A US Bank employee in Portland was fired for doing a random act of kindness for a stranger on Christmas Eve, and people all over the US are appalled that helping someone is considered an “unauthorized interaction.”

Emily James, a Portland call center employee, happened to be speaking to a customer from a suburb of the same city who was experiencing a problem with the bank not allowing him access to his paycheck. The customer contacted her again after trying to go to his regional branch, where the only manager who could lift the restriction had already gone home for the holidays, and ending up stranded with no money to even put gas in his car.

Moved by the opportunity to help somebody who was so nearby, and on Christmas Eve, at that, James met up with the customer and gave him $20 out of her pocket. She thought what she had done was her business and would have no bearing on her job, but word got back to a regional manager and she was sent home days later.

Local news reports say that a US Bank employee was fired for helping a customer

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

Image credits: Oregonian

James told local news that she initially went public with the story to get her job back, but that she’s changed her mind about returning to the company that fired her for what she maintains was the right thing to do. The manager’s decision certainly doesn’t seem to align with one of the company’s core values, “We put people first.”

This isn’t the first time that employees have been punished for breaking protocol to do good deeds for others. Last year saw incidents in which workers at a Seattle coffee chain were fired for giving homeless people coffee dregs and old pastries that were edible but no longer fresh enough to display, and a school cafeteria worker lost her job after giving a free meal to a teenager with no lunch money.

Commenters are disgusted but not surprised by this kind of cruelty

Image credits: AdamNaegeli

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Image credits: GailLangellotto