Former Seminole Heights General Store employee says she was fired over Black Lives Matter posts

After a mutually agreed upon day off, the message of her termination was the last she heard from the store.

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Just before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chriss Holiday stood in her bathroom, toothbrush in hand and getting ready for work, when she received the text, “I’ll have your final check Friday.”

Holiday, a 30-year-old Seminole Heights resident and former pastry chef and kitchen manager of Seminole Heights General Store, says she was let go from her job days after the store owners were shown her personal Facebook page—which housed several posts and shares in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“None of my posts said anything about you know, ‘White's against blacks,’ or, you know, ‘You whites,’ or anything like that,” Holiday told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “It was always something educational or, you know, 10 documentaries you can watch. That really cleared things up for me, that it was just the stance—it was just what I was standing for.”

The single mother of two says she had been experiencing several instances of slander and racially charged comments from a coworker for months. After receiving a phone call from the store owner on Monday after her shift, Holiday says she had learned the same coworker showed the owner her Facebook page the day before, intending to “get her.”

“My boss didn't say anything that following day, Monday, when I came into work,” she said. “She let me work my whole shift as if nothing happened.”

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s multiple attempts to reach Seminole Heights General Store for comment Friday went unanswered, but we’ll update this post if they get back to us. 

After a mutually agreed upon day off, the message of her termination was the last she heard from the store.

SHGS has since posted a now-deleted statement regarding the issue on their Facebook account, which is has been deactivated.

The statement read:

“Seminole Heights General store always has and will be color blind We never forbid any employees from engaging in political speech on there own time It saddens us here that a beloved employee who quit yesterday is angry that other employees were not inline with their beliefs And were not let go at the request of this person. We always attempt to see every side and remain impartial to our employees private lives and support diversity”

“She just kind of proved my case,” Holiday said. “I didn't have to do anything they just, you know, told on themselves. There's no documentation of me saying I quit or anything, either.”

As a half-Black, half-Filipino mother of an eight and nine-year-old, Holiday said she doesn’t regret her posts in support of Black Lives Matter.

“I will forever and always speak up for my children,” she said. “My father, my cousins, my grandmother, friends, family. Absolutely not. There's no amount of money that you can pay me to ever shut my mouth about this matter. As long as we're dying, there’s no amount of money.”

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