After firing, Huck’s CEO cites dedication to militaryAugust 15, 2014
By JONATHAN STREETMAN
Herald Staff Writer
JASPER — The CEO of a chain of convenience stores is disputing claims that an employee at one of the company’s locations in Jasper was fired for wearing an unauthorized hat during work.
Huntingburg resident Roger Junkin, 63, said Thursday he was terminated because he wore the U.S. Air Force hat he usually dons while working in the Huck’s along Third Avenue south of the Patoka River bridge.
Todd Jenney, CEO of Martin & Bayley, the parent company of Huck’s Convenient Stores, said this morning that Junkin’s claim that he was terminated for wearing the wrong hat is incorrect.
“I will tell you that he was not terminated for wearing an Air Force hat,” Jenney said, declining to comment further on Junkin’s termination because of legalities.
In an email Thursday afternoon, Jenney commended his company’s dedication to the military and noted southern Indiana division manager Kirk Dixon’s service record.
“What I can tell you is we are a great company that is 100 percent employee-owned. We have been in business for over 40 years and love Jasper, Indiana,” Jenney wrote. “We have policies and procedures like every other organization in business. We encourage ... any and all branches of the armed force to come to work at Huck’s. Kirk Dixon is a veteran officer that has fought in a recent conflict for our great (U.S. Air Force). We have supported our local veterans associations and active military with goodies and care packages and more over owe our freedom to those who have served.”
This morning, Jenney again expressed Huck’s dedication to the military.
“Some of our best associates are from the military,” Jenney said. “We love them. We hire them. We’ll continue to hire them. I can’t even express how much we love the military.”
Huck’s today posted a statement on its Facebook page.
“Kirk is very humble, as are most veterans, and doesn’t make any of his accomplishments public,” the statement reads. It notes that Dixon is an Air Force veteran having served 10 years, including as a mission commander flying fighter jets in Operation Desert Storm. The statement also included a picture of Dixon during his time of service.
Huck’s is an employee-owned company that employs more than 1,200 people in 113 stores through Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
As of this morning, Junkin said he has not been contacted regarding his termination or given a reason for being fired other than insubordination related to not removing his hat.
The Huck’s employee handbook includes no mention of a requirement to wear a Huck’s hat. Company rules state that employees must wear an official Huck’s shirt and keep a clean and presentable appearance.
Junkin said he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1968 until 1977, at which point he entered the Indiana National Guard until 1980. He currently collects Social Security and has said he would like to return to the part-time job.