When Maurice German saw a cat stuck on a telephone pole, his heart told him he had to act. As an employee of Verizon, he had access to a corporate cherry picker, so it was easy for him to get up to where the cat was and help the animal down. However, when an image of him making the cat rescue went viral, his employer had another idea about what he did.
They saw Maurice German’s generous offer to help the feline as a violation of the company’s safety protocol and subsequently suspended German without pay as a result of the perceived violation. Now German is coming forward to share his experience with Verizon and call them out for their unusual punishment.
CBS News reported that German was suspended from his job without pay for three weeks all because he used Verizon equipment to rescue the stranded cat.
The incident happened while German was working in a Philadelphia neighborhood on March 16, 2019. He saw the cat after a resident, who was desperate, came up to him and ask German to save the animal from where it had gotten stuck in the air. German was surprised to see the cat at the top of the telephone pole and decided that since he had access to Verizon’s equipment, he was more than happy to use it to save the feline from its trap.
The cat was named Princess Momma. The poor feline had been trapped on top of the telephone pole for an astounding twelve hours. The cat’s owner had already called the fire department asking them for help. They also called animal control and even asked the telephone company for help. Although the owner was trying to go through the right channels, no one was willing to help. They just did not return the call or show up to help.
When German heard about the stranded cat, his heart went out to the feline. He wanted to help because he could. He had access to Verizon’s equipment and decided to use it to help Princess Momma, so she no longer had to suffer. When Verizon learned about German’s generous use of their equipment, they did not applaud their loyal employee – they punished him.
“We take no joy when our employees face the consequences related to their job duties,” Verizon said in a statement to WPVI. “We are, however, fully committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe. All of our field technicians go through extensive training that is focused on workplace safety. Our goal is to keep our employees and our customers out of harm’s way.”
Verizon added, “For safety reasons, our trucks and related equipment are not intended to be used in the area in which he was operating, specifically around electrical wires. While our actions may not be popular, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy.”
Thankfully, German did not get hurt while rescuing Princess Momma – or this would have had a very sad ending.
In response, one of German’s coworkers started a GoFundMe account, which raised $7,000 to help him while he lost pay.