Catoosa restaurant stirs up debate firing 12 after 'Day Without Immigrants' protest

CATOOSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • A Catoosa restaurant fired 12 people after the "Day Without Immigrants" protest.
  • Management said the former employees did not show up to work or call in.
  • Watch FOX23 Cailey Dougherty's full report above.

A Catoosa restaurant stirred up a heated debate when the owner fired a dozen employees who participated in the "Day Without Immigrants" protest.

The nationwide protest was organized Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to increase the deportation of those living in the country illegally. Participants in the protest said they wanted to show the country how important immigrants are to businesses.

After 12 employees in Catoosa, lost their job during the protest, though, some people told FOX23 management from the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill treated the protesters too harshly. Others felt consequences were necessary for missing work.

“If you have 12 people who feel strongly and want to make a stand, I think management should have taken a look at that and at least stood by them or give them some time,” Broken Arrow resident Catherine Bishop said.

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FOX23 reached out to the restaurant's managers Saturday. They would only confirm that 12 people were fired for not showing up to work and not calling.

They posted to their Facebook page that they are now hiring. Some in the comments say they don’t plan to return, but others support management’s decision.

“I think it was an important day for them and they wanted to show the impact they have in our community. But as a business owner, I see the other side of it too. If your employees don’t show up, then it damages that day of business,” Owasso resident Lesleigh Rutherford said.

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