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Former workers stunned at McDonald’s firings

Several employees from the Centerville, Riverdale and Clarksville McDonald’s were left in shock after being terminated without notice from their jobs beginning Monday.

Former grill cook Willie Betts estimated at least 20 to 25 employees including himself were terminated.

“I just want to know why,” said Betts after being terminated.

He had been working at McDonald’s for four years before his termination and recently received a raise within the last two months.

According to Betts, he came in to work that Monday at 4 a.m. and at 8:30 a.m. he was asked to come to the corporate office located across the street from the Centerville McDonald’s.

He said once he arrived at the office he was greeted by Mike Simon, the owner of the three locations, and terminated.

“I asked him, ‘what’s the reason for letting me go.’ He said, ‘really it ain’t no reason.’ I was like, ‘ I been here every day. I never missed a day. I have no write-ups. I been here for four years then you tell me I’m terminated for no reason.’ He said, ‘the reason why you’re being terminated is because what I’m trying to build here, you don’t fit the profile’,” Betts said. 

 Betts claims that Simon said he would give him a recommendation for another job.

“Now If I don’t fit the profile for McDonald’s, what kind of recommendation can you give me for another job. If I don’t fit the profile for fast food restaurants, how can I go out here to these local plants or Wal-Mart and fill out an application and fit their profile, but I don’t fit yours,” Betts said. “And then when I go for another job they’re going to ask me,  ‘you worked at this job for four years what happened.’  I’m supposed to just tell them I didn’t fit the profile of McDonald’s.”

Like Betts, many of the employee said they were also told that they didn’t fit the profile for the team the owner was trying to build.

“It’s just really suspicious a lot of good hardworking people who’ve been there for years got fired,” said Brian Tucker who also was terminated.

Tucker started off working at the Riverdale location also owned by Simon before moving to the Centerville location a year ago. He has been a McDonald’s employee for at least two years.

According Tucker, he was set to start training for a promotion and had worked every position including cashier, drive thru, cleaning, taking orders, stocking the freezer and unloading the truck. He said the only thing he hadn’t done was count the safe and hire and fire people which led him to believe he would soon be promoted to a shift manager. 

The father of three said he was very surprised and caught off guard when he was terminated. He went to the office with the impression he would be receiving his promotion, but instead he was left without a job.

Former Swing Manger Katrina Stanfield was also shocked after her sudden termination. 

She too started off at the Riverdale location before being transferred to the Centerville location in December. She had been working at McDonald’s for more than two years when she was terminated. Like Betts, she too had recently received a raise.

“They even gave me a raise and then they call me to the office and tell me they have to let me go. I find that to be a little crazy,” Stanfield said.

She said she was not given any reason for her termination, but was offered two weeks severance pay.

She said she left the office in tears because she was very hurt by the sudden termination and to her knowledge had been a good employee during her stint.

“I have two kids and bills to pay,” She said.

All three former employees seemed to think some type of discrimination might have came in to play, but the owner told other media outlets that is just not the case.

Simons refused to answer questions posed by The Gazette-Virginian on Wednesday afternoon.

In a previous report by WSET, he told the media it was based on work performance.

“I think they’re wrong, and it was discriminatory,” Tucker said.

 For Tucker, Betts and Stanfield that’s puzzling because they said that they never had any complaints or had been notified of any misconduct prior to the termination.

“They’re clearing out a lot of people and on TV they’re calling it because of work performance, but I don’t know why work performance would have to be bad with so many people that you have to fire that many people at one time,” Tucker said. “The way they’re saying it is like the stores were run into the ground and that the stores were horrible. I mean if you had to fire 10, 20, 30 people in the same week, why was this not being seen before. Why didn’t the previous owner fire them? Why didn’t the manager fire them? Why weren’t the other two supervisors firing people?”

 Each said they had positive evaluations and can’t understand why their job performance was the reason.

“If they were going to fire us they should have said something. I’ve never been written up. I’ve never been suspended or anything,” Stanfield said.

“There’s not going to be one person that can say I was bad customer service or that I didn’t work good or that I had an attitude,” Tucker said.  


According to Tucker, he and the other terminated employees have contacted the local chapter of NAACP to look into the matter and they plan to file a complaint with the organization.