Verizon Worker Suspended For 3 Weeks Without Pay After Rescuing Cat From Top Of Utility Pole

“No good deed goes unpunished.” This is certainly something on the mind of Verizon worker Maurice German. He was approached by locals in Port Richmond, Philadelphia on Saturday morning, March 16th, with a unique problem. One of the residents cats had gotten outside and found itself at the top of a very high utility pole. The would-be rescuers had contacted the fire department, animal rescue groups and the phone company. They didn’t receive any responses back or offers to assist. So when Maurice was spotted by the animal lovers, they pleaded for his help. With his Verizon boom lift, he was easily able to reach the stranded feline and bring it to safety.

Photo: GoFundMe

Now, he’s been suspended by Verizon for 3 weeks without pay for his actions. 

Princess “Momma” is the feline at the center of all the chaos. She had scaled the pole around 10:30 pm on Friday night. Numerous neighbors had joined the rescue efforts but had no way to reach her perch. They attempted to get her down unsuccessfully until 1:30 am before having to concede. 

When Maurice arrived on the scene, Princess Momma had been stuck on the pole for about 12 hours!

As crowds gathered around the commotion, they held their breath as Maurice approached the terrified cat. He was worried the cat would try to flee and fall so he slowly inched closer to her. Luckily he was able to grab her as the crowds cheered below, filming the entire rescue effort.

Photo: Rescue Video Screenshot

She was hungry but otherwise unaffected by the evenings events. Her appreciative owner happily ushered her indoors for some attention and tasty food. What no one would expect, was that this was the beginning of serious trouble for her hero, Maurice.

When Verizon learned of the rescue, they informed the shocked Maurice that he would be receiving a suspension. 

His 15 day suspension was because their “vehicles and equipment were not intended to be used in the area where he operated”.

According to Rich Young, a spokesperson for Verizon, this is why their actions are just. 

We take no joy in this job action. However, we’re committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area. While our actions may not be popular, it’s in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve.

Unfortunately, while this employee’s goal was admirable, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy.

Photo: Rescue Video Screenshot

Verizon state they will be making a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton to support animal rescue efforts. One person brought up a valid point though…(Note: we have NO confirmation they were contacted).

The SPCA that couldn’t save the cat and the reason he had to help?

But when co-workers and the public learned of the suspension, they clearly let their thoughts on the matter be heard–in opposition or support.

Photo: Rescue Video Screenshot

Technically he put himself in grave danger if what they are saying is true about an “electric box” meaning transformer, meaning energized equipment. Verizon buckets are not insulated so he could have been electrocuted just by maneuvering his bucket within proximity.

Those who work in the same field–in this case, HIS co-workers, were able to give a clear explanation of the type of pole in question.

There is only secondary electric on that pole. As Maurice’s co worker, our procedure is to avoid contact. This is one of the safer poles we are trained to work on.

Photo: GoFundMe

The more the news spread, so did the blame. 

I understand everyone is mad at Verizon…but I think you should be PO’d at the power company too. They have the insulated bucket trucks and could have stepped in. I’m sure they got calls about the cat long before Maurice stepped up and did what needed to be done.

What of Maurice though–assigning blame wouldn’t help pay his bills. 

Two different GoFundMe fundraisers were started by others to help Maurice compensate for his lost wages. 

Amanda Fairchild Boyce was onsite during the entire operation and witnessed it firsthand.

Last weekend a Verizon employee came to the rescue of a cat (Princess “Momma”) outside of my home stuck on top of the telephone pole for 12 hrs. After numerous attempts to find support, no one could help. That’s until Maurice German and his team showed up! This generous man is now being punished! Maurice is being suspend from his job for saving an animal. Let’s support Maurice for his good deed while his employer punishes him! 

Dont pretend you wouldn’t do the same! Any donation will help!

In two days time, her page raised $3,395 for Maurice. The original goal was only $2,400! 

At the same time, Maurice’s co-worker Keith Morales started another fundraiser for him, knowing firsthand what he was going through. 

Maurice German is a Verizon employee who performed an random act of kindness by saving a cat stuck atop a utility pole while on the job for Verizon. Verizon suspended Maurice for 15 days for putting himself and the public at risk for his actions. This is completely Verizon’s prerogative as they are the owners of the vehicle that Maurice used to rescue the cat. However, I’m sure Maurice thoughts were pure when he made the decision to rescue the cat. And that is why I’ve decided to start this Go Fund Me page.  Maurice will forgo 3 weeks pay for simply being a human being looking to help one of our 4 legged friends. 

By the time Keith closed the fundraiser today, he’d bypassed his original goal of $4,650. His total raised was a whopping $7,210!

That included a generous donation from another co-worker.

$50 donation – from: Embarrassed Verizon worker

If I were Maurice, I’d take a nice vacation and maybe spend some of my temporary free time saving more community cats!

Photo: GoFundMe

Related Story: Feral Cat Rescued From Dangerous 40 Foot High Perch After Being Stuck Overnight In Barn

Related Story: Lucky Kitten Rescued From Shower…After Being Trapped For 2 Days!

Photo: Facebook @Oxfordshirefireandrescueservice

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33 Comments

  1. I’m glad the GoFundMe’s topped out. I hope they’re enough to offset his lost wages. I get that he broke a company policy, but it’s not like he was hanging party lights for the block toga party!!

  2. That is ridiculous that kind man helped I understand the risk but his kin soul saved a cat I think he is my hero and should still have his job

  3. Understand both sides. Hope he uses the extra funding to support several local animal rescues and/or shelters.

  4. as soon as my verizon contract is up , I am going to at&t. I cant believe they took this mans pay for 3 weeks…despicable

    • Jennifer,

      I don’t know what state you live in, but I live inbetween Huntsville, AL & Fayetteville, TN in a town called Park City, TN. But, if it’s available in your area you should try Metro PCS, Metro runs off of T*Mobile towers & my husband & I love the service…

  5. Guess that takes Verizon permanently of my list of potential service providers. Rules are for a reason, but sometimes you break a rule for a good cause. Good on the people who kicked in to support this man!

  6. R u kidding me Verizon u should be ashamed of yourselves ..really 15 day suspension u r assholes ..at best a written reprimand would have been enough Maurice u r the best I want to give u money someone pls tell me how

  7. GREAT job Maurice! You are a HERO! I LOVE cats & you did a wonderful job! I understand there are rules etc but you did what is humane! Take the geneous & earned donations & enjoy a relaxing vacation!!!

  8. Really Verizon? I am incredibly disgusted with your reaction to this altruistic, kind deed. I will be leaving your gross company as fast as I can…you can count on it!!!
    On a side note, what is up with the city? If that cat were owned by someone wealthy or famous all those city departments Fire, Police, Animal Control, Verizon included), would have rushed down there, lights and sirens; cameras rolling! SOO pathetic.
    How wonderful that Maurice (the coolest guy around), had some compassion and took care of business (while everyone else sat idly by doing nothing but preparing their petulant punishment). Shame on Verizon and shame on all those city departments! You’re all gross.

  9. Shame on you Verizon! He is a real hero, whether human or pet . . . Maurice saved a life! There was no way the cat could get down on her own. He knew the risks and decided she was worth it! Thank you Maurice, again a real hero!

  10. Deplorable actions by Verizon, not buying into their spin. Instead of taking this opportunity to showcase him as a kind soul they chose to make him pay instead. Hope their customer base flees in droves.

  11. No wonder no one likes corporate America. They’re heartless. Congratulations to Maurice. I hope everything works out for you, you deserve all of the good things that come to you. Best Wishes and God Bless You Always

  12. I think you should look for another company to work for. 3 weeks suspension is a bit excessive for helping out an animal in need and violating policy. Good job. I’m glad both you and kitty got down safe. And very happy pet lovers everywhere were supportive and helped you make ends meet. Now, pay off bills, take a nice vacay, and when you get back, screw Verizon and work some where else.

  13. While I understand Verizon’s policies, they are complete idiots for shooting themselves in the PR foot for this. Cat lovers are plentiful, and animal lovers even more so. A far more reasonable company would have given him a warning not to do this in the future but left it at that — it shows how clueless major corporations are, sometimes (I can promise you Maurice’s supervisors who suspended him are ALSO getting chewed out by corporate for doing that — this action alone will probably end up costing them MILLIONS in bad publicity).

  14. Here is the petition to have him reinstated. Verizon should be promoting this stellar employee who had compassion & an ability to think outside the box. The good PR he created for Verizon thru his compassion is reason enough to honor him. Instead,Verizon goes out of its way to look bad. There are ‘rules’ on paper, but then there is a nuanced real-life situation where Maurice was able to think for himself about what was right in the moment. Moderator, could you please add this petition site to the above story, so that more people see it? Please sign:
    https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/608/348/480/

  15. Kindness is vital for humanity. I get that giant corporations are not people and are not human. Whenever some corporation choses to punish employees for being kind, I refuse to do any business with them, because I am an human being and I understand why kindness, especially exhibited by those in their work, is really important. We must encourage the good, not discourage it.

  16. If anyone were to go on to YouTube and watched “A Day in the life of a telephone man” they would get an idea of what this tech should have known would happen if word got out. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats but would have handled it differently.

  17. Shame on you Verizon!!!! Glad we use AT&T. I hope your stock plummets as your customers leave!❤️🐈

  18. I work for a huge corporate company and unfortunately this is how they are constantly
    Fighting and punishing the people who come to work for them every day and do the right thing.
    Maurice you are a hero and I applaud your actions

  19. There are MANY different ways Verizon could have handled this! Warning! Training etc… if they were upset by this. Shows how IGNORANT and inept some manament can be! 3 weeks no pay for this??!! Great PR move you morons! Way to treat a good person poorly!!

  20. The manager who made the call the discipline this guy will probably be let go within 18 month. Upper management had to support him on this, lest the next union guy do something stupid. But it is clearly a bad call. Managers need to know which rules to follow and which to let slide. Those who are unwavering in subjecting subordinates to every rule will be victims to the (often unwritten) rules.

    It might be 4 months away, it might be a year and a half. But for an unrelated reason this manager will be surplussed, given a crappy assignment, or just fired. He may never see it coming. This is a public relations nightmare for Verizon, and someones head must roll. It ain’t going to be the hero at the bottom.

  21. Hey Verizon! You’re really messin’ up. This employee gave you the opportunity for some great P.R., like: ‘Verizon’s there when you need a helping hand!’ or ‘Verizon carries your heart to your loved ones in need! Come on! Don’t bungle this opportunity for GOOD by treating this employee BAD!

    LINieters

  22. Any telephone lineman (OPT) with half a brain could rescue the cat safely. The guy did the right thing. I was a lineman for 30 years, I would have done the same thing.

  23. So glad that so many people care and also a note to people to never let cats out or leave dogs unattended!!
    Horror stories abound including ending up in laboratories to be tortured

Written by JessiCAT

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