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Newaygo woman says she was fired after voicing concerns about company not following stay-home order

Posted at 3:28 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 17:31:56-04

NEWAYGO, Mich. — Amber Gorby has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit after her former employer, Hometown Pharmacy in Newaygo, allegedly fired her.

“I brought up the items in the executive order, for people to work from home to the fullest extent possible. To minimize the spread and keep everyone safe and healthy and save lives,” Gorby said.

She had worked for Hometown Pharmacy for 16 years. Amber said she didn't physically work at the pharmacy, rather at the corporate office. Her title, retail sales manager, meant she was in charge of ordering products aside from pharmaceuticals. For example, candy, impulse buys and everything in the front of the store.

On March 23, Amber said she spoke up and asked to work from home in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order, because her side of the business would be considered "non-essential" and could be done from home with proper equipment.

“That meeting, when I brought that up, because it hadn’t been brought up previously … is where things got uncomfortable and a little bit heated,” Gorby said.

After that meeting, Amber said she was terminated. She chose not to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which meant she wouldn't get severance pay or her 2019 bonus, according to Gorby.

Hometown Pharmacy as well as the law firm representing them did not respond to FOX 17's request for comment.

“You’ve gotta stick with your values and what you know is right. You’ve got to watch out for what’s in people’s best interest and what’s in the company’s best interest,” Gorby said.

Amber said she was looking out for her best interest and the best interest of those who work under her.

“I think this kind of thing happens a lot. And people are afraid and scared. And don’t get me wrong, I’m afraid and scared too. It’s not easy to stand up. It’s not easy to discuss what’s going on. I’m a pretty private person. But I also believe you need to take care of people. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do things,” Gorby said.