A petition demanding the reinstatement of a Harrods worker who was suspended for ‘stealing’ a free lunch is nearing its target.
Less than 1,000 names are now needed for the petition to reach its 7,500 target.
The 41-year-old is still waiting to find out if she has lost her £7.50-an-hour job, following her suspension some time before March.
The mum-of-one was stopped by security leaving the store with a half-eaten chicken and mushroom pie.
She was told the meal, which was part of her staff allowance, should be consumed on-site and that it was considered as theft.
People who have signed the petition have backed Ms Harding to get her job back, and criticised the decision to suspend her.
Elaine Gill said: “This is wrong on all levels, this lady should have been able to eat her ‘free lunch’ whilst at work, not to lose her job because she had to take it home as she never got a break to eat it.”
Mary Thorpe said: “I am against humiliation, discrimination and support the worker to be reinstated.”
Liam Campbell said: “This is utterly petty and overbearing. Subway management need to wise up!”
And Richard Harris added: “I’m signing this because I’m sick of people being crushed and abused by stupid policies written and implemented without any thought for their affect. This lady works to provide profit for Harrods and Subway and should be shown the respect she deserves.”
In a letter confirming her store approval had been cancelled, Harrods wrote to Ms Harding: “A member of security checked your bag and then asked to check your apron.
“It is alleged that you concealed a box of food from the staff restaurant in your apron, you did not declare this item and did not pay for it.”
Eurest, the contractor which runs the staff restaurant, told the Mirror Online: “A formal disciplinary process is now under way.”
A Harrods spokesman added: “While Ms Harding has worked within the Knightsbridge store, she is employed by our contractor, Eurest, which operates Harrods’ staff restaurant.
“We referred this matter to Eurest for their investigation, and they are handling it in line with their procedures. As part of our company policy, Harrods notified Ms Harding that her store approval has been removed pending this investigation.”