Tim Hortons rehires fired woman
Globe and Mail Update with Canadian Press
May 8, 2008 at 12:02 PM EDT
LONDON, Ont. — A Tim Hortons employee
fired Wednesday for giving a free Timbit to the child of a regular customer
has been rehired.
Nicole Lilliman, 27, a single mother of four in London,
Ont., was reinstated Thursday after intervention by the chain's head office.
In a terse press release, the company blamed an overzealous manager for
the firing, which threatened to become a public relations nightmare as the
story gained traction in the media Thursday.
"Unfortunately the action of the manager of this location was not
appropriate nor grounds for dismissal. With an apology from management, Ms.
Lilliman has been rehired by the franchisee," it states.
"We sincerely apologize to our customers for this unfortunate incident."
Spokeswoman Rachel Douglas said Ms. Lilliman was rehired after the store
owner became aware of the incident.
The store apparently had a policy against giving away food, but Ms. Douglas
said it wasn't a ground for dismissal and that Ms. Lilliman is receiving an
apology from head office.
Ms. Lilliman will now work at another Tim Hortons store, just down the street
from where she's been employed for the past three years.
"She has chosen to go to a different location, just down the street, which is
owned by the same franchisee in case she was uncomfortable returning to her
current store," Ms. Douglas said.
No decision has been made in regards to taking action against the manager who
fired Ms. Lilliman, Ms. Douglas added.
"It was an unfortunate incident where a manager acted a bit overzealously.
The actions of that manager were not appropriate, nor were they grounds for
As for the need for a nationwide policy on Timbit freebies, Ms. Douglas said
that's yet to be determined. She does point out that, currently, store owners
set their own policies and run "their businesses as they choose."
On Wednesday. Ms. Lilliman said she had acted out of the goodness of her
"I have been fired for giving a baby a Timbit," she said.
"It was just out of my heart — she was pointing and going 'ah, ah. . .' I
should have gone to my purse and got the change, but it was busy."
Ms. Lilliman, who has worked at the store for three years, said she thought
little of the incident since Timbits are often doled out to dogs and children.
She said the baby was about 11 months old, and she gave her the treat to
quiet her, since her mother — a Tims' regular — had been "having a bad day."
"I could see [the dismissal] if it was a sandwich or something," she said.
"But it was a Timbit."
She'd forgotten about the Monday-morning incident until she was called into
the office Wednesday.
Three managers greeted her, saying she had been caught on video, giving free
food to a child.
"They said, 'Remember, Monday you gave out a free Timbit,' " she said. "I had
to think, then I was like, 'Oh yeah,' and I smiled because I thought I'd get a
Instead, she was fired for theft.
Giving food away free is against the rules, said Tim Hortons district manager
"Employees aren't allowed to give out free products and that's the bottom
line," she said. "She gave out free product and it doesn't matter if it is a
Timbit or a coffee or a doughnut or 10 sandwiches or what."
The Timbits given to pets, Ms. Mitchell added, are usually "day-old and
You Ottawa Mens Centre.com, from Ottawa, Canada wrote:
Absolute power corrupts. She gave away a timbit, that's against the rules, I
got her, now she's fired. Family court judges do the same thing. they "give
away" access and take it away at almost any crazy excuse that a mother can come
up with. Low income single mothers unfortunately look like an easy target. The
only thing that saved this particular single mother was the publicity. Every
day, thousands of children have their right to a relationship to their
biological father terminated for no other reason than a mother who wants to
remove "the annoyance" of having the child enjoy a relationship with his or her
father. If you don't cross your T's or dot your i's , abusers will flagrantly
use a minor event or minor "irregularity" to exact the most horrible
repercussions for apparently nothing more than entertainment value. Public
accountability saved this young ladies job, be it at a different store. Some
Family Court Judges flagrantly abuse their fiduciary duty with such impunity
with decisions are so sick they can only have been made for an improper reason
of exacting revenge or for "the entertainment value" similar to that gained by
psychopaths in committing their crimes. www.OttawaMensCentre.com
Posted 08/05/08 at 3:03 PM EDT