Florida Pizza Hut manager threatens to punish workers evacuating for Irma

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – A Jacksonville Pizza Hut is under fire for putting workers at risk ahead of Hurricane Irma.

A Twitter user shared a memo from the fast food chain’s manager that appears to threaten workers who evacuated for the storm outside of a designated time frame.

The memo said employees cannot evacuate due to their “responsibility and commitment” to the community, and that employees who needed to evacuate would get only a 24-hour “grace period” before the storm and must return within 72 hours.

“You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event!” it reads. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call / no show and documentation will be issued. After the storm, we need all TM’s available to get the store up and running and serve our communities as needed.”

Pizza Hut said its “local franchise operator has addressed this situation with the manager involved.”

“We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines,” the company said in a statement.

Evacuating too late can be a risky move due to traffic and a dwindling gas supply.

In Jacksonville, flooding has swallowed entire streets with up to four feet of water.

Officials called for mandatory evacuations for parts of the city on Friday. On Monday, the sheriff’s office told those in evacuation zones to “get out now.”

FEMA is telling evacuees to only return home when local officials give the thumbs up.