‘Sounds like it’s open season’: Lululemon CEO’s response to women fired for calling cops sends heads to desks

Lululemon’s CEO responded to the criticism of employees fired after reportedly interacting with shoplifters with a commitment to a “zero-tolerance policy.”

“It’s only merchandise.”

(Video: CNBC)

Spurred by lax consequences, crime across the nation and especially in urban areas where videos have shown thieves gathering as much as they can carry as they pilfer retail locations. Recently, two Lululemon educators, as their workers are called, were let go from the Peachtree Corners, Georgia location after engaging with perpetrators caught in the act, demanding they leave the store.

Their termination sparked outrage online and CEO Calvin McDonald was asked to speak to that Friday during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

“In this particular case, we have a zero-tolerance policy that we train our educators on around engaging during a theft,” he explained to Sara Eisen. “Why? Because we put the safety of our team, of our guests, front and center. It’s only merchandise.”

“At the end, they’re trained to step back, let the theft occur, know that there’s technology, there’s cameras and we’re working with law enforcement,” McDonald continued.

“Unfortunately, in this situation, the educators knowingly broke the policy, engaged with the theft — the thieves — across multiple points, including following them out of the store. So, post-investigation and the zero-tolerance policy which is well known,” the CEO asserted, “that was what resulted in the termination.

As previously reported, during an interview with 11Alive, the fired assistant manager Jennifer Ferguson and five-year educator Rachel Rogers had intimated that they had been let go because they involved law enforcement.

“We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people,” Ferguson claimed. “We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”

The former employees further said that they hadn’t been given a full explanation of their termination as Rogers said, “They didn’t give specific reasoning besides just saying they have a ‘no-tolerance policy.”

Likewise, Ferguson told the outlet, “They said I was terminated immediately with no severance because they have a zero-tolerance policy.”

To those claims, McDonald stated unequivocally, “Just to be clear, our educators are able to call the police. We train them to step back. It’s about their safety.”

He further raised concerns about employee safety and the possibility of death from criminals and reiterated, “And the policy is to protect them. But we have to stand behind the policy to enforce it.”

However, not addressed were the concerns of the former employees who detailed how the incident that led to their firings was only the latest, and Rogers outlined, “We didn’t really feel very protected or, like, know what else to do.”

Despite the setback, Ferguson’s husband, Jason Ferguson, posted a lengthy message in support of the actions taken by the women, supporting their claim that police involvement lead to their terminations, and said in part, “These are two exemplary employees, both leaders and looking to advance within the company. And what was their reward? They were immediately terminated without mention of severance or any financial consideration. Then, as the two terminated employees compared notes on their zoom call experiences, it comes out that the Regional Manager for Lululemon openly questioned why they would call the police. Stating that it would ‘look bad for Lululemon to be the company calling the police.’ Are you kidding me? These ladies are heroes of sorts. They did what we all HOPE we could do in a similar situation. They were brave and courageous and honest and good citizens.”

McDonald’s defense of company policy earned him little support on social media as critics similarly chided the danger posed to employees.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles