for a boss to fire remote workers via video conferencing or phone, the Society for Human Resource Management says delivering such news via email or text is "impersonal" and makes employees feel "disrespected" and could "provoke the terminated employee into some negative emotional reaction." In fact, some employees have fought back.

In 2010, on the day after Christmas, Sedina Sokolovic was fired via text for allegedly swapping shifts without permission and for being late to work at Sydney, Australia clothing store Modestie Boutique. Sokolovic, who had worked for the company for two years, responded by complaining to Australian authorities, which, in turn, fined Modestie close to $11,000 in US currency. The reason? According to an Australian official, it was a "pretty appalling" method of firing someone.

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DDDDDDDDDDD

lost my job in 2002 from consolidated freightways. company closed and received a voice mail stating the company is closed ON LABOR DAY!!!!

September 18 2013 at 5:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MonicaWhite9

Ashlyn. if you think Bobby`s blurb is astonishing... on thursday I bought a great Alfa Romeo after having made $7887 this - 4 weeks past and would you believe, $10k this past month. it's actualy the nicest-job I've ever had. I actually started 5 months ago and almost immediately startad bringin in over $81, per-hr. I follow this website, goo.gl/YcMRl

July 18 2013 at 8:59 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
aslithytoveredux

Lucky he didn't just lock the doors.

July 16 2013 at 10:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Skye Hawk

At least he didn't let people drive long commutes using gas and a babysitter and find their place of work closed with a sign saying no longer open for business. That is how they do it around here.

July 16 2013 at 5:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bneal12893

This is an email to barak HUSSEIN obama! Mr obama, your services are no longer needed, and we need to let you go effective immediately! Due to cutbacks that you instituted, we will not be able to pay you your final paycheck. Please cooperate with the secret service, and they will escort you out the back door. Please do not attempt to get in contact with any of us. This is an official notice that you're officially fired!

July 16 2013 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdonoh4

No one talked to me about my layoff in 1991. Someone took a paper clip and attached the notice to my time card.
Real classy!

July 16 2013 at 2:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdonoh4's comment
aslithytoveredux

Kind of sucks, huh?

July 16 2013 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OSHP367

Is there a "nice" way to lose your job?

July 16 2013 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tpascual1467

Maybe it was not the right way to tell the employees the restaurant was closed, however now you know how it feels to restaurant managers and owners when employees decide to quit their jobs and do not even send a text or a phone call.

July 16 2013 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tpascual1467's comment
geoffandmarie418

Though I disagree with the way the employes were fired, there are 2 sides to the story!! Everybody raves and rants about companies being not loyal to their employees, but I have seen a lot of employees not being loyal to the company.

July 16 2013 at 1:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dalmation801

How about having someone( who is a perfect match) and has offered to donate a kidney to you sends you an e-mail saying that he changed his mind \"about this kidney situation \" close to the time of the scheduled operation ? To boot the person was a respected man of the cloth . Took quite a while to get over that devastating news !!!!

July 16 2013 at 9:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Brutal

Actually, I can't think of a better way to inform employees the gig is up. Especially the ones who are always sending and receiving texts while on the clock instead of paying attention to the job they're being paid for. I think it is actually quite appropriate. (;-p

July 16 2013 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brutal's comment
itsnewst0me

You are automatically assuming ALL workers are ******** and ALL employers are great? Not very fact-based are you? I'd love you to experience the life of an underpaid worker who does hard work for one week. You might get a more realisitic view of what is true... instead of buying the total garbage you hear on the so called news.

August 07 2013 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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