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WASHINGTON, DC -- Imagine being fired for selling Girl Scout Cookies at work.It happened to a woman who's worked at various food services companies on American University's campus for nearly 30 years.

Bon Appetit Retail Service Manager Tracy Lewis says she was hauled into the boss' office on February 18th, and told she was being fired for selling the cookies--even though she's done it for three years at the Eagle's Nest convenience store on campus.

In her termination letter from the Bon Appetit Management Company, the manager accuses her of "gross misconduct by soliciting ", and "operating a personal cash business selling girl scout cookies over the counter which violates company policy."

?I had the cookies on a cart, and I would never ask anyone to buy them, " Lewis says."But, If they wanted to buy some, I would sell them."

Lewis has worked for Bon Appetit for 12 years, an 28 years on the AU campus. She's a single mom with a son in college, and a 12 year old daughter who loves being a Girl Scout.

"They didn't give me any warning,? Lewis says. ?It?s crazy because I can't profit for selling the cookies," Lewis says. ?It?s a volunteer position. I was just trying to help my daughter raise money for trips and stuff like that."

Bon Appetit's Vice President for Strategy, Maisie Greenawalt , wrote in a statement,"Employee relations information is confidential."

A statement from the Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation's Capitol should be a wake up call for any parent thinking about trying to sell cookies on the job.

?Girl scout cookie sales are a girl-led, entrepreneurial program. We want the girls to be taking the lead," COO Colleen Cibula wrote.

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If her daughter wanted to raise money for Scouts she should, oh I don't know, SELL THEM HERSELF.

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speculation: i am suspecting other companies have a contract agreement in place where they are the only brands allowed to be sold. She asked to to see if she could sell the cookies, they said no. She decided to put them on the car and not offer them for sale but if people asked, she would. She went against the contract after being told not to offer them for sale.

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Although I agree her daughter should have been selling them herself, I find it ridiculous she wasn't even warned first. You don't even give an employee who has worked for you for 12 years the benefit of the doubt by simply asking them to stop doing that? Especially after allowing it for 3 years? I smell a lawsuit.

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I thought girls were to build up their character by doing the selling, themselves.

No wonder young women grow up thinking they need 'a man' to do everything for them.

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Although I agree her daughter should have been selling them herself, I find it ridiculous she wasn't even warned first. You don't even give an employee who has worked for you for 12 years the benefit of the doubt by simply asking them to stop doing that? Especially after allowing it for 3 years? I smell a lawsuit.

They never said that she was allowed to do it for 3 years though. She might have never been caught or she was told not to and kept doing it.

Anyways what she did was pretty stupid. She works in food services but sells her own products on the side? That would be like me working at Toyota but asking people if they wanted to buy a Honda.

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They never said that she was allowed to do it for 3 years though. She might have never been caught or she was told not to and kept doing it.

Anyways what she did was pretty stupid. She works in food services but sells her own products on the side? That would be like me working at Toyota but asking people if they wanted to buy a Honda.

It doesn't excuse the fact that after 12 years they axed her without warning. I'm not arguing over whether it was stupid or not, of course it was. However, details such as whether she asked first or not are missing from the article. What isn't missing is the fact that they didn't even ask her to stop before tossing her out the door after 12 years of service.

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Stupid is as stupid does.

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It doesn't excuse the fact that after 12 years they axed her without warning. I'm not arguing over whether it was stupid or not, of course it was. However, details such as whether she asked first or not are missing from the article. What isn't missing is the fact that they didn't even ask her to stop before tossing her out the door after 12 years of service.

speculation: when flat out told "no" then she goes ahead anyways, no warning would be needing.

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speculation: when flat out told "no" then she goes ahead anyways, no warning would be needing.

We can speculate all sorts of different things. Since there is no indication that happened, nor is the company simply saying "We told her no, she did it anyway.", doesn't mean anything. Based on the facts available, this was a pretty mean-spirited way to deal with the situation on the company's part.

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"They didn't give me any warning,? Lewis says.

That is illegal and she would have a case if she decided to sue, at least in my state. You have to show your rules and the warnings given and whatnot. It has to involve various infractions. Unless it involves something like drugs or something potentially dangerous to the rest of the employees you can't just fire someone on a whim anymore.

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That is illegal and she would have a case if she decided to sue, at least in my state. You have to show your rules and the warnings given and whatnot. It has to involve various infractions. Unless it involves something like drugs or something potentially dangerous to the rest of the employees you can't just fire someone on a whim anymore.

I suggest you look up "At Will Employment" or more commonly known as "Work At Will". Just about every state in the U.S. is an at will employment state, including D.C. Once you review this and note that a company can terminate employment for ANY reason which does not violate existing discrimination laws, come back and explain just how "illegal" her termination was.

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I suggest you look up "At Will Employment" or more commonly known as "Work At Will". Just about every state in the U.S. is an at will employment state, including D.C. Once you review this and note that a company can terminate employment for ANY reason which does not violate existing discrimination laws, come back and explain just how "illegal" her termination was.

Thankfully, this situation (if it in fact unfolded as the article says it did) is illegal here in Canada.

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I suggest you look up "At Will Employment" or more commonly known as "Work At Will". Just about every state in the U.S. is an at will employment state, including D.C. Once you review this and note that a company can terminate employment for ANY reason which does not violate existing discrimination laws, come back and explain just how "illegal" her termination was.

You are right and I misspoke. It is not illegal.

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I suggest you look up "At Will Employment" or more commonly known as "Work At Will". Just about every state in the U.S. is an at will employment state, including D.C. Once you review this and note that a company can terminate employment for ANY reason which does not violate existing discrimination laws, come back and explain just how "illegal" her termination was.

While At Will employment is an important factor it doesn't automatically disqualify her for a lawsuit. Employers often have policy and procedures in place within the organization on how their Human Resources goes about firing someone or terminating an individuals employment. If those rules (if the company has them) and those company policies provide an employee with MORE benefit than the at will employment law on that states books and the company did NOT follow their own policies and procedures she certainly has a case for a lawsuit. I am no no way suggesting she would WIN said lawsuit but just because a state has an at will employment law does not in and of itself preclude her capabilities to seek justice.

It would seem you are NOT a lawyer so when providing this information maybe you should note that this is your OPINION of law.

Also to anyone who suggests the CHILD should sell the cookies - please just stop with your high and mighty attitude PLENTY of parents help their children sell cookies at their jobs so please just stop with the nonsense comments and do so without being terminated. I can't believe this employer would actually use girl scout cookies as a reason to fire someone that is just ridiculous and anyone who suggests otherwise is as foolish as this employer is and I count myself lucky to not work with such tightwad's.

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Thankfully, this situation (if it in fact unfolded as the article says it did) is illegal here in Canada.

The article notes that she was terminated for violating the company policy on solicitation, company policy is certainly on her employment agreement form that she signed and would be filed with HR when she was hired.

That would certainly make her dismissal with no warnings legal, even in Canada.

Also to anyone who suggests the CHILD should sell the cookies - please just stop with your high and mighty attitude

Its pretty clear that Girl Scouts think the cookies should be sold by the Scout, or does the COO of Girl Scouts of America also have a "high and mighty attitude" when she says the sales should be lead by the girls.

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I have 2 problems with this, 1) she was never properly warned that what she was doing was not approved. and 2) Why don't kids sell Girl scout cookies anymore. I never see a Kid selling them, just parents.

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Nowhere in this article does it say the girl wasn't selling her own cookies, just that her mother was also. A lady here does the same thing, sells some to us (because hello, we want them) but her daughter still does it herself as well.

This is just silly >.<

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The article notes that she was terminated for violating the company policy on solicitation, company policy is certainly on her employment agreement form that she signed and would be filed with HR when she was hired.

That would certainly make her dismissal with no warnings legal, even in Canada.

Its pretty clear that Girl Scouts think the cookies should be sold by the Scout, or does the COO of Girl Scouts of America also have a "high and mighty attitude" when she says the sales should be lead by the girls.

You make a statement in the name of Girl Scouts of America - "Its pretty clear that Girl Scouts think the cookies should be sold by the Scout". According to the Girl Scouts of America's own FAQ - "Who can sell Girl Scout Cookies? All girl members may participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Although parents and Girl Scout adults may assist girls, it is the girl who makes the sale, sets learning and sales goals, and learns the entrepreneurial skills that are part of the program. Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program is voluntary."

That supports your statement that the GIrl Scouts of America intend to have the cookies sold by the scout. Fair. and I agree that the child should be the primary here. However, it is well known in many locations across America parents take Girl Scout cookies to work to help their child - and I don't see anything wrong with that, either. Nothing higher and mighty about that. However, for anyone to suggest that ONLY a child should sell cookies and think is unfathomable that a parent has the inclination to help their child sell cookies - is higher than thou attitude. Let's be real you are judging this women for helping her daughter sell cookies for the girl scouts- this is hardly the first time this has been done. I could see if she was forcing cookies down everyone throats; or bringing in cookies on flat bed trucks but she wasn't. So stop judging this woman and keep your unrealistic opinions to yourself.

My opinion is even if a company has a soliciation policy - parents should still be able to sell girl scout cookies. I think we can all agree (though maybe not) that Girl Scout cookies is not exactly a soliciation nor would it's business be affected, that is sheer pettyness on the employers part and again I am thankful I do not work for such idiots. As I am sure the executives of that company bring boy/girl scout cookies into headquarters for their own kids - but hey let's not talk about that.

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The article notes that she was terminated for violating the company policy on solicitation, company policy is certainly on her employment agreement form that she signed and would be filed with HR when she was hired.

That would certainly make her dismissal with no warnings legal, even in Canada.

Incorrect. If she wasn't aware that she was violating company policy (and the fact that she did this not one, not two but three years in a row without consequence indicates she wasn't aware) they would be required by law to at least provide a written warning before termination. You're simply assuming she signed off on some piece of paper that said "I will not sell Girl Guide Cookies". There's a reason labour laws exist. If we're going to assume so much about this situation, let's assume she was an outstanding employee. She never missed a single shift in 12 years and was never late. Is it still reasonable to fire her without warning?

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This is just silly >.<

I'm wondering if we have the whole story here. Maybe there was another reason they wanted to get rid of her and just used the cookies as an excuse.

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