A Kemptville, Ont., woman is unemployed today after being fired, she says, for asking a customer not to leave their dog in a hot car.
Carla Cheney told The Ottawa Citizen that she was still in her street clothes on her way into work when she saw a man leaving a Newfoundland dog in his car. Cheney told him he shouldn’t leave his dog in the car on a hot day, but was told it was none of her business. She also called the police, who took down the man’s license plate and went to find him.
Later that day Cheney was called into the manager’s office and told her to report any problems to him in the future. When she said she would continue to go to the police if she felt it was necessary she was let go.
"He told me then that I was terminated, he wanted my vest, my badge, and to clean out my locker and that I needed to leave," Cheney said. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
She was the second Kemptville Walmart employee in a month to be let go for reporting dogs in cars. Sean Dhaliwal had put in his two weeks' notice already last month when he asked a customer not to leave their dog in the car, but when the customer got aggressive Dhaliwal was told not to finish out his two weeks.
"Now I'm worried that other associates won't say anything and they'll be afraid that they'll lose their job if they do say something," Cheney said.
In a statement, Wal-Mart Canada wouldn't comment on the specifics of the case but it said it has guidelines in place regarding animals in danger.
"Safety is, without question, our number one priority. Each and every associate is expected to address a safety concern as appropriate, and as a minimum inform management," the statement said. "We have a comprehensive set of safety processes and policies to ensure a safe work and shopping environment. Regarding respect for our customers and associates, we are all expected to be courteous and respectful."
What’s the line between an employee’s morals, and a company’s policies? Would you have fired Cheney under similar circumstances?