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Lululemon employees fired after robbery for breaking policy, they say

The employees feel their termination wasn't fair.

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. — Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from the company.

Two metro Atlanta women say they were fired from the Lululemon in Peachtree Corners for calling the police to report a robbery.

Jennifer Ferguson was the assistant manager at the time.

"All of a sudden we see some gentlemen run into the store in masks and hoodies," Ferguson said. "They swiped until they couldn't hold any more product and ran out the door."

Rachel Rogers was a key leader at the time. She caught the robbery on camera.

"We didn't really feel very protected or know what else to do," Rogers said.

Watch the end of what happened during the burglary on Facebook.

Rogers has been working for the company for five years. She says the Peachtree Corners location has been dealing with a string of thefts for months. She shared what happened during a separate incident.

"I was not working and someone sent me a picture of the front entrance table. And I was like, 'Oh my gosh, we just sold all of the product. Good job!'" Rogers said. "And they were like, 'No, someone just came in and stole everything."

No one at the store called the police during the other swipes. This time, Rogers and Ferguson called the authorities. However, Ferguson says this went against company policy.

"We are not supposed to get in the way. You kind of clear path for whatever they're going to do," Ferguson said. "And then, after it's over, you scan a QR code. And that's that. We've been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We're not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it." 

Gwinnett Police Department confirmed to 11Alive that there have been a few robberies in the area. According to a police report, the three thieves at the Peachtree Corner's Lululemon are now facing felony robbery charges.

However, Rogers and Ferguson were both fired. Both were given the same reasoning.

"It wasn't very clear. They didn't give specific reasoning besides just saying they have a 'no-tolerance policy,'" Rogers said.

Ferguson virtually said the same thing.

"They said I was terminated immediately with no severance because they have a zero-tolerance policy," Ferguson said.

Rogers and Ferguson are hoping the policy can be changed, allowing employees to call the police if they don't feel safe. 

11Alive reached out to Lululemon corporate Wednesday and did not receive a statement about the incident until Monday, May 29. A communications firm reached out on behalf of a company spokesperson, claiming the employees were not fired for calling the police, but for rather "engaging with the perpetrators" which can put themselves and guests in harms way. (Read the full statement at the end of this story.)

"That was my sole income," Rogers said, "So, I did have to file for unemployment and use all of my savings to pay for my car payments, car insurance payments, my dog's food, my food."

Ferguson says she has four kids to support.

"They put us in a bit of a bind," Ferguson said. "My husband is self-employed. So, we're trying to figure out insurance. There was no severance."

For now, Rogers says she has a job interview lined up. And Ferguson says she's still in between jobs and is in the process of sprucing up her resume.

Read the full statement from the company spokesperson below: 

“The two employees at our Peachtree Corners location in Georgia were not terminated for calling the police. They were terminated for knowingly violating our zero-tolerance policy related to physically engaging with the perpetrators which put their lives and the safety of our guests and other employees at risk. Employees are able and instructed to call 911 when needed, and that was not the cause of termination in this case. We are grateful no one was hurt during this altercation. At lululemon, our people’s safety is our number one priority, which includes an absolute zero-tolerance policy for our employees engaging with guests in a way that could put themselves, or others, in harm’s way. We have longstanding protocols in place to uphold a safe environment in our stores, and our view is that no amount of merchandise in a store is worth our educators putting themselves at risk. Our focus is on continuing to support our employees and creating a safe shopping environment for our guests, as well as continuing to collaborate with local partners and law enforcement to ensure our stores remain safe.”


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