Family Dollar Refused To Let Mother Off Work To Get Her Autistic Son Out Of Hurricane Irma’s Path

Family dollar refuses to let mother off of her shift so she can go with her autistic son to Orlando

  • Jessica Thompson began her job at Family Dollar just days before threats of Hurricane Irma became a severe threat for the Cape Coral area

  • Thompson was told that if she left with her mother and son that it would be a no call no show and she would lose her job

  • On Friday Thompson left Cape Coral to be with her son in Orlando

As people all around Southern Florida escaped from the extremely destructive and fatal path of Hurricane Irma, employees at Family Dollar were not so lucky.

It was just last Monday when Jessica Thompson began working at the Family Dollar located at 340 Cape Coral Parkway, in Cape Coral, Florida. Thompson had not even worked at the store for a week when the news broke that Hurricane Irma had become a significant threat to the area.

Most businesses in the area closed their doors on Wednesday to allow their employees ample time to get clear of the dangerous storm. Major corporations such as Family Dollar were not as concerned for their employee’s safety. Instead, it appears their focus was geared towards squeezing in as many sales as possible before mandatory evacuations were issued.


After her shift on Wednesday, Thompson informed her manager that she would not be coming into work on Friday or Saturday so she could go to Orlando with her mother and 8-year-old autistic son to get out of the way of Irma’s destructive path.

The Daily Haze spoke with Thompson who claimed her manager told her that since there was not a mandatory evacuation, it would be counted as a no call no show, which would cause her to lose her job. Facing the risk of losing her new job, Thompson stayed in Cape Coral while her mother and son went to Orlando.

After only one day away from his mother, Thompson’s son began calling and stating that he was scared he was going to “blow away.” On Friday morning, Thompson was forced to decide if making $8.75 at Family Dollar was worth risking her safety. Thompson finally concluded that she was able to “replace her job, but could not replace her autistic son’s memories” if something happened to her during Irma’s track across Florida.

Instead of going to work, Thompson got into her car and drove to Orlando. The drive is usually three hours, but due to people fleeing the area it took Thompson over six hours to arrive.

No Call No Show

After arriving in Orlando, Thompson called Family Dollar and attempted to explain how she felt and the dilemma of having an autistic son who needed her. Before having a chance to apologize, Thompson claims that she was told her absence would be considered a no call no show, followed by the manager on duty hanging up the phone.

Thompson told TDH that another employee wanted to leave as well but stayed due to the fear of losing her job.

This incident between Thompson echoes claims of huge corporations valuing profits over people. The problem with waiting until there is a mandatory evacuation in place is that it is usually too late. Those attempting last minute evacuations find themselves struggling to find gas, stuck in dangerously long traffic jams, and little to no resources available in general.

The Daily Haze reached out to Family Dollar for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publishing this article.



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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