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Mother sells Girl Scout cookies at work, gets fired for it

When it comes to employment law stories, every so often one comes along that sounds so ridiculous and illogical that it seems literally unbelievable. For example, remember the lifeguard from last summer that was fired for saving someone's life? Per their rules, the lifeguard's superiors had the right to fire him -- but is such a move really appropriate or logical, given the circumstances?

Well, we have another story to add to this group -- a mother was fired for selling Girl Scout cookies at her workplace.

The woman used to work for a restaurant on a college campus. Her daughter is a Girl Scout; and to help support her and her troop, she had a Girl Scout cookie display that was off "to the side." She did not actively solicit the cookies; instead, she would only try to sell the cookies if customers inquired about them.

The mother -- who was a long-time employee at the restaurant, working there for 12 years -- was deemed to have been in "gross misconduct" of company policy because of her Girl Scout endeavors, which they labeled a "personal cash business." Not only do those labels seem extreme, but in fact the mother gets no money for selling the cookies. It all goes straight to the Girl Scouts.

Now, does the restaurant have a reason to fire the woman? Maybe. Is it a fairly outrageous incident which seems to lack logic? Probably. But what this story is really about is that sometimes employers make borderline decisions. Whether they are in the right or the wrong depends on what action you take. Consult an attorney if you feel your employee rights have been infringed upon.

Source: WTTG, "Cookie crumbles wrong way for Girl Scout mom," March 21, 2013

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