Disclaimer: Linda Furgala’s daughter is an assistant news editor at the Daily. She was not involved in the production of this article.
Linda Furgala, an employee at Carmichael Dining Center who was fired during the middle of her shift last Wednesday night, told the Daily on Friday afternoon that her job has been reinstated. Furgala said that she will resume work in Carmichael today.
The turn of events capped off a confusing two days during which the fate of Furgala’s job and the reasoning behind her initial dismissal were unclear.
Furgala said that she had been let go on Wednesday night at around 6:30 p.m. by Peter Soucy, Carmichael’s unit manager. According to Furgala, Soucy had informed her that as a temporary employee, she could be fired at any time. Soucy did not respond to requests for comment.
Soucy then escorted Furgala out of his office and to the swipe-in desk to collect her belongings, and then out a back door of Carmichael.
“[At the time] I felt like a criminal,” Furgala said in a Thursday interview with the Daily. “They did it in front of everybody.”
Furgala said she met with Tufts Human Resources on Friday, and they concluded that she should not have been let go.
The events leading up to the Wednesday firing were unclear, and Furgala said she had not initially been told why she was being let go. She said that it may have been caused by a misunderstanding between her and a different manager at Carmichael.
Furgala said that she started working in Carmichael in October 2015. She had moved from California to Massachusetts with her daughter at that time.
Furgala credits her return to the Tufts students who reacted to her firing. Students shared a pre-written letter on social media on Wednesday night that praised Furgala and asked for her return. Sophomore Marissa Birne urged students to contact Soucy about her firing.
“This was a really good reminder to people of how important employees of Tufts Dining are,” Birne said.
In an electronic message to the Daily, Tufts Executive Director of Public Relations Patrick Collins declined to comment on the details of the matter due to privacy concerns. Collins did address the students’ efforts in support of Furgala.
“We are aware that some students expressed concern about this matter,” Collins said. “We are committed to treating all employees fairly and in accordance with our stated policies.”
Furgala said she looks forward to returning to work today.
“I’m so happy to be going back because I missed all the kids,” she said.