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Former GNC manager: I was fired for enforcing Tampa's mask mandate

Former GNC manager: I was fired for enforcing Tampa's mask mandate
Posted at 8:59 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 06:58:25-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- With a mandatory mask order underway in the city of Tampa, Will Rivera made sure every customer covered up when inside GNC on South Howard Avenue.

"You can’t keep social distancing inside the store because it’s a very small location, it’s not possible. You have more than two, three customers in there, it’s definitely not possible so the safest thing to do is wear a mask," said Rivera.

Rivera said he was fired last week for turning away customers not wearing face coverings.

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Rivera says his district manager stepped in, stating they would not lose sales over the mask mandate.

"This is a store founded on health and wellness and it seems like there’s no care of health and wellness of individuals that come into the store, other than profit," said Rivera.

After several attempts, GNC has yet to return any calls or emails seeking comment about Rivera's termination or corporate mask policy.

This comes as the supplement and vitamin chain announced it has declared bankruptcy and plans to close 800 stores.

Rivera's attorney, Jason Woodside, sent the following statement:

"Florida's Private Whistleblower Statute provides broad protection for employees who object to, or refuse to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of an employer which is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation. Given the recent "face covering" laws enacted to ensure public safety, Mr. Rivera believes his termination was unlawful and we are reviewing the best course of action to seek redress."

This article was written by Ryan Smith for WFTS.