Lawsuit claims store manager was wrongfully fired for refusing to open store during mandatory COVID-19 closures

A local woman is suing Rent-a-Center after she claims the company wrongfully fired her for refusing to open during the mandatory COVID-19 closures in Pennsylvania.

“I just feel extremely disappointed with my company, the fact that they just didn’t have any regard for my health or the health of the other co-workers and the customers,” Tiffany Sager said.

Sager said she was fired a couple of weeks after refusing to reopen the AcceptanceNOW finance store that's located inside a furniture store in Robinson Township.

She said her manager told her to open May 3 even though the governor's order closing all nonessential stores wasn't lifted until May 15.

“I feel like I did what I needed to do to follow the governor’s orders and also reach out to my superiors,” Sager said.

Sager said she was told it would be by appointment only. She said she repeatedly reached out to other supervisors with questions but did not get a response.

Another manager eventually reopened the store, and Sager was told her position had been eliminated.

The company website has a page devoted to COVID-19 precautions stating, “Whatever we can do to ensure everyone’s safety, health, and peace of mind, we are committed to do.”

Sager and her attorney have now filed a complaint against the company.

“They should be commending employees like that and instead they were in such a hurry to get their business back open that they disregarded their obligations. And instead of honoring her legal obligations and her ethical obligations to keep herself and her customers safe, they simply swept her aside,” Sager’s attorney, Maggie Coleman, said.

Sager is asking an arbitrator to award her back pay along with compensatory and punitive damages after she claims she was fired for doing the right thing.