A single mother was fired last month from her food services job at American University
in Washington, D.C., for selling Girl Scout cookies at work.
Tracy Lewis had worked for Bon Appetit, food services on the university's campus, for 28 years. She sold her daughter's Girl Scout cookies for the past three years and said she was never warned that it was prohibited.
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On Feb. 18, Lewis' boss terminated her for "gross misconduct by soliciting" and "operating a personal cash business selling Girl Scout cookies over the counter which violates company policy."
Lewis was shocked and claims she never solicited the cookies to anyone but kept them on a food cart for passers-by to see.
"I would never ask anyone to buy them," Lewis told MyFoxDC.com. "But, if they wanted to buy some, I would sell them."
Lewis, a single mother with a son in college and a 12-year-old daughter, said she never made a personal profit from the cookie sales.
"They didn't give me any warning," Lewis said. "It's crazy because I can't profit for selling the cookies. It's a volunteer position. I was just trying to help my daughter raise money for trips and stuff like that."
Lewis's employer declined to comment, citing employee confidentiality.
Alina McClerkin, Lewis's daughter's troop leader, said her firing might scare off other "cookie moms" and hurt the Girl Scouts organization as a whole.
"A cookie mom is a self-less person. She doesn't profit from any of this in any way. She's doing it out of the goodness of her heart," McClerkin told MyFoxDC.com. "I don't think anyone should be terminated for doing such a charitable thing."
But the Girl Scouts Council of Washington, D.C., discourages parents from selling the cookies, and says it should be the scout's responsibility.
"Girl Scout cookie sales are a girl-led, entrepreneurial program," Girl Scout Chief Operating Officer Colleen Cibula said in a statement. "We want the girls to be taking the lead."
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