Autistic shop worker fired after he was attacked three times in four months by thieves
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An autistic shop worker was fired after he was attacked three times in four months by thieves outside his workplace.
He was unlawfully fired by the company with his contract later being terminated, with Vons citing a 'pending investigation' as the reason. This, despite his father's request for workers compensation after the unfortunate incident.
Sherrell was attacked three times all in all, and eventually learned to defend himself the third time it happened.
The 23-year-old was first assaulted while taking out the trash when two thieves came out of nowhere, punched him right in the face, and pepper sprayed him.
The first incident took place on 19 January, however, after just two months, he was attacked again in the same area.
Sherrell told KGET News, via The Mirror, about the first incident: "I'm bleeding and I get away and I run back inside, My biggest problem, what I have is that I'm mildly autistic, I have a hard time processing things."
However, this time he luckily had a tucked roll of trash bags in his apron pocket and was able to protect himself when the attacker plunged a knife into the roll than him.
Talking about the second one which 'shook' him up to the core, he said: "Unbelievable. The first incident didn't shake up too much, but the second incident, when you're close to death, I'm the most shook I've ever been in my entire life, the most scared in my entire life."
On 1 April, Sherrell faced another altercation when two customers informed him that they were experiencing harassment from an individual who appeared to be influenced by substances.
Taking immediate action, he quickly sought assistance from security to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected customers.
Sherrell was chest bumped by the man who got into his face and then punched him three times - the company was informed by his father, Adam.
He complained that the security did nothing to protect him even after he informed them, claiming that the guards heard him say 'he's cussing me out, he's threatening my life'.
"I back away, he comes back in my face. I back away again." Sherrell said to security after pushing the man away for the third time.
Later, his father requested worker's compensation from the company because his son was experiencing 'nightmares and panic attacks' after he was almost stabbed.
Worker's compensation provides a crucial support system for employees who sustain work-related injuries, granting them the opportunity to take necessary time off and receive reimbursement for their medical costs.
Additionally, it serves as a safeguard, ensuring that employees are protected from any adverse consequences such as termination due to their legitimate need for a leave of absence.
However, Sherrell encountered unexpected challenges upon his return to work, as his work hours were reduced, and he faced a suspension from his job on 10 April due to a 'pending investigation', which ultimately resulted in his termination on 19 April.
Following his unexpected termination, Sherrell has been unable to find another job to date, as claimed by Adam.
However, the termination has been appealed by The United Food and Commercial Workers 8-Golden State Union.
President Jacques Loveall stated: "Our initial findings are that Mr Sherrell's termination was unwarranted."
Despite his decision not to return to Vons, Sherrell expressed his fondness for the customers and mentioned how he would miss their presence.
He humbly acknowledged the compliments he frequently received from them, noting that he often heard positive remarks about his service.
In support of Sherrell, his father initiated a GoFundMe campaign with the aim of raising $5,000, and as of Friday morning (12 May), it has garnered nearly $3,000 in donations.
UNILAD has contacted Vons for comment.