Tell UFCW: Reinstate Michael Overholser Now!

UFCW International President, Marc Perrone

On September 15, while seeking medical treatment, Michael Overholser was fired.


Michael started working for UFCW in May. Despite being within the required 6 month probationary period at the start of employment, Michael was a talented employee whose work greatly supported our efforts to serve UFCW members. His supervisor noted that he was excelling in his position, and there had been no flags that he was in danger of failing probation.


On August 22nd, Michael needed urgent medical care and began seeking it. Due to a sudden incapacitation, he was unable to notify UFCW of his inability to come to work. Although UFCW should reach out to employees and their emergency contacts if they are absent without notice, it took UFCW management 27 hours to call his emergency contact. It wasn’t until August 25th that the emergency contact and UFCW management finally made contact.


UFCW Guild officers met with HR on August 29th and reached a verbal agreement that extended sick leave would be provided without pay and his probationary period would be extended while he received medical care. After agreeing to this extension, UFCW emailed his emergency contact referencing Michael's return to work, including an option to return to work earlier, with no hint to a decision to terminate him.


No details about Michael’s condition changed, yet UFCW reneged on that promise to hold his job after 17 days. In addition to losing his job, because of his termination, his benefits are set to expire September 30, while he’s actively undergoing medical treatment.


As a labor union that regularly champions workers’ rights and emphasizes the importance of job security and access to quality, affordable healthcare, we are appalled that UFCW would treat their own employee this way. It’s hard to imagine how they could fight for these things for members while actively fighting against them for their own employees. While International President Marc Perrone posts memes about how workers shouldn’t have to decide between taking sick time and keeping their jobs (https://twitter.com/marc_perrone/status/1479147806468182018?s=21&t=Vj0Khld8-GS_le1ldr1a9g), he fires his employee taking medical leave.


We need your help to demand that UFCW reinstate Michael Overholser IMMEDIATELY with full benefits. Regardless of probationary status, NOBODY should be fired while seeking medical treatment or because of any health problems.


Please sign our petition to tell UFCW to give Michael his job and benefits back!


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Washington, DC

To: UFCW International President, Marc Perrone
From: Sally Davidow

UFCW, we are asking you to immediately reinstate Michael Overholser with full benefits.

As a union that regularly touts the importance of job security and access to healthcare, it’s unconscionable that you would fire a promising employee on medical leave and revoke their medical care in the middle of treatment.

Firing Michael Overholser does not align with the work you do fighting for your contracts to provide healthcare “that includes everything from regular preventative services to care in a crisis that you don’t control,” and making sure workers “always have someone that has [their] back if [they] feel [they] are being unfairly disciplined or targeted.” You can’t adequately fight for these things for your members while actively fighting against them for your own employees.

UFCW, do the right thing and give Michael Overholser his job back now.