Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hartland grad says 'Sicko' got her fired

Hartland grad says 'Sicko' got her fired
By Kristofer Karol / Daily Press & Argus

HOWELL, MI -- A Hartland High School graduate who appeared in the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" says she was unfairly fired from her job as a manager at Meijer because of the views on health care she expressed in the film.

Adrian Campbell, a 25-year-old Waterford Township resident, said her new boss at the Northville Meijer store did not approve of her comments in the movie, which called for health-care reform in the United States.

"He called me anti-American," she said. "He was constantly calling me that."

"I said 'No, I'm not anti-American, I just think there should be a few changes in this country.' And then he let me go."

A call seeking comment from her supervisor was referred to Meijer's corporate office, which released a statement disputing Campbell's claim.

"Ms. Campbell's employment was in no way impacted because of her appearance in the movie 'Sicko' or any statements or beliefs she may have made or held about the movie or health care in our country," the statement reads.

"Nearly one month ago, Meijer announced a restructure plan that had been under development for several months which involved all of our 4,200 leadership team members.

"Ms. Campbell, like others, was offered another leadership position at Meijer but declined that offer, instead accepting a severance package. Upon completion of this company-wide restructure, over 500 Meijer team leaders have accepted severance packages."

The severance package equals out to five weeks of pay, Campbell said, adding she was not offered another leadership position at Meijer.

The firing came as a surprise to Campbell, who noted she does not mention Meijer once in the film. Campbell has not taken any legal action against Meijer, but has been talking with attorneys about possibly pursuing a slander charge against her former supervisor.

"Sicko" explores health-care systems in several countries and features Campbell explaining how one of her Canadian friends listed her as a common-law spouse so she get cheaper medication across the border.

Campbell, who is an uninsured single mother — the baby's father is deceased — plans on being on the board of directors for the American Patients for Universal Health Care advocacy group, which is being formed by one of her co-stars.

Campbell said she is also looking at possibly relocating to Fowlerville.