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Several Kentucky candle factory employees claim they were threatened with termination if they left ahead of storm

Midwest Tornadoes
Posted at 10:04 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 22:05:18-05

Several employees of a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky claim supervisors told them they would be fired if they left before a tornado hit.

“I said, 'Man, are you gonna refuse to let us leave even if the weather is this bad and the tornado’s not even here yet?' So, he was like, 'If you want to decide to, you can leave, you can leave, but you’re going to be terminated, you’re going to be fired,” Elijah Johnson told CNN Tuesday.

At least five workers told NBC News that managers said they would be fired if they left before their shifts ended.

The company that runs the candle factory reportedly denies that employees were forced to stay.

The factory took a direct hit Friday night. At least eight people died in the storms.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday that the state will investigate what happened at the candle factory prior to the tornado hitting the area.

“Everybody is expected to live up to certain standards of both the law, of safety and of being decent human beings and I hope everybody lived up to those standards,” Beshear said.

Beshear added that the state looks into various circumstances, and the investigation at the candle factory should not suggest there was any wrongdoing.