No Merit Badge for You: Mom Fired for Selling Girl Scout Cookies at Work

Employment / Personal Injury / Business

Girl Scout Cookies

Google is a wonderful thing. It really is amazing what you can find in a matter of seconds. I always enjoy sharing the more obscure stories I find during my Google searches whether on this blog or on social media because you cannot make these up. That is the perfect way to sum up this one: a woman is fired at work for selling Girl Scout cookies. On top of that, as you will see, the employer is well within its right to do so.

Selling Girl Scout cookies for her daughter was something Tracy Lewis did for three years she claims. However, now she is lacking customers – and a job for that matter. Without warning, Lewis was given the boot. As MyFoxDC’s Audrey Barnes explains, the termination letter from Bon Appetit was quite clear:

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.”

To which Lewis responds: “I had the cookies on a cart, and I would never ask anyone to buy them. But, if they wanted to buy some, I would sell them.”

Unfortunately, for Tracy Lewis and other would-be Girl Scout cookie sellers, the law is on Bon Appetit’s side in this case. As employment law attorney and AOL contributor Donna Ballman puts it:

Every state and D.C., except Montana, is an at-will state. They can fire her because they don’t like Girl Scout cookies, or they don’t like Girl Scouts, or they don’t like the color green. They can fire her because they don’t like thin mints, although that would be crazy.

Let Lewis’ case be a lesson both for employers and for employees. While I cannot imagine anybody not liking thin mints, employees need to be careful and read their company’s policy before doing any extracurricular business at work. Additionally, employers need to communicate company policy on a regular basis to prevent cases like this from happening.

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