VERMONT — Amir Shedyak, 20, a four-year employee of an Essex supermarket, stopped a thief who was stealing a woman’s purse. His reward: Being fired by his employer.
Shedyak is a volunteer firefighter and was once the Hannaford Supermarket’s employee-of-the-month. He was beginning his shift when a man approached him and said an elderly customer had been robbed.
“And he was like — an old lady’s purse just got stolen,” Shedyak told local station WCAX3. “I look to my right and I see a gentleman running across the parking lot and he had the purse in his hand.
Shedyak ran after the man and was able to wrestle him down to the ground before calling the police. The purse-snatcher eventually got away, but Shedyak was able to return the purse to its owner.
He was offered a reward by the woman, which he declined, telling her, “just wanted to help you out, do what’s right.”
A few days later, Shedyak returned to work, where he got called into the manager’s office and was told he was suspended pending an ongoing investigation. A week later, Shedyak was informed he was fired due to “safety issues while on company time.”
A local attorney told WCAX3 that Shedyak was most likely fired due to liability issues.
“It is not uncommon at all for employers to discourage employees from laying hands on customers,” the attorney said. “There are many cases in Vermont where employers are held responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees.”
The man Shedyak stopped was later found by police and charged with larceny.
I got fired from Hannafords after working there for four years. I started out as a bagger and worked my way up to the…
Shedyak, who was able to get hired by a different company shortly after the firing, said he was disappointed in the supermarket’s decision.
“I have no hard feelings towards my coworkers/ managers or the establishment,” he said in a Facebook post. “I just feel that what I had done was not wrong and should not have resulted in me being fired.”
A fundraiser has been set up in Shedyak’s name at gf.me/u/yz2ucw