Should Employers Fire Their Staff by Text Message?

Forced to shut down his business, a Florida restaurant owner laid off his entire staff via text message on the fourth of July, leaving employees wondering where their final paychecks were and customers wondering what would happen to their Groupons.

Was it a bad move? Gregory Kennedy, owner of Barducci’s Italian Bistro and Pizzeria in Winter Park, may have saved more than a dozen employees from driving to work only to find out that they’d be sent home without jobs. But he also prevented them from demanding payment on their way out.

“I think it’s immoral,” cook Jodi Jackson told WFTV. “I think it’s cowardice.”

More than a week after she and the other employees received a text message from the owner that read, “I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci’s effective immediately,” they were still waiting for their checks.

On the company’s Facebook page, customers were told, “It is with deep regret that we need to inform our loyal customers that Barducci’s Italian Bistro has closed. Thank you to everyone for your business over the past 10 years,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. This page has since been removed.

Kennedy told WFTV that he would be issuing final paychecks as quickly as possible. Groupon also said that customers who bought vouchers for the restaurant would get a refund.

Readers, do you think employers should be able to fire or lay off workers via text message?

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