IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Pizza Hut reinstates manager fired after refusing to open Thanksgiving

A Pizza Hut manager says he was fired for refusing to open his store in Elkhart, Ind., on Thanksgiving.
A Pizza Hut manager says he was fired for refusing to open his store in Elkhart, Ind., on Thanksgiving.Tim Boyle / Getty Images

After being fired for refusing to open his restaurant on Thanksgiving, a Pizza Hut manager has his job back.

Tony Rohr, who worked his way up from cook to general manager at the company, was told it was mandatory to keep his Elkhart, Ind., store open on the holiday.

"I just decided I wasn't going to agree to it," Rohr said. "All of these people the whole year had been told they were going to have the day off."

Luckily for him, Pizza Hut stepped in and "strongly recommended" that the local franchise hire him back, saying the company respects "an employee's right to not work on a holiday."

Pizza Hut issued this statement Thursday morning:

As follow up to the situation in Elkhart, IN, we feel strongly that the situation involving our independent franchisee and the local store manager could and should have been avoided. We fully respect an employee's right to not work on a holiday, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed. We look forward to them welcoming Tony back to the team.

Rohr said that in his 10 years with the company, this was the first time any location had asked him to work on Thanksgiving.

Many spots are opening in an effort to squeeze out extra sales from holiday shoppers.

"They just said it was a competitive decision and that everyone was open, so we will be too," Rohr added. "I said, 'Why can't we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees, and let them have the day off?'"

Rohr said earlier that he had no regrets about pushing back.

"No, not at all," he said. "I'm glad I did that."

—CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLittle

Related stories:

Retailers' Black Friday and Thanksgiving hours

Restaurants target Thanksgiving shoppers

Gift guide: Wines under $20