Imagine being fired for selling Girl Scout Cookies at work.It happened to a woman who's worked at various food services companies on AmericanUniversity'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.
Lewis' Troop Leader Alina McClerkin is worried that what happened to Lewis will scare away other potential cookie moms--and end up ultimately hurting the scouts themselves.
“A cookie mom is a self-less person. She doesn't profit from any of this in any way. She's doing it out of the goodness of her heart," McClerkin says. “I don't think anyone should be terminated for doing such a charitable thing."