Bank Worker Fired For Random Act Of Kindness Gets A New Gig With Bank That Doesn’t Suck

Emily James, a Portland woman who was fired from her job with U.S. Bank after performing an act of kindness on Christmas Eve has just been hired by a credit union—that created a job just for her. It may have seemed like a case of no good deed going unpunished, but luckily for James, she’s finally getting a job that fits her.


James’ situation first became well-known when New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote about James and her supervisor Abigail Gilbert’s being fired for an “unauthorized interaction with a customer.”

Basically, James, who worked as a banker at a U.S. Bank call center in Portland, was unable to get a hold placed on customer Marc Eugenio’s paycheck released on Christmas Eve. She received permission from Gilbert to drive to the gas station where the customer was stuck and give him $20 in cash—of her own money.

Folks across the country read about the story and were angry that James and Gilbert had been fired over doing a good deed on Christmas Eve. The anger didn’t really go away, even when U.S. Bank CEO Andy Cecere offered both James and Gilbert their jobs back.

Gilbert went back to U.S. Bank, but James held out for something else. She even sold blood plasma to make ends meet.

Her wait paid off. Now James will be joining Community First Credit Union in Santa Rosa, California as a training supervisor. She will be moving to Santa Rosa along with her two dogs HarleyQuinn and Domino.

“It was exactly what I wanted,” James said. “I want to be training, mentoring, and helping others. I’ll be training new hires as well as doing follow-up training.”

“We read about Emily getting fired for an act of kindness and humanity,” said David Williams, chief marketing and human resource officer for Community First Credit Union, in a press release. “At the same time, we had an employee do a similar act of kindness. We gave her an award for it. Helpfulness is in our DNA, and we are convinced Emily has that same DNA.”

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi