By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Now McDonalds, which has come under fire from employees and others about the fact they do not provide a living wage, had an opportunity to be a hero. However, instead of helping a struggling single mom working for the popular fast food chain – she was fired.
Debra Harrell was arrested on July 1 after other adults approached her daughter playing in a park near the McDonalds where Harrell worked. She was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. The daughter had a cellphone with her to call her mother if any problems arose and reportedly the park area.
The child reportedly was not in any immediate danger and there are no reports the park requires only supervised children. Have we really gotten to the point that we have a law forbidding children from playing in the park alone? In this case it seems so, because the adult called the police and they arrested Harrell and her daughter was placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services for the night.
Although she was released and reunited with her child the next day, now Harrell is unemployed. McDonalds has not responded to media inquires about the matter citing human resource guidelines.
A guess is she was fired for creating bad publicity for the company – but how uncaring do you have to be to fire an employee clearly just trying to make a living and provide for her family?
All the news is not bad: since news broke of her arrest a YouCaring.com fund has raised more than $28,000 for her pending legal fees. This could also be a reason why she was fired, because again it puts McDonalds in a bad light with her wearing the restaurant’s uniform in the fundraising photos.
However, at the end of the day, no one made the conglomerate look any worst than McDonalds did themselves. Will people forget about this? Yes, it likely won’t even impact their sales at the local location. But the impact on this family will go on – only time will tell if in the long-term it will be good or bad.