Pizza Hut Against Self Defense


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308win
April 7, 2008, 09:18 AM
Let Pizza Hut know what you think.

Outrage Of The Week: "Safest for everybody?" Pizza Hut punishes employee for defending himself Friday, April 04, 2008

“The incident wasn’t something quick and simple. ... It was a long ordeal…my life was, without a doubt, in danger.”

On the night of March 27, 2008, Pizza Hut deliveryman James Spiers of Des Moines, Iowa was delivering pizzas--just as he had many times before over the past 10 years. He walked into an apartment complex thinking he was making another routine delivery, but found himself in a battle for his life: he had been set up by a “customer” who had lured him into the complex by pretending to order the pizza over the phone, but who had an armed accomplice waiting in ambush.

Spiers soon found himself trapped in a hallway with a gun to his head, his assailant demanding money. “Without a doubt,” he said, “my life was in extreme danger.”

The thug (who, not surprisingly, has a long list of prior arrests) thought he had the upper hand. Fortunately, Mr. Spiers has a valid concealed carry permit, and was carrying a pistol for personal protection at the time of the attack. He struggled with his attacker and managed to draw his own firearm. He shot the assailant, who fled the scene but was later arrested after he sought medical treatment.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. As a result of his actions, Mr. Spiers, a single father trying to make an honest living, was suspended from his job by his employer, Pizza Hut. That’s right. A man who, as a result of doing his job, was forced into a life-threatening situation, defended himself, and whose actions helped take a career criminal off the street, was deprived of his livelihood. Pizza Hut suspended James Spiers for defending his life.

Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources at Pizza Hut, said, “We have a policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”

“Safest for everybody?” This inane policy certainly makes things safer for criminals, like the one who attacked Spiers. But it does nothing to aid the safety of Pizza Hut’s employees. Every night, hardworking deliverymen and women must do their job in potentially dangerous areas. In fact, their jobs are statistically among the most dangerous in the nation. Yet Pizza Hut would deprive them of self-protection.

Thankfully, people are taking notice. Spiers has said that he has been “overwhelmed by support from people who cheered what happened,” including Iowa state senator Brad Zaun (R-32), who noted, “If I was in a situation to protect my family, protect myself, to continue being a father, I would’ve done the same thing. What I want everybody to know…is that there [are] people out there supporting this man and his right to defend himself. I’m going to be watching Pizza Hut.”

***To voice your outrage over Pizza Hut’s disciplinary decision, please contact the Corporate Offices by phone at (800) 948-8488, or by e-mail at this webpage: http://www.pizzahut.com/contactus/ContactUsForm.aspx?l1=2024.

This corporate policy is outrageous.

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ilbob
April 7, 2008, 10:16 AM
We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.
They may actually believe this, but probably not.

What they have done is made the financial and PR decisions that the potential law suits resulting from an employee shooting a would be murderer would be more expensive than the occasional dead employee. Most companies have made the same decision for the same reasons so it seems a little unfair to target Pizza Hut.

ggb3
April 7, 2008, 11:23 AM
I should have read and seen that this topic was posted already.
I am a little slow : )
George

LTB15J
April 7, 2008, 11:28 AM
this has also happened at pizza hut before. a few years ago someone was also relieved for defending themself in the store.

employees have also been fired for reporting unsanitary conditions to the health department. imagine that



pizza hut is going under. dont give them your business. go papa johns or domino's

ilbob
April 7, 2008, 01:31 PM
pizza hut is going under. dont give them your business. go papa johns or domino'sOf the three chains you mentioned, I prefer PH.

I have never liked Dominos. The pizza just does not taste good to me.

And the last time I ate Poppa Johns 5 or 6 or 7 years ago, I got food poisoning symptoms, and had them for several days. It tasted good, but the after effects were unpleasant enough that I never got pizza there again.

I am not a huge fan of PH pizza either, but its probably the best of the big national chains, at least to me.

There are several local pizza places that make much better pizza IMO. But they are not quite as convenient as PH, and that is what PH is really selling.

ilbob
April 7, 2008, 01:33 PM
employees have also been fired for reporting unsanitary conditions to the health department.No doubt this is not limited to PH.

P95loser
April 7, 2008, 01:50 PM
Feedback left on the link provided.

stevemis
April 7, 2008, 02:22 PM
Here's the source for the OP's post.

http://www.nraila.org/legislation/read.aspx?id=3777

Crow1108
April 7, 2008, 03:03 PM
I just recently read about one of your employees (James Spiers of Des Moines Iowa) and am highly disappointed in your company policies regarding a deliveryman's right to defend himself. I ask you, what is the bigger tragedy here, that some scumbag got shot trying to rob a deliveryman, or if that deliveryman would have gotten shot and not had been able to come home to his child and provide for him/her? Alot of your people have to go to unfamiliar houses at all hours of the night, yet you strip them of their natural right to self-defense. Someone in such a high position as the people who make these policies, are pretty much immune to situations such as Mr. Spiers' due to their job not taking them to any number of unknown households, but to a nice cushy office where about the only unknown variable is if their pens or pencils got rearranged in their desk drawer.

My letter to them

6_gunner
April 7, 2008, 04:19 PM
Does any big pizza chain allow their drivers to be armed? If so, I'll give them my business. If not, then there's another reason to go to the locally owned pizza places.

I know the guys who own the Mancino's restaurant in my town. They actually looked into buying a handgun/handguns with which to arm their delivery drivers, but they ran into legal complications due to one of the employees being an ex-con. Presumably they would allow drivers to carry their own weapons. I don't know if all Mancino's restaurants allow their drivers to be armed, but that seems to be the case at the one in my town.

I don't go get my pizza there because the food isn't good and the service is worse, but at least they allow their drivers to be armed.

Cave Dweller
April 7, 2008, 07:57 PM
My contribution,

Dear sir or madam,
I am writing to inform you of a cooperate policy which leaves Pizza Hut open to severe litigation on the part of it's employees or their families.
I've become aware if the policy in question upon reading a news article concerning the attempted robbery of an employee. On March 27, 2008, an employee from Des Moines Iowa was robbed and threatened at gunpoint. This employee, James Spiers, had a valid permit to carry a handgun, and survived. Cooperate policy however forbids employees from carrying weapons. Vonnie Walbert, vice president of human resources stated, “We have a policy against carrying weapons. We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.” If Mr. Spiers had been killed or injured that night, your policy would have opened up pizza hut to a multi million dollar lawsuit, and untold bad publicity. I enjoy your products and would hate to see your drivers injured or attacks encouraged by an irresponsible policy.

Kentak
April 7, 2008, 08:09 PM
Cave Dweller,

Can you cite a case where an employer was successfully sued by an employee for damages suffered by them because they were unable to defend themselves due to the employer's no gun policy?

K

k_dawg
April 7, 2008, 08:13 PM
Has anyone heard about a fund for this gentlemen?

mekender
April 7, 2008, 09:50 PM
they specifically state in their employee manual that you cannot carry... they also state that in the event of a robbery, you should comply with all commands and not offer any form of resistance...

in my experience, about 50% of the drivers dont pay any attention to the rules and carry anyways... just like a good % of them dont have cars that are in proper shape either...

Cave Dweller
April 8, 2008, 02:22 AM
Cave Dweller,

Can you cite a case where an employer was successfully sued by an employee for damages suffered by them because they were unable to defend themselves due to the employer's no gun policy?

K
No, but the mere idea of liability may work. My goal was to inform them of their error. (which I fully expect to be ignored) Besides, after writing all that, I only had 1 character left. I guess they didn't want any rambling manifestos:evil:

Border
April 8, 2008, 07:20 AM
I don't know if someboday has stated this but the parent company owns Taco Bell, KFC, etc.

Eric F
April 8, 2008, 09:10 AM
pizza hut is going under. dont give them your business. go papa johns or domino's

Why they have the same policy in place. I know I have worked for all 3 in the past.

Pizza Hut Against Self Defense incorrect, they are for not carrying a gun, the lack of a fire arm does not exclude you from defending yourself.

Kentak
April 8, 2008, 09:45 AM
No, but the mere idea of liability may work. My goal was to inform them of their error.

I'm sure all of these businesses, large and small, that prohibit employee carry have considered the legal ramifications even before reading your letter. The thing is, if employees know the policy and abide by it, they can't really put the blame back on the employer since they agreed to the terms of employment. If they violate the policy, they can't really expect to continue employment. If someone believes delivering pizza is so dangerous that they need to be armed against their employer's rules, they should probably find another line of work.

Pizza Hut, and others, probably calculate that the liability to themselves is greater if they allow carry and their employee screws up and has a bad shoot. That for sure can come back on them.

Now, I know from posting similar statements of reality that I'll get flamed for not supporting RKBA. Ok. I've made no contention about the rightness or wrongness of PH's policy, just the reality as I see it. If someone wants to pass a law to allow delivery persons to CCW in spite of employer policy, fine and dandy. I would expect, however, that employers would heartily oppose such legislation unless it also relieved them of liability for wrongful acts by armed employees. That's only fair, isn't it?

K

JohnnyGrey
April 8, 2008, 10:04 AM
Nothing new here. I used to work for Papa John's. They have a no weapons policy as well. That means no weapons on me or in my vehicle. It didn't stop me from carrying an XD9SC, another driver from carrying a .40 Glock, nor my manager from keeping a Beretta 92 in the office.

These decisions are made by legal departments based on the company's bottom line. If I am killed on a run, Papa John's doesn't owe me a penny. That's what it says on the paper I signed when I started working for them. On the other hand, nothing shields Papa Johns from a lawsuit if a driver causes wrongful injury on a bystander. "Safer for everybody" really means "Cheaper for us".

There were a few times that I thought I might have to pull a weapon. One was in a crappy apartment complex downtown. Just one narrow staircase going up four floors with a bunch of restless looking porch monkeys congregating at the base of the staircase. After I delivered the food to the fourth floor, I pulled the XD from my IWB, racked it, untucked my shirt and put the gun in my waistband against my back. I didn't have to pull it. Other times I've had guys stake out my car. A few other drivers have been robbed this way. For what it's worth, Papa Johns covers their drivers up to $20 for theft, the rest comes out of the driver's paycheck.

It's been at least a year since I've worked there. I've got a much better job now. Between the cost of fuel, and the good chance of getting hurt, this isn't a job for the long haul.

Cave Dweller
April 8, 2008, 03:04 PM
The same parent company owns Pepsicola I believe. I always stop off at the taco Bell/ kfc up the street from the range I go to. Walking in smelling like gunpowder:neener:

I'm sure all of these businesses, large and small, that prohibit employee carry have considered the legal ramifications even before reading your letter. The thing is, if employees know the policy and abide by it, they can't really put the blame back on the employer since they agreed to the terms of employment. If they violate the policy, they can't really expect to continue employment. If someone believes delivering pizza is so dangerous that they need to be armed against their employer's rules, they should probably find another line of work.

Pizza Hut, and others, probably calculate that the liability to themselves is greater if they allow carry and their employee screws up and has a bad shoot. That for sure can come back on them.

Now, I know from posting similar statements of reality that I'll get flamed for not supporting RKBA. Ok. I've made no contention about the rightness or wrongness of PH's policy, just the reality as I see it. If someone wants to pass a law to allow delivery persons to CCW in spite of employer policy, fine and dandy. I would expect, however, that employers would heartily oppose such legislation unless it also relieved them of liability for wrongful acts by armed employees. That's only fair, isn't it?

K
I do agree, it's a financial calculation made by the powers that be. And I am under no delusion that the people who make these decisions will ever see my message. Nor will they see the light by sheer "brilliance" of my argument.
The thing to remember about debating a rabid anti gunner is "you will not convince them, you can not win them over" if they should have a conversion experience, or be even slightly open minded, great.
Your real target is the onlookers. The lowly folks who answer emails will be the ones most affected by the message. Office work is boring, and I may have given potential allies something to talk about. Or a pro gun mole a chance to evangelize his or her coworkers. Keep your fingers crossed, pray for a mutiny.

chemist308
April 8, 2008, 07:27 PM
I emailed them. Also mentioned setting up a local boycot as a result of the policy.

**** Does anything think a boycot on a national level is worthwhile? ****

Perhaps enough pressure may get the guy his job back, and the policy changed.

We change Pizza Hut now, then focus attention on the other guys, one at a time...

AZ-Mike
April 9, 2008, 10:29 PM
The way I see it, if I never use it, they will never know. If I do have to use it, it comes down to the philosophy of "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6".

These companies can do all the legal wrangling they want, but in the end it comes down to the guy with the pizza in one hand and the gun to his head. I choose to not be a victim, it's not like you can't get another low paying job the next day.

Kentak
April 9, 2008, 11:18 PM
AZ,

LOL. I can't really argue with that. All I'm saying is that if you freely choose to carry against policy, don't whine about losing the job if you get made. I *am* sympathetic to any guy who might find it necessary to take a low-paying job that is more dangerous than it should be. I'm not going to fault them for wanting to be protected. Take some of my fellow teachers, for example. LOL.

K

Elm Creek Smith
April 9, 2008, 11:27 PM
Little Caesar's had a "no guns" rule when I delivered for them after I retired from the Army. The only time I was threatened was when I told a drunk, again (since he was told when he ordered), how much the pizza would be (large pepperoni). He looked at me blearily and said, "How 'bout I just kick yer ass and take the d***ed pizza?"

I told him that I wouldn't like that very much, and his eyes got big when he heard the sound of a hammer going to full cock under the pizza box. He gave me a twenty for a nine dollar pizza. He never saw the gun.

I went by the house and swapped out the Beretta 950BS .25 ACP for a S&W Model 65.

ECS

Standing Wolf
April 9, 2008, 11:42 PM
We prohibit employees from carrying guns because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.

Written by a dummy who's never delivered a pizza, and would probably come home with damp undies if he had to.

Double Naught Spy
April 9, 2008, 11:53 PM
Pizza Hut Against Self Defense

Misleading title. PH isn't against self defense. They have a no guns policy. A no guns policy is not the same thing as being against self defense. Granted, guns can be a very good self defense tool, but they are just one of many. PH allows for several other venues of self defense, just not guns.

happybrew
April 10, 2008, 02:26 AM
A death on the job would fall under Worker's Compensation laws. Most, if not all states are exclusive remedy states. That means worker's compensation is the sole remedy for injuries sustained on the job, no matter what. You cannot sue your employer because you were hurt, and your estate cannot sue because you were killed. It must go through worker's compensation insurance, whether that is self-insured, corporate insured, or state agency insurance. Those benefits are set by law, and vary from state to state, but generally mean no punitive damages for an injury sustained on the job, and there is a cap on indemnity payments, although not usually on medical, at least in my state.

If an employee shoots a bad guy on the job, that bad guy can sue the employer and recover tons of cash as a result. I heard of one from an attorney where a guy stole a car, crashed, then sued the business for failing to provide proper security in the parking lot.... and won.

You do the math... slightly higher premiums for insurance when a death or injury is spread over tons of other claims, or a big payout to some guy if he survives a self-defense shooting by an employee...

Furthermore, in most states, for a single man killed on the job, there is the hospital bill and the burial costs. For a married man, there may be death benefits for the spouse, but how many delivery drivers are married? And those only last until the widow remarries.

happybrew

DCoats
April 10, 2008, 09:25 PM
I wrote in. Pizza Hut doesn't deserve responsible employees like deliveryman James Spiers of Des Moines, Iowa. I am as a result of their actions boycotting their food.

DCoats
April 10, 2008, 09:40 PM
A no guns policy basically strips you of the most effective means of self defense. So technically it is not against self defense in a general sense, but the end result leaves you disadvantaged in a self defense situation. Gun-free zones are not explicitly "anti-self defense" but tell that to the murder victims at VA Tech.

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