CHANNELVIEW, Texas – The pregnant Popeyes manager, who was fired less than 36 hours after a robbery, has been offered her job back.
Marissa Holcomb, who is a mother of three with a fourth child on the way, had a meeting with Z & H Foods owner Amin Dhanani on Wednesday, a day after our original story aired of her firing.
"He just apologized and pretty much offered me if I wanted to go back to his business and work there again," she said.
Holcomb says she was originally terminated because she refused to pay back money that was stolen during a robbery March 31. Dhanani argued she was fired because she broke policy multiple times by leaving too much money in the register.
Holcomb argued it was a busy Tuesday when they offer a 2-piece chicken meal for $1.19 and she moved money as fast as she could.
The unidentified robber got away with nearly $400.
"I told them I'm not paying nothing," Holcomb said, who said she was fired because she refused to pay the money back. "I just had a gun to me, I'm not paying the money."
Surveillance video shows a man run into the restaurant with a beanie over his face while waving a gun. He forced all employees to the floor, then turned his attention to Holcomb.
"By the back of my shirt, he pulled me up and he pushed me to the front," she said. "He told me to give him everything out of my safe."
But the only thing she could open were the registers.
Holcomb claimed after the robbery one of her managers gave her an ultimatum: Pay the money back or lose her job.
"I don't think it's right because now I'm struggling for my family because what I had to do to keep my life," she said.
Dhanani refused to talk on camera Wednesday, but his company released a statement that reads:
"We deeply regret the way this matter was handled. We are committed to continuing to work with Ms. Holcomb, and we apologize to her, our employees, the public and other franchise operators of the Popeyes system. We have let them down and are committed to do better."
We also contacted the Popeyes corporate office in Georgia.
They initially referred us back to the local franchisee, but the CEO Cheryl Bachelder released the following statement Wednesday evening.
"We recently became aware of a story in Houston involving a Popeyes restaurant and employee. The restaurant is operated by an independent franchisee of the Popeyes brand. We have spoken to the local franchise owner of the restaurant, and he has taken immediate action to reach out to the employee to apologize and rectify the situation. While the facts are gathered, we will closely monitor this until it is appropriately resolved. We deeply regret the distress this situation has caused."
Holcomb is not only being offered her old position, but $2,000 in back pay. For the pregnant mother of three, the decision is tough.
"I do need a way to support my kids," she says. "I don't want to go back to a business where I'm treated the same and I just get pushed back out if something else happened."