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Tampa Church’s Chicken faces wrongful termination suit from employee who refused to cook old chicken

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

It might be best to steer clear of Church’s Chicken on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.

The location is being sued for allegedly ordering an employee to serve old chicken. But it’s not the first time that restaurant has come under fire for some pretty icky reasons.

ABC Action News reported in April the location was temporarily shut down after the state found more than 35 live roaches.

Prior to that the restaurant was reportedly shut down in late 2014 amid concerns about raw sewage.

Now a worker is suing the chain for wrongful termination after she was allegedly fired for refusing to cook spoiled chicken.

According to the lawsuit, Latasha Kendrick was a shift leader at the Tampa Church’s Chicken. She claims a supervisor asked her to “wash and cook chicken that had been spoiled.”

After refusing, Kendrick said Joshua Flubacher, a regional executive for the restaurant chain, fired her. The official reason for Kendrick’s termination was tardiness, but Kendrick argues that’s not actually the case.

Kendrick is filing the lawsuit as a whistleblower.

Kendrick previously sued the restaurant chain in 2014 for wrongful termination. In that case she argued the company denied her time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act when she requested it for a “serious health condition.

Kendrick took three days off for that same ailment and was subsequently fired. Her case moved its way on up to federal court and was eventually settled. The terms of that settlement aren’t clear, but given that she returned to work it’s like she received a favorable deal.

Kendrick’s latest lawsuit was filed in Hillsborough county court on June 2.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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