Zales Fires Top Earning Saleswoman Because She Needs Surgery

A saleswoman for Zales who had earned 5 diamonds and almost a dozen commendations over the past 4 1/2 years—she’s the area’s first employee to earn a million dollars in sales in one year—was terminated last month, one week after she requested time off to have surgery for a life-threatening aortic aneurysm.

“I told my manager I can’t get upset because it could explode any minute,” she said. “I typed up a letter asking for time off and guidance from human resources.”

One week later, on March 14, she was asked to attend a meeting with a new regional manager.

“He said, ‘You’re terminated,'” Camilleri recalled. “I tried to keep myself very calm because I knew something could happen to me. I said, ‘You’re joking – you’ve never been in my store.’ He said, ‘It’s the best thing.'”

Even worse, Zales dragged its feet on providing the paperwork needed for Rose Camilleri to start her COBRA coverage, forcing her to postpone the surgery. When her son emailed asking them to speed things up, they responded, “Well, if the surgery was rescheduled, then it’s probably not a life-or-death situation.”

Update: twophrasebark emailed us a link to the Zales online Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which we really wish the regional manager had bothered to read:

Take a Common Sense Test

A good test for judging the employee’s conduct under
Zale’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is:

If you would be embarrassed for your supervisor or co-workers to read about your conduct on the front page of tomorrow morning’s newspaper or if the conduct is potentially harmful to the company…

Don’t Do It

“Star saleswoman, facing health crisis, axed” [] (Thanks to Trish!)
(Photo: NickStarr)

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