Pizza Hut responds to backlash after a store manager threatens punishment for evacuating “too early”

This Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, photo shows a Pizza Hut restaurant, in New Orleans. Yum Brands Inc. reports earnings, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Pizza Hut is facing major backlash after it was discovered that one of its Florida managers may have pressured employees to work instead of evacuate for Hurricane Irma.

A note from a restaurant located in Jacksonville infuriated many after it instituted punishments for employees who evacuated too early and did not return within 72 hours.

“You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event,” the store told employees, despite Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry issued a mandatory evacuation order for parts of the city on Friday. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call / no show and documentation will be issued.”

Pizza Hut responded to the controversy by saying “the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines.” They have addressed the situation internally.

Evacuees created significant enough traffic jams that the left-shoulder of several major highways were open by the Florida Department of Transportation to accommodate well-over 6 million evacuees leaving as early as Thursday, one of the largest evacuations in the country. Residents were directed by FEMA to not to return until local approval was given.

RELATED: Residents report hearing noises as Hurricane Irma’s powerful winds take out three construction cranes

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