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'McFlurry sacking is a terrible stain my daughter Sarah's character'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

Sarah Finch who was sacked by McDonald’s in Carmarthen

Sarah Finch, who was sacked by McDonald’s in Carmarthen.

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THE mum of a McDonald’s waitress who claims she was unfairly sacked for sprinkling too much chocolate on a McFlurry dessert has spoken of the family’s determination to fight to clear her name.

Sarah Finch, 19, was fired for gross misconduct for giving extra chocolate topping to a workmate for the 99p ice cream.

Sarah is taking her McDonald's restaurant to an employment tribunal after her bosses accused her of giving away food without payment. Speaking from the family home in Kidwelly yesterday, her mother, accountant Tessa Finch, said: "Sarah enjoyed working at McDonald's during her studies and was doing very well.

“Some people are a bit sneery about McDonald’s, but we thought they were a good company with good policies toward their young staff.

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"But we have researched this and there are other cases of McDonald's workers who have been dismissed for what we believe are trivial reasons.

“My biggest concern is that McDonald’s have accused Sarah of theft. That is a terrible stain on her character and her employment record.

“When she goes for her next job she will be asked: “Why did you leave your last employ- ment?”

Mrs Finch said she had no concerns about taking the McDonald's franchise, run by the company Lonetree, to an employment tribunal.

She said: “I've always been happy to fight for the underdog.”

McDonald's described Sarah — who is studying for A-levels in chemistry, physics and biology — as an “exceptional employee” before sacking her from her £180-a-week job.

Sarah said in a statement: “I was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct. I was accused of stealing food.

“The matter was trivial, in that I provided a fellow employee, who was purchasing a dessert, a generous sprinkling of chocolate pieces.

“There is no standard for such measures — they are always imprecise and will vary among customers.

“My colleague had asked me: "Make it a nice one’’.

“So the measure I gave erred on the side of more than, rather than less than, the mean.’’

Sarah had worked at McDonald’s in Carmarthen for 18 months when she gave her colleague a generous portion of chocolate topping.

She said: “The issue was that I had done this in response to a specific request for someone I actually knew.

“Had it not been in response to a request, or it was someone I did not know, then I do not believe there would have been even a warning.”

Sarah said it was common practice for managers at the McDonald's to give away food to unhappy customers.

Her application for unfair dismissal is against franchise company Lonetree, who run a string of McDonald’s restaurants.

She has submitted her claim at the employment tribunal in Cardiff. A full hearing is due at a later date where she is represented by her mother Tessa.

Managing director Ron Mounsey confirmed he backed his manager’s decision to sack Sarah, who is being represented at the tribunal by her mother.

In a letter to Sarah’s mother, Mr Mounsey said: “I am aware of the circumstances of your daughter’s dismissal, where she has admitted giving away food to someone without receiving payment.

“This is classed as gross misconduct as per my employee handbook, the consequence is dismissal.

“My managers acted correctly according to my policies and I fully uphold their decisions.

“You may feel it is trivial, but with 740 employees in my business, if my management team were just to overlook such incidents then quickly it would become a free-for-all.

“This is and always has been a dismissable offence in my business.

“There are reminder notices in every one of my staff rooms reminding employees of this policy as well as the Employee Handbook.

“Employees are aware of the risk they take should they decide to do this. This will continue to be the case.’’

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  • JerryLew  |  September 27 2012, 11:32PM

    Dan01 - lol - lets boycott them all - and let them pick their own litter up. One massive negative with the "bag tax" is that people just throw rubbish out of the car - maybe before they put the rubbish in the bag now - straight out of the window

    Rate   6
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  • bennyhill4  |  September 27 2012, 10:40PM

    The person who needs to be vilified is the little sneak who reported this poor girl.To be sacked for stealing when just putting a bit of extra chocolate flakes on a m'cflurry is absolutely scandalous and anybody with a sense of justice would give macdonalds a wide berth

    Rate   11
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  • gorseboy  |  September 27 2012, 8:35PM

    Would she have been dismissed for misconduct if she had given the same helping to a member of the public? Sounds like heavy handed tactic by a poor manager.

    Rate   15
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  • Don_Brodka  |  September 27 2012, 8:06PM

    Haddock Ken - I agree: Oh, sure, now she's just a little girl stealing little things. But some day, she'll be a grown woman stealing stadiums and.... and quarries.

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  • cymroun  |  September 27 2012, 6:50PM

    I used to work in Mcdonalds about 10 years ago, I know of one employee who tried to get a trade union branch started, needless to say he was sacked as soon as management found out about it, they wouldn't allow any employee to be part of a union.

    Rate   9
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  • BobDavies2  |  September 27 2012, 4:55PM

    Looks like Mc Donalds have taken the new government employment policy on board, its now much easier to sack employees. Interesting what a tribunal will make of it, one of the first test cases.

    Rate   15
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  • Kaiser_Macsen  |  September 27 2012, 4:53PM

    Yeh, yeh, Hadafrend. It starts with breaking wind in Church and ends with mass genocide. Of course, being a ninja pillock, you can spot wrong uns a mile off, can't you? 7\/\//-\7

    Rate   9
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  • Dan01  |  September 27 2012, 4:39PM

    Hadoken4 Hadoken4543 , in this case there was no specific measure. Its not like four candles or ten nails. No two customers would receive the same precise number of choc bits! A bit like lucky dip I suppose. She is bound to win her case, particularly as it seems that she had a good performance record. Unless of course, there is more to it than meets the eye. All will be revealed in the tribunal hearing in due course.

    Rate   7
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  • Hadoken4543  |  September 27 2012, 3:43PM

    I dont see how you can blame mcdonalds for being fat, its your choice, if you are too weak to save yourself from a coronary then you are probably better off dead as soon as possible anyway as I cannot imagine that mindset being much use to anyone else. There is plenty of healthy food at mcdonalds if you look for it. I dont care if you are fat, but if you blame someone else for it then there is no hope for you. Take responsibility for your own actions. Secondly, while it seems a minor offence, its the principle which is more serious, today its chocolate sprinkles, tomorrow its a big mac, the day after its the till. If this was a DIY store, the sprinkles would be nails, its the principle which is bigger than the actual deed and everyone will see that in a different light.

    Rate   -4
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  • Dan01  |  September 27 2012, 3:32PM

    Easy JerryLew. I am quite partial to the one with the bucket of chicken pieces. Lets just boycott McD.

    Rate   1
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