This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.
Birds Bakery's social media accounts are no longer active as it faces a backlash for firing one of its workers for letting customers pay with cash.
Its main Twitter and Facebook pages have disappeared as of today, August 1, at 4.30pm.
Petitions have been created calling on the Derby-based chain to change its policy of not accepting cash, but it has stuck by its card-only mandate.
The firm says it is "constantly reviewing" coronavirus policies, including the eventual reintroduction of cash payments.
It comes after Megan Metcalfe was dismissed from the company for gross misconduct following more than 40 years' employment with the business.
The firm has confirmed Ms Metcalfe's job will not be reinstated.
She told Nottinghamshire Live a lot of customers at the Birds store in Radcliffe-on-Trent where she worked were elderly and did not have a card.
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To make sure they did not leave empty-handed, she would ask them to put the money straight into her purse, then put the payment through on her card before showing them the receipt.
The bakery business said it was "with regret" that they had to dismiss Ms Metcalfe because of her actions.
Birds also made the headlines when Nottinghamshire Live reported a 94-year-old customer who wanted to buy bread from the Bulwell branch had to leave empty-handed because she only had cash.
Katherine Clarke has set up a petition calling on Birds to accept cash and to reinstate Megan to her role following her dismissal.
The 34-year-old, of The Meadows, told Nottinghamshire Live: "It was unfathomable what happened to Megan.
"There's been so much anger about it with comments being put everywhere. She was trying to help customers.
(Image: Derby Telegraph)
"This situation should never have happened.
"Many elderly people don't have a card and only use cash - it's what they know.
"So many businesses are accepting cash still and this should be the same."
Ms Clarke's petition has already attracted more than 2,400 signatures.
Arnold resident Emlyn Mousley also set up a petition calling for Megan to be offered her job back.
The 43-year-old, of Arnold, said: "We, the people of Nottingham, think that decision is absolutely disgusting.
"No matter the company's Covid-19 rules on payment processing, the decision to treat a loyal employee this way for a lifetime's service is beyond belief and should have been handled more appropriately via a simple disciplinary meeting or just pulled to one side and explained why her actions are not appropriate."
Following the story on Megan's dismissal reported from Nottinghamshire Live, Birds has responded to the petitions and said it has talked to staff about Covid-19 procedures.
Bosses say the "overwhelming response" from staff was that they preferred not to touch banknotes and coins while working.
The firm also said Megan will not be reinstated, but she has since found a new role elsewhere.
Lesley Bird, chief operating officer at Birds Bakery, told Nottinghamshire Live: “We are aware of the petition and we are also aware of another petition started by elderly customers in support of Birds.
"Those people are supportive of our card-only policy at this time and recognise we are trying to keep our staff and customers safe.
“Birds and a number of big operators have a card-only policy during this pandemic. We are constantly reviewing our Covid-19 procedures, including the re-introduction of cash payments.
"Birds employs 800 people and has 60 stores across the East Midlands. We talked to our staff about our Covid-19 procedures and the overwhelming response was that they preferred not to touch banknotes and coins at this time and we took those wishes very seriously.
“Our card-only policy was not taken lightly. We take the safety of our staff and customers very seriously – and have very tight procedures in place during this continuing pandemic.
“We are sorry that so many people are upset about Megan Metcalfe's dismissal from Birds, but she contravened our health and safety policy and we took that very seriously.
"Megan will not be reinstated - we wish her well in the new role she has secured since leaving Birds."
The company also added in a statement that customers Joyce Bramble, 89, and Emily Akers, 91, are both Birds regulars who have been continuing their visits throughout the pandemic.
Joyce said: “Birds have been marvellous during this pandemic and the staff are caring and want to keep us safe and we love them.
"The card-only policy is in place for the benefit of not just the staff but us too.
"Birds are only trying to keep us safe. I use my card, I don’t want to use cash because it's dirty. I feel really safe and secure in Birds."