KFC allegedly fired an employee for wearing a Remembrance Day poppy in the United Kingdom. The employee was told he would have to remove the pin due to health and safety regulations and refused to do so.
Stephen Colquhoun was working in one of the Glasgow branches of KFC when he was dismissed. He says that he wore the poppy to remember those who lost their lives in the last two World Wars. He even received the poppy from a box within the store, where he made a donation to take one. He says he had been wearing the poppy since his shift on Friday but was told soon after to remove it. Making it clear that he would not remove it, he told his boss that the only option would be to sack him.
The 23-year-old employee had already handed his notice and was due to stop working in the KFC branch just days later, according to the Telegraph. However, he believes it was a disgrace that KFC would fire him over the wearing of a poppy and believes that it should not be allowed.
The fast food outlet has defended the decision, saying that wearing a badge or pin is against health and safety rules. Both pose foreign body risks and must all be removed. Jewelry must also be removed or covered completely in most cases due to the health and safety risk. It would be very easy for a pin to fall into the deep fat fryer or into food and not be spotted before eating. KFC says it is not against the poppy to honor veterans.
Britain runs the poppy appeal every year through the Royal British Legion. For a short period of time, up to Remembrance Day on November 11, poppies are available through individuals with poppy boxes and boxes placed in stores and businesses around the country. A donation is asked for to help support the charity, with proceeds going to help veterans and those currently serving in the Armed Forces.
As BBC News states, there are numerous controversies and issues over the wearing of a poppy. There are different colored options for individuals, as not all want to show their support for the war. The red poppy is used because that is the color most commonly grown in the Belgian and French fields where many of the battles took place, especially during World War I.
Different types of poppies are sold in various parts of Britain. In Scotland, a poppy only has four petals and no leaf, whereas a green leaf is included around the rest of the UK.
The white poppy is commonly worn by those who are against war. The aim is to focus on peace while still remembering those who died for the freedom of others. It was first introduced in 1933 and is commonly sold by the Peace Pledge Union. It is expected that new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will wear a white poppy rather than a red one due to his stance against war.
Purple poppies are also available. These are for the memory of animals who fought for Britain and were injured or killed. The purple option has been available since 2006.
Regardless of color, the wearing of a badge is against KFC policy. It is also against the policy of many other companies due to the health and safety regulations. There would be much more of a problem for the likes of KFC and McDonald’s if customers were injured due to a stray pin in their food.
[Featured Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images]