The Tenement Museum, an institution dedicated to educating visitors on the lives of New York's turn-of-the-century working class, allegedly axed one of its part-time employees after she injured her face.
Jen Miller, better known by her stage name, Reverend Jen, wrote yesterday on her blog that she was unceremoniously canned from her job at the visitor's center after she tripped while walking to get coffee last week, "smashing her face in."
Since I was drenched in blood, I was obviously sent home from work that day. That Friday I was still in pain, but took 4 Advil and tried to come in. The manager, Jes, asked me to work in the basement, even though I was always best on the sales floor, at my register. The girl who took my place was almost half my age. Guess you have to be without facial scars and young to sell books. The next day I came in and was sent home because Jes told me I needed a “mental health day” even though my problem was obviously physical. Then, having finally gotten Sundays off (something they agreed to 2 weeks ago), a manager named Rachel called me on a Sunday and left me a message telling me I needed to take another “mental health day” on Monday. I called her and told her I didn’t need one. She said, “Don’t call me on a Sunday!” I said you just called me on a Sunday.” I felt like Alice in Wonderland trying to play croquet with a flamingo. Nothing made sense.
She went on to write that on Tuesday, she was called in to meet with the museum's director of operations, who told her she was terminated. He also, reportedly, refused to give a reason.
Bowery Boogie reported earlier this week that more than 10 employees "ranging from full time to per diem at this neighborhood institution have been forced to resign, were fired or bullied until they had no option except quitting."
Kira Garcia, the museum's public relations manager, said that while she could not speak about specific personnel issues, the blog post penned by Miller was, in a word, unsubstantiated.
"There have been some unsubstantiated claims made on some blogs, and those unsubstantiated claims are unfounded," she said, declining to elaborate on the basis of employee privacy.
Miller also wrote that, as a part-time employee working 30 hours per week, she did not receive health insurance or sick days. In 2008, Tenement Museum workers pushed to unionize, though they never did, a representative with Local 2110 told us.
Garcia disagreed with the claim that the museum's employees have been mistreated.
"We believe our pay and benefit package is highly competitive and fair," she said.