Target: Mic Hubbard, commander of the American Legion Post of Shelby, Ohio
Goal: Apologize for firing and banning a bar employee who reported an intoxicated patron to local police
A bartender at the American Legion Post bar in Shelby, Ohio was recently fired for reporting an intoxicated patron to local police. Twyla DeVito, bartender and mother of eight, noticed that Mike Ramey, a regular of the bar and member of the board at the American Legion, was “hammered” at the start of her shift. When Ramey left the bar and got into his car, DeVito felt that she had very limited options, as there is no taxi service in Shelby, and she was unable to leave her shift to offer Ramey a ride. Thus, she called to alert Shelby police, concerned not only for Ramey’s safety, but for the safety of other drivers as well. However, two days later, DeVito received a call from Mic Hubbard, the commander of the Post, and was informed that she was “bad for business,” and therefore, terminated. To add insult to injury, the American Legion then notified DeVito that she was banned from the bar for life.
According to Hubbard, the choice to fire DeVito from the bar was based on the notion that other patrons would not want to worry about having the police called on them as they left the bar, and could result in a loss of business. However, Shelby police chief Charles Roub praised DeVito’s decision, reporting that Ramey was discovered to have a blood alcohol content of .167, more than double the legal limit in Ohio. Roub declared his support for DeVito, stating that reporting drunk drivers was encouraged and helped officers to keep the community safe. Furthermore, in the state of Ohio, if a drunk driver causes severe injury or bodily harm, the bar itself can be held liable.
According to legal expert Jonna Spilbor, DeVito not only did the moral thing, but she “potentially protected herself and the bar owner from huge liability.” Unfortunately for DeVito however, Ohio is an “at-will” state, meaning that employers are legally allowed to terminate employees for virtually any reason, not including race, religion or sexual orientation, leaving her with little to no options for legal retribution. All the same, DeVito maintains that she does not wish to get her old job back, but rather that she merely wants people to understand the uncomfortable position bartenders often face: to allow intoxicated patrons to leave and cause potential harm, or to do the morally right thing by reporting inebriated drivers but face termination. Commend Twyla DeVito, who made the more difficult, moral choice, and demand justice for her by signing the petition.
Dear Mr. Hubbard,
When your former employee Twyla DeVito made the choice to report an intoxicated driver and patron of the American Legion Post bar, her actions should have been commended. By alerting police of the inebriated driver, Ms. DeVito potentially saved not only his life and the lives of other drivers, but also protected the establishment from possible liability had the driver caused any form of bodily harm. However, rather than applaud your employee, you chose to fire her for doing what she felt to be a moral obligation.
Your actions were not only unjust, but also reveal a disturbing mindset that continual business is more important than public safety. Your claim that Ms. DeVito was “bad for business” because of her decision illustrates that the desire to encourage patrons to visit the bar and spend money there is of greater concern than the actual safety of those patrons. I urge you to recognize the integrity of Ms. DeVito’s decision, and apologize for unjustly firing and banning her from the American Legion Post bar.
[Your Name Here]
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