A North Carolina Honeybaked Ham store manager was shot in an attempted store robbery in April, and has been recovering on worker’s compensation since the shooting. Now that his benefits have run out, the store very thoughtfully has terminated his employment. (Update: Honeybaked Ham sent us a statement with their take on this situation, which is appended at the end of this post.)
They meant well—the company’s ostensible reason was to allow him to apply for Social Security disability benefits, a process that can take months or even years.
Huether said the company promised in e-mails to keep him and his family “whole financially.” For him, that meant keeping his pay and medical benefits intact.
“I mean don’t try to say you’re this warm, fuzzy family company with family traditions and all this other stuff,” Huether said. “The facts are not matching what’s been said to me.”
Maggie DeCan, vice president of human resources, said the decision to terminate his employment had to do with following workers’ compensation rules and that his release could make him eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
The family is primarily concerned with the loss of their health insurance, which would cost them $1,500 per month out of pocket.
(Update: Honeybaked Ham has sent us their side of the story.)
Statement from HoneyBaked Ham Regarding Richard Huether
At HoneyBaked Ham of Georgia, we value and care deeply about our employee family. We have been and continue to be deeply concerned about Rich Huether and wish him a full and speedy recovery. In keeping with our values over the past several months, we took a course of action that we thought was not only lawful, but also best for Rich and his family.
In the aftermath of Rich’s unfortunate injury, we provided meals to him and his family and visited him at the hospital and at his home. We continued this support until we were asked to stop. Rich continues to have access to 100% employer-paid long-term disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits, which are available to all HoneyBaked Ham full-time employees. These benefits provide associates with the near-equivalent of full take-home pay. Additionally, since the accident, HoneyBaked Ham has more than made up the difference between his workman’s compensation wages and his take-home pay in direct payments to Rich.
In an effort to reduce some of the stress of health insurance costs, HoneyBaked Ham is stepping forward to reimburse him for his COBRA payments. Finally, when Rich is healthy enough to return to work, we’re very interested in speaking with him about opportunities at HoneyBaked of GA.
As always, we remain committed to our employees. We continue to send best wishes to Rich and his family, and look forward to his healthy recovery.