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What to Know

  • A restaurant manager allegedly fired a student after she asked if someone could cover her shift so she could attend a friends funeral

  • The girl's friend Michael Sot, 20, died two days after he and seven other people were injured in a head-on crash

  • The restaurant's owner claims the girl wasn't fired and said texts shared by the girl were taken "completely out of context"

A New Jersey restaurant manager appeared to fire a college student after she asked if someone could cover her shift so she could attend a friends funeral, according to texts obtained by NBC 4 New York.

The College of New Jersey student Michael Sot, 20, died two days after he and seven other people were injured in a head-on crash near the campus.

When a friend of Sots asked her manager at Cafe 72 in Ewing if someone could cover her shift while she attended Sot's funeral, the manager allegedly told her not to come back to work, screenshots of her text messages show.

“Someone close to my [sic] just passed away, and im trying to find a cover for my shifts so i can attend the funeral service rather than call out and leave you guys hanging,” the girl explained to her manager before sharing a link to an article about Sots death.

Flickr/uacescomm

The manager responded that she was “sick of all staff not taking their job seriously,” adding that she had “a business to run at the end of the day.”

“Oh wow thanks,” the manager wrote, according to the texts. “Just dont come back to work.”

After the girls texts went viral, Cafe 72s owner posted an apology to the restaurants now-deleted Facebook page and donated $1,000 to a fundraiser for Sot, according to NJ.com.

The owner identified himself as the husband of the manager, and maintained the employee wasnt actually fired.

“Her last shifts were this weekend before leaving for holiday break to be with her friends and family until January 28th,” he wrote. “This private conversation was not related in any way to the mourning of Michael.”

“Although this interaction was displayed completely out of context by a friend of the employee and drastically misrepresents [the manager] and our establishment, we recognize that there is NOTHING that excuses it,” he added. “We carelessly let the stresses of family and business replace the professionalism, respect and empathy that every employee and person deserves.”

The restaurant has been receiving “hate emails, bad reviews and threatening phone calls,” the owner added.

Sot was acting as a designated driver for other students on the night of the crash, his father previously told News 4.

The driver of the other car involved in the crash reportedly crossed into the oncoming lane and hit Sots car. He was allegedly impaired at the time and faces a vehicular homicide charge.

NBC