ROCHESTER, NY – A woman fired from a New York miniature golf center after she missed a shift while suffering a miscarriage is declining the company's offer to have her job back.
"They did offer my job back and I can say I will not be working there again," said Jessica Starwald, a resident of Hilton, New York, who worked at Glowgolf for about six months before being fired on Sunday.
Her manager informed her of her dismissal via text message.
Starwald posted a screenshot of the exchange to her Facebook page Monday. On her timeline, it followed a series of photos taken Sunday while Starwald was hospitalized.
In the text messages, Starwald tells her manager that she was in surgery before she had time to call in for her shift and that she can provide a note from the hospital, if needed.
In response, the manager says "You're fired due to your failure to communicate about your scheduled shift. Effective immediately. Please return the keys to the stores by Friday."
Starwald's pictures were reposted Tuesday evening to a Reddit board where they generated more than 800 comments, mostly from people sympathetic to her plight.
On Tuesday evening, Glowgolf area manager Jeff Bennett posted to his company's Facebook page that an investigation was underway into the situation and that the manager in question had been suspended. He said Starwald was being reinstated.
On Wednesday, she said she was unsatisfied with the company's response.
"Suspended for being so harsh is not enough," she said. "In that situation I wasn't able to call in, I've never no called, no showed before."
Besides, she said, "I wouldn't want to work for a company who can't have a little compassion and sincerely apologize to me."
Starwald said she started having abdominal pains and contractions on Saturday night and left a night out with friends to go home and rest. She was 14 weeks pregnant. She'd had some previous bleeding issues, but her baby had a heartbeat and everything looked good.
But around 4 a.m. on Sunday, Starwald's condition took a turn. She knew her pregnancy was in grave trouble. She called an ambulance and was rushed to Unity Hospital.
Her Facebook photos from that day show her grieving over her son's tiny body. She named him Mateo Miguel Kassim.
"I love you, Mateo Miguel Kassim," she posted. "God is with you. I’ll see you up there some day say hi to aunt Jenny and grandpa chuck 😭🙏🏼😢❤️. I’m so sorry. Mommy loves you , you will always be my son 😭👼🏻😩💔"
Starwald said she hasn't given thought yet to her next job, but that she is continuing her general equivalency diploma classes and expects to begin college classes in January.
Follow Meaghan M. McDermott on Twitter: @meagmc
Updated 7:00 PM EST Dec 15, 2019