Two employees cited for violating "holy place" rule regarding in bringing sack lunches to work with meat.
The owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries, Robert Cox; just demonstrated his lack of tolerance this past week, by scolding & suspending an employee for bringing a sack lunch to work with a meat sandwich which was stored in the back room refrigerator.
It's not clear how the employer discovered the contents of a sealed lunch meal, but the employer quickly took the employee off the schedule and accused her of violating "the holy space we've created at Friendly".
The shops have a very unique history, especially at the Norman location where they were raided a few years ago for selling pipes that could accommodate smoking more than just tobacco.
The shop manager, Stephen Holman; personifies much of the hipster image. He ran for city council of Norman and won. The police and prosecutor failed to get a conviction, but kept the contents of pipes they confiscated. Those same pipes are now legal, given the outcome of SQ788, which included paraphernalia in the medical marijuana reform law.
Holman, who's likeness is the iconic logo of Friendly Markets, defends the owner's right to ban employees from taking meat products to work.
But what's caused a social media 'blow up' is the intolerance that this signifies. While so many patients protest any law which allows them to be fired for the safe medicating they and their medical teams implement; It seems the dispensary does not make room for employees who may be following medical advice in keeping high protein meats in their diet.
As one who has multiple family members with allergies to eggs & peanuts, my kids need the practical options of real meats to develop healthy & strong bodies.
This issue flies in the face of a tolerance message which has been central to marijuana reform laws.
Robert Cox posted this social media statement while trying to focus on the dispensaries' 1 year anniversary.
Friendly Market on Hefner is with Norma Sapp and Robert-Laura Cox.
Yesterday at 12:43 AM ·
Thank you to everyone who came out for the One Year Anniversary Customer Appreciation party and thank you to everyone for keeping all of the meat sandwiches in the approved designated areas per our company policy - you are all loved and you are all special to us no matter where you decide to store your meat sandwiches! Thank you for an amazing first year!
Stephen Tyler Holman
22 hrs ·
I want to take a moment a make a few comments about the news story involving Friendly Market and our founders view on the consumption of meat.
First, this particular incident took place at the OKC store not the Norman store which I manage.
I have already had several people ask me today why I "fired two girls for eating a meat sandwhich in the store". This did not happen at all and is not true in any way as I mentioned the incident in question happened at the OKC store.
This is a pretty good example of how story can spin completely out of control very quickly.
Second, it is true that the owner of Friendly Market Robert Cox is vegan and one of his very few store policies is that employees are not to eat or bring meat inside the store.
95% of us that work for the company are not vegan and we eat meat outside of work all the time, but we are all willing to respect the wishes of the person who invested his life savings and risked prison time for this business if that is all he is asking of us.
This policy only applies to inside the store and is disclosed when we interview with him for the job which we all agree to before accepting.
Robert has always been more than willing to sit down with emplyees and dicuss any store or employee issues and work out solutions when needed, but that is not what happened in this case.
Third, meat was found in the OKC store refrigerator and the emplyee who brought it fessed up immediately when asked by Robert, he intially reacted a bit harsh a took her off the schedule for two days but they sat down and had a civil discussion about what happened and why. It turns out there was just a misunderstanding and she was put back on the schedule and paid for the two days she was out. She is still the assistant manager of the OKC store.
Robert took this incident as an opportunity to have a store meeting where he just wanted to make sure everyone was clear about the store policy.
During that meeting another employee decided he didn't like it. He made a huge scene in front of customers, threatened Robert, then walked out saying he was going to the news and get everyone to stop supporting Friendly Market over meat sandwiches.
He flat out lied about the other employee and what happened and I am sure she will have her own comments about the fact he took it upon himself to speak for her in an attempt to cause harm to her current place of employment.
I have worked for Robert over four years now and sat next to him as co-defendants in a jury trial for 6 days. I am not vegan and I have no plans to become vegan as much as he might like me to. I have disagreed with him on many issues and beliefs that he has, but I have no problem with his store policy on meat because this is the best job I have ever had, there are very few store rules, we are well taken care of as employees, and it was something I knew about/agreed to from day one just like everyone else that works here.
In the end, threatening to hurt this business over what I would describe as an inaccurate news story and an internal policy that we all agree to in the first place and have never had a problem with over the last 5 years until now only serves to hurt the 15+ employees of both stores that rely on this job.
I am here 6 days a week (not Sunday) and I will be here today until 5pm if you want to stop by and discuss this further.
Feel free to eat all the meat you desire anywhere you want, but if you want to work at Friendly Market you will definitely be asked not to do so inside the store.
I appreciate you all taking the time to let me share another side of this story.
Stephen T. Holman
GM FM Norman