How will this play out - Judged by 12 rather then carried by 6


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usmarine0352_2005
September 12, 2011, 03:22 PM
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http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44483817/ns/today-today_people/#.Tm5bOtTcxPw



Fired for pulling gun on robbers, pharmacist sues

He says he was defending himself, but Walgreens let him go for breaking store policy

By Scott Stump
TODAY.com contributor
updated 9/12/2011 7:57:52 AM ET


“After the hair-raising confrontation that was captured on surveillance video, Jeremy Hovan’s employer rewarded him with a pink slip. Now, Hovan is fighting back, filing a federal lawsuit against Walgreens for wrongful termination........Dan Swanson, told NBC News. “So in that context, I think he was a hero. He was exercising his reasonable right of self-defense in the face of a gunman who attempted to pull a trigger three times and shoot him. Presumably, shoot him dead.’’





Many people say, "I'd rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6", I guess in this case we will find out.

.

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CoRoMo
September 12, 2011, 03:33 PM
Doesn't being 'judged by 12' usually refer to a criminal trial where you are attempting to prove your innocence, as opposed to this case where a jury will be determining if Walgreen's had sufficient reason to terminate an employee?

mgmorden
September 12, 2011, 03:39 PM
Doesn't being 'judged by 12' usually refer to a criminal trial where you are attempting to prove your innocence, as opposed to this case where a jury will be determining if Walgreen's had sufficient reason to terminate an employee?

Yes. Realistically, an employer is (in most states) within their legal rights to not allow carrying of firearms on premises - regardless of the employee's CWP status. Violation of a company policy is grounds for dismissal.

In this case I can't blame his actions and I think if he was truly in danger then the consequences were well worth it, but insofar as a wrongful termination suit, I don't think he has much of a case.

He should just be thankful he's alive and move on. Finding a new job is much easier than rising from the dead.

Rob G
September 12, 2011, 03:54 PM
Yes. Realistically, an employer is (in most states) within their legal rights to not allow carrying of firearms on premises - regardless of the employee's CWP status. Violation of a company policy is grounds for dismissal.

^This.

My boss is very pro-gun and I know that he keeps a gun in his office just in case he should ever need it. He also doesn't say anything about the few of us that he knows carry at work. But he's made it very clear that it is against company policy for employees to be armed and should we ever have to use our guns to defend ourselves he would have no choice but to fire us afterwards. It's not his personal belief it's just corporate policy, which he would have to follow if he wanted to keep his own job.

But, I'd rather lose my job saving my life than lose my life saving my job.

KodiakBeer
September 12, 2011, 03:55 PM
Actually, if you dig around it appears that Walgreens is quoting a very general "non-escalation" policy and that they have no specific prohibition against carrying weapons. Furthermore, the pharmacist attended no training on any Walgreens policies.

It's hard to see how one is "escalating" a violent confrontation once the assailant has a gun in your face and begins pulling the trigger. I suspect the mouth-breather with the gun didn't have one in the chamber, otherwise the story would be titled "Pharmacist Shot In Face By Armed Robber".

ForumSurfer
September 12, 2011, 04:00 PM
In this case I can't blame his actions and I think if he was truly in danger then the consequences were well worth it, but insofar as a wrongful termination suit, I don't think he has much of a case.

I agree. Like most folk, he was probably well aware of his company's policies on carry concealed weapons at work. Most of us who carry concealed take the time to research such things.

The policy (right or wrong) is there. He knew it. He broke it. He was fired because of it. That is a choice many of us make. Walgreen's acted by their guidelines and policies, no matter if they are right or wrong.

I'm glad everything turned out ok and he defended himself, his co-workers and the patrons successfully. I detest such policies and a large, publicly visible law suit is one of the few things a company like Walgreens will take notice of and force them to contemplate a policy change, though I am doubtful they will. It will likely end in an out of court settlement and Walgreen's policy will remain the same.

He should just be thankful he's alive and move on.

I agree.

OTOH, I can also see where one would be tempted to sue for wrongful termination and end up with cash in hand after such a publicized event. I feel it would be wrong for me to sue my company after such an event when I knew full well I could be fired every morning that I holstered up. But the possibility of a 7 figure settlement could sway many peoples' moral compasses. Would it sway mine? I can say no right now, but I also don't have a great lawyer beating down my door offering to work my case free of charge in exchange for %25 or less of my in/out of court settlement.

Hoppe
September 12, 2011, 04:27 PM
"Actually, if you dig around it appears that Walgreens is quoting a very general "non-escalation" policy and that they have no specific prohibition against carrying weapons"

Acording to what I saw today Walgreens has both. They are just useing the nonescalation policy because they did not inform about the no carry policy. Any way you slice it it gonna be messy. Video was on GMA today.

Bubbles
September 12, 2011, 04:47 PM
All of my employers have handed me a copy of the "Employee Manual" during orientation, and I have to sign a document stating that I've received it and will abide by the policies in it or I will be subject to termination. If Walgreen's doesn't have such a document from this employee then I expect they'll lose the case, as non-escalation training <> "don't carry a gun at work".

And in this case returning fire was precisely what was required to de-escalate the situation.

Too bad I won't be on this guy's jury.

ForumSurfer
September 12, 2011, 04:53 PM
All of my employers have handed me a copy of the "Employee Manual" during orientation, and I have to sign a document stating that I've received it and will abide by the policies in it or I will be subject to termination.And typically there is a "catch-all" clause saying that I am here-until-the-end-of-time responsible for knowing the policy or any changes there-in. We're usually notified of changes, but not always. Particularly high impact or controversial changes (like a recent "no firearms in employee vehicles" clause :cuss: ) will be handed out by all department heads with a signature required acknowledging your receipt of the policy change.

mgkdrgn
September 12, 2011, 09:59 PM
The pharmacist is going to loose ... he'd be better off holding onto the money he's going to blow on the lawyers.

Pizza hut (and all the name brand delivery companies that I know of) has similar policies ... despite their delivery people being robbed/assaulted on a regular basis. And yes, they fire every last one of them that pulls a gun to defend themselves.

One here last year was stabbed, and being chased down by his robbers when he drew and fired, killing one of them. Terminated the next day.

henschman
September 13, 2011, 09:46 AM
In Michigan and most other states, it is lawful to terminate an employment relationship with someone for this reason because the law considers an employment relationship to be "at will" -- that is, a voluntary relationship that either party can terminate at any time for any reason, and which no party may compel the other to remain in against his will. Obviously there have been some limitations on this doctrine with federal and state law, but only in a few states (not Michigan) is there any kind of prohibition on ending an employment relationship for gun-related issues.

Now, stepping outside the realm of law and speaking from a completely ethical perspective, I believe every human being has the absolute right to freedom of association, which means that everyone has the right to form voluntary relationships with others and to terminate them at any time and for any reason, unless he bound himself not to by contract. To force people to remain in a relationship with others against their will is a violation of their rights and amounts to involuntary servitude.

That said, it is an extremely stupid policy to refuse to contract with people simply because they exercise their right to self defense, aka their right to live. Kind of like how it is stupid not to contract with someone because of their skin color. I think it is stupid, but people have a right to be stupid and to suffer the consequences. The right to freedom of association is a double-edged sword. You don't have to employ people if you don't want to, and people don't have to do business with you if they don't like your policies. And if you have this kind of policy, you will end up losing good employees who are not only good workers, but who also help keep your property and your customers safe.

Oh well, I hope this gentleman has luck in finding new employment with someone who values him. I will say that if this happened here where I live, he would have no problem with this... he would be treated like a local hero. All he would need to say in an interview is that he was the guy who stopped the robbery at Walgreens and got fired for it.

jerkface11
September 13, 2011, 10:14 AM
An unarmed pharmacist is like an unarmed jeweler.

hermannr
September 13, 2011, 01:50 PM
It is very possible that he may prevail, specifically because he fired because he was trying to protect his own life, not the store.

While most salaried positions, in most states, (including MI) are "at will", and you may be terminated for any reason, at any time...as a retired business owner, I know that it is not quite that simple. There still is federal labor law to consider, the this suit is a federal suit.

This kind of stuff was never a problem until "personnel" (people) became "Human Resources" (just piece of property, like a building or tool you might purchase or lease)

Personally, I hope he prevails, and Walgrens gets the corporate behind spanked good. It would be fun to be on that jury,

If he does win, you can bet Walgrens (and others that have the same mindset and type of policies) if they loose, they will have their lawyers and HR people changing the rules, not to allow CC, but to make sure they cannot be sued again, or if sued, they will not loose again.

I am not anti-corporate, but I am very much against the HR concept of humans that work for you.

henschman
September 13, 2011, 02:19 PM
I don't think there is any way he could prevail under federal labor law or any other law. Federal labor law is all about "protected classes." It only applies to race, skin color, nationality, religion, gender, age, and disability. You have to have been fired because of membership in one of these special classes to have a cause of action. Anybody else is subject to good ol' voluntary freedom of association. Sometimes courts will find an "implied contract" in an employee's manual or something, but there's no way they would find an implied contract with the terms that Walgreen's wouldn't fire someone for carrying a gun -- it sounds like their policy on this was pretty explicit.

The dude just needs to realize that some people are idiots and that he is better off finding employment with someone who values him more. This lawsuit will go nowhere. It might make him feel a little better until it gets dismissed for failure to state a claim, and he gets the bill from his attorney... and then realizes that Walgreen's has a law firm on retainer just for this sort of situation, and it didn't cause them any extra trouble or expense to defend against it.

This kind of stuff was never a problem until "personnel" (people) became "Human Resources" (just piece of property, like a building or tool you might purchase or lease)That's exactly how the relationship should be viewed -- and not just by the employer, but by the employee as well. People should seek the greatest benefit for themselves, and should only remain in voluntary relationships so long as it is beneficial to them personally. The needs of the other party should not enter into a rational person's thought process, other than for purposes of negotiating the best benefit for himself. In business, when you start thinking of considerations other than what benefits you the most, that is when you go bankrupt. And then your business is no benefit to you or to any of the people who contract with it.

Standing Wolf
September 13, 2011, 02:34 PM
I'd rather lose my job saving my life than lose my life saving my job.

That's very well said, Rob G!

MagnumDweeb
September 13, 2011, 03:36 PM
If I defended my life reasonably and my employer fired me and I could sue them then guess what... I would sue them. If I had gotten shot and killed no one from the company would have taken care of my family other than the life insurance policy I had. The BG deliberately tried to shoot the pharmacist three times and failed. Just the gun being pointed in the pharmacists direction was justification to draw and shoot. Now if Walgreens wants to put up Bullet Proof glass all around the Pharmacy to dissuade all but the most determined murderers(did anyone forget that New York Pharmacy massacre, if that pharmacist had been armed things might have turned out different).

Then fire people for protecting their own lives(not store property, because who cares about store property, that's what insurance and Chinese Pseudo-Slave labor is for) they may have some grounds, not in my opinion but maybe others.

I'm a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. Most lawsuits in Florida, less than 6%, make it to mediation much less trial. Insurance companies know to pay, Walgreens could probably send the claim to the insurance company and get it paid.

Fire me for protecting my own life and I will want to get paid. Let me protect my own life, take a two week paid vacation, and return to work and maybe see a therapists for a few months on my benefits. Fire me because you subscribe to idiotic notions that endanger my life, I want to get paid. Fire me because you have some sick desire to empower robbers and murderers, I want to get paid. Also consider the fact this pharmacist may have trouble getting hired somewhere else because he defended his life and Walgreens fired him for it. Walgreens should have to pay in my opinion. You can argue the legalese but I think they should either pay or hire him back and pay for his attorney plus his time out of work.

Oh and a by-and-by, m opinion is not a legal one in this matter, mere unsubstantiated ranting.

azmjs
September 13, 2011, 03:47 PM
This is a very tangential "judged by 12."

I wonder if at any point during his litigation, a 12 judge panel will hear his case.

Maybe at some point there will have been 12 judges total who have heard it.

MtnCreek
September 13, 2011, 04:04 PM
I’m very serious about freedom and that is not just limited to 2A rights. Although the current laws may disagree with me; both the employee and employer have the right to terminate their relationship at any point and for any reason.
I will add this: Let’s say a company allowed employees to carry a firearm and someone was hurt by this firearm, you can bet the farm the company is going to get sued and will likely pay out a huge judgment or settlement. Not saying that’s right, but I am saying it’s the world we live in today. I bet Walgreens has at least one full time employ that does nothing but try to figure out how they could get sued and what rules they could implement to reduce their liability.

ForumSurfer
September 13, 2011, 04:21 PM
Oh and a by-and-by, m opinion is not a legal one in this matter, mere unsubstantiated ranting.

You're preaching to the choir. :)

I bet Walgreens has at least one full time employ that does nothing but try to figure out how they could get sued and what rules they could implement to reduce their liability.

One person? Just like any other large company, it is dozens of people doing this. It is a group effort between Risk Management, Human Resources and their Legal Department.

I'd rather lose my job saving my life than lose my life saving my job.

I'd bet a poll would show that %100 of us agree with that. But when we knowingly break the rules by carrying, we know what corporate is going to do with us if we are forced to defend ourselves. Whether the rules are right or wrong, it is what it is when we knowingly break those rules.

ColtPythonElite
September 13, 2011, 04:26 PM
I wonder if he was working in a "at will" work state.

mgmorden
September 13, 2011, 04:28 PM
This is a very tangential "judged by 12."

I wonder if at any point during his litigation, a 12 judge panel will hear his case.

Maybe at some point there will have been 12 judges total who have heard it.

Indeed. Since this is a civil case, not a criminal, if it ever goes to trial most civil cases use 6 jurors, not 12 :D.

coloradokevin
September 14, 2011, 01:44 PM
(Oops... Didn't realize this thread existed when I started my own... Thanks for the move, moderators).


http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1155844975001

Just thought I'd share this story. It seems like one of those classic cases where the priorities of the employee differ greatly from the priorities of his employer.

In the attached video a pharmacist is confronted by two armed robbers, who reportedly attempted to shoot at him. The employee has a valid concealed carry permit, but is carrying his gun without his employer's (Walgreens) knowledge. When the employee is confronted by the first robber he fires at the robbers three times, and they quickly flee from the store.

Walgreens apparently terminated this employee, and gave a statement in which they said something along the lines of: 'employees receive extensive training on how to deal with robberies'. I read that statement to mean that the company has told their employees simply to cooperate with an armed robber. At the end of the story there is also a quote from Walgreens in which they say something about how law enforcement discourages people from fighting back.

Personally, as a police officer, I'm darn glad to see that this guy was able and willing to defend himself! I've also worked for companies in the past (namely a large bank) that had similar policies of submission to robbers. While I understand that the goal of an employer is to avoid liability, and I recognize that mandating inaction is part of how they accomplish that goal, I still feel for an employee who gets fired after a situation like this.

Simply put: This guy didn't want to be robbed, he didn't choose to have his life put at risk, and he was brave enough to stand and fight the good fight. He may have acted outside of the scope of his employment, but I commend him for taking the fight to the bad guys!

Paulgibs
September 20, 2011, 10:17 PM
It seems to me that Walgreens has a good defense in it's prohibition against possession of firearms by employees while on duty. It was apparently a clear policy, promulgated to employees, and known by the discharged pharmacist, Mr. Hoven. The non escalation policy seems to not apply here because the perpetrator was attempting to open fire when Mr. Hoven defended himself.

The fact that many large companies have identical or similar policies may provide them with similar defenses, but they would have been of absolutely no help had this robber's gun functioned when he tried to kill Mr. Hoven. Mr. Hoven would be dead, and perhaps other Walgreens employees as well.

My point: The policy may be legally defensible, but I believe that it is wrong.

Here's a copy of my email to Gregory Wasson, Walgreens' CEO:

"
My family lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, and there is always a CVS within a block or so of every Walgreens store. *Ordinarily, I opt for Walgreens because the stores are always clean, well-stocked, and most importantly, the staff is very helpful, well-trained and competent. *A recent event has caused me to decide to take my business to CVS.

Last week, you discharged an excellent employee, Jeremy Hoven, because he lawfully defended himself and his coworkers against an armed robber who was attempting to open fire on him while at his post on duty at Walgreens. As CEO, you run the company, and I am sure that this decision to discharge Mr. Hoven is within your prerogative. *

Clearly, my family is not your biggest customer, and you certainly do not rely on our business. *Nevertheless, I write to advise you that in response to your decision to discharge Mr. Hoven because of his heroic defense of himself and his coworkers, we are taking our business elsewhere. *It's just too easy to go to CVS.

By copy to the 4783 contacts in my firm's database, I am advising each of them of my decision not to trade at Walgreens. *I wish you all the best in your future commercial success, and I pray for the safety of your employees, who must support their families while working in your company's mandatory "robber friendly" environment.

Paul D. Gibson
Gibson, Gruenert & Zaunbrecher, P.L.L.C.
600 Jefferson Street, Suite 600
Post Office Box 3663
Lafayette, Louisiana 70502-3663

Rob G
September 20, 2011, 11:03 PM
I'd rather lose my job saving my life than lose my life saving my job.

I'd bet a poll would show that %100 of us agree with that. But when we knowingly break the rules by carrying, we know what corporate is going to do with us if we are forced to defend ourselves. Whether the rules are right or wrong, it is what it is when we knowingly break those rules.

Agreed. I know my corporate office will fire me if they ever find out I carry a gun to work. It's their rule. I know it. I'm breaking it. Termination is the consequence. I'm working to try and get it changed but until then if I'm caught and fired I'll go peacefully.

HOOfan_1
September 20, 2011, 11:30 PM
CVS Employee Handbook forbids the possession of a weapon of any kind in the workplace....although box cutters are an item that can be ordered from the distribution center for store use. Obviously that is a weapon. CVS also advocates, (although the training is not "comprehensive" as some of the videos for Walgreens have suggested) that employees should always cooperate with robbers (not that this has stopped people from getting killed in the past).

Seems to me that the pharmacist would be better off suing Walgreens over an unsafe work environment (if the store was robbed often, they should have a guard), than he would for wrongful termination.

It has always been my impression that pharmacists are nearly bulletproof, pardon the pun, and that they basically would need to be caught stealing money or drugs or violating DEA or HIPAA laws before they got fired. I've always seen pharmacists as the sacred cows at stores with pharmacies.

chhodge69
September 20, 2011, 11:46 PM
Well, there may be another option for the guy:

http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/2011/09/19/front-sights-monday-blog-confusion-and-walgreens-shooting/

Please contact the employee who was wrongfully terminated and let him know that not only will we give him a four day course at Front Sight at no charge to help him with his speed, marksmanship, and gun handling– we will give him a job too! Have him contact me.

Hugo
September 21, 2011, 08:11 AM
Hopefully his lawyer can push this argument.
"My client has been robbed before at work and Walgreens didn't do anything to help him be safer. They were derelict in their duty to protect their employees safety and my client took steps to protect himself and his friends/co-workers who were in fear for their life."

Plus the "I was defending my life since nobody was helping me, least of all Walgreens." argument.

Hope he wins and employers start to wake up that being prepared for self-defense is not a bad thing and is wise to allow.

ilbob
September 21, 2011, 08:16 AM
Who knows what happens here. The fact that Walgreens would have preferred he and others be murdered rather than defend himself is pretty disgusting.

OTOH, you can't have a rule and not enforce it, or it tends to become moot. It is not an easy call.

There is some evidence that passivity when confronted with criminals is somewhat safer overall.

patentnonsense
September 21, 2011, 08:49 AM
Depends a LOT what state it happened in. What if the plaintiff's team were to include a class action complaint on behalf of all Walgreen pharmacy employees, wherever located? Injunctive relief is easy to craft, but I think there's some potential for class damages too.

Just my two cents, not legal advice - if you want legal advice, get your own lawyer.

Rob G
September 21, 2011, 09:41 AM
Hopefully his lawyer can push this argument.
"My client has been robbed before at work and Walgreens didn't do anything to help him be safer. They were derelict in their duty to protect their employees safety and my client took steps to protect himself and his friends/co-workers who were in fear for their life."

Plus the "I was defending my life since nobody was helping me, least of all Walgreens." argument.


I'm relatively certain that Walgreens or any other employer are under no legal obligation to protect their employees from the actions of people not employed by or associated with the company. SCOTUS once ruled that police have no obligation to protect the lives of citizens so following that line of logic I doubt any court, much less SCOTUS, would uphold a decision against Walgreens for not protecting their people from robbers. Plus if that were a valid argument bank tellers all over the country would be rolling in cash and early retirements. I think the Pharmacist would better spend his time looking for a new job. Although considering the job climate for his particular specialty I have little doubt he's long since found one.

valnar
September 21, 2011, 12:51 PM
I'd be curious to see if the robbery rate would go down if they allowed CCW. As a robber, if you knew that any pharmacist at Walgreens could be packing, you might not try.

That being said, it might increase the robbery rate at CVS where they couldn't carry. Market forces would then take affect. Less customers at CVS, more robberies, better qualified Pharmacists moving to Walgreens because they would be safer, etc.

'twould be an interesting social experiment.

Zoogster
September 21, 2011, 07:56 PM
I think employers should be found liable for failure to protect employees from dangers that can reasonably be anticipated when they prevent the employee from protecting themselves.

Robberies from armed and dangerous individuals are quite common and easily anticipated in pharmacies. Likewise at gas stations, liqor stores, and a host of other places that deal in cash with the public, especially when they are open late hours.

Prohibiting self defense at one while simultaneously failing to provide armed guards or other measures is negligence on the part of the employer.
Either you allow people to defend themselves or you take on the responsibility at a minimum.




Likewise, but not as much of a given, this attitude that employers can prohibit whatever they want is being taken a bit far.
Employers cannot prohibit whatever they want. They cannot have a hiring policy based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, etc They cannot legally fire someone if they later learn they are gay/lesbian for that reason for example.
Yet it is well established that women in general make less desirable employees.
For example statistics and studies show they are more likely to cost more in many ways:

1. Women use health care a lot more, including for a variety of regular checkups. While men are less likely to see a doctor and use their health coverage less. Everyone pays in, but women use it more. Women spend most of the money and health care costs more for everyone. So company/corporate and private policies cost more for everyone because of women, if only men were part of the policy health care would be much less expensive, but discrimination based on gender is illegal irregardless.
Healthcare is a major cost to employers, and especially for lower income employees where it makes up a considerable percentage of the overall cost of an employee. The ability to discriminate based on gender could drop health care costs considerably (insurance companies are likewise restricted in their ability to discriminate.)

2. Women are entitled to maternity leave many places, this means it is quite likely an employer will have to pay them for more time they are not at work than men.

3. Women have been shown to be less likely to sacrifice their family for increased job performance. Now this is arguably a positive quality, but from an employers perspective it means they are less dedicated employees. They are less likely to work off the clock, or neglect their family and children for the benefit of the company and their career. This means men make better workaholics.

4. A considerably percentage of women can suddenly become stay at home mothers and quit a job they were previously perfectly happy at. This is very unlikely with men, but not with women. So they are even less dependable as a group from the perspective of a number crunching employer.

5. There is many tasks they are less suited to, like moving various supplies and objects even in an office environment where such things are not part of the typical job. This means men are going to be available to do various tasks.

Yet in spite of all these real life facts discrimination based on gender is illegal. Clearly employers cannot legally hire and fire as they wish. This is not to put down women, they can and do make great employees. But rather it is to demonstrate an example that even when evidence supports an employer's decision there is legal restrictions or prohibitions on making certain decisions. Employers cannot do as they wish, even if it makes financial sense.

Now consider how it could apply to firearms and self defense:
The 2nd was ruled a Constitutional right (although it has not been clarified as to what right of carry this extends to.) Self-defense is considered a universal right. Police have been ruled to have no duty to protect those who are not in their custody and do not arrive in most situations in time to do more than take a report and start looking for the perpetrator (but they do have a duty to protect those who are.) So by conclusion people and companies need to provide for their own immediate defense, others cannot and by law nobody else has to.
I can certainly see a case built that someone has a right to self-defense with a firearm in spite of an employer's desires.
Making it just as unlawful to discriminate against someone for using a gun to defend themselves in a lawful manner as it is to discriminate against them because of gender, race, and all the other things they legally cannot.

However I think the best avenue to pursue at this point is that an employer is negligent if they fail to protect employees from reasonable and clearly anticipated dangers posed on the job, while simultaneously preventing the employee from having the most reasonable means of protecting themselves (even if they provide it at their own cost).
The result of success with such legislation is that employers would have to weigh the potential costs of allowing and disallowing self defense, and it would be a more even scale that caused them to allow it more frequently.
Rather than worrying solely about the cost of an employee using a firearm and so creating policies that forbid self-defense and even desiring a dead employee instead of being sued over an employee's actions, they would also have to worry about the cost of not allowing an employee to use a firearm resulting in injury or death to an employee they were liable for.


If I hired an employee to work with hazardous materials and failed to provide protective gear from readily anticipated risks, while simultaneously preventing them from providing their own protective gear even at their own cost, I would be liable for resulting injury or sickness.
There is no difference in failing to provide armed security to employees who are frequent targets of robbery while simultaneously preventing them from having a means of protection from a readily anticipated and easily foreseen risk.
Pharmacists are one of the most robbed targets in the country. Companies employing large numbers of them are quite aware of how often they are targeted.
This clearly makes the employer liable in my opinion for anything resulting from this negligence to provide or even allow protection from a known and frequent on the job threat to employees.

Rob G
September 22, 2011, 12:44 AM
If I hired an employee to work with hazardous materials and failed to provide protective gear from readily anticipated risks, while simultaneously preventing them from providing their own protective gear even at their own cost, I would be liable for resulting injury or sickness.
There is no difference in failing to provide armed security to employees who are frequent targets of robbery while simultaneously preventing them from having a means of protection from a readily anticipated and easily foreseen risk.

Actually there's a huge difference. You hired them specifically to work with hazardous materials which means two things.
1. They WILL come in to contact with hazardous materials.
2. The employer is forcing them to do so as part of their job.
Therefore the employer is liable if anything happens to that employee and must provide equipment and training to minimize any risks associated with handling Hazmat.

In the case of someone working in a retail store the situation is a little different.
1. You MAY come in to contact with a robber. It's possible. But it is by no means certain.
2. Your employer is NOT forcing you to be robbed at gunpoint as a condition of employment. Again, it might happen, but your employer is not out paying people to come in and rob the place. They do that of their own volition and your employer is not involved in that decision.

Therefore the two situations are very different, especially from a legal point of view.

Loosedhorse
September 22, 2011, 12:51 PM
Realistically, an employer is (in most states) within their legal rights to not allow carrying of firearms on premises - regardless of the employee's CWP status. Violation of a company policy is grounds for dismissal. the law considers an employment relationship to be "at will" -- that is, a voluntary relationship that either party can terminate at any time for any reason, and which no party may compel the other to remain in against his will. Obviously there have been some limitations on this doctrine with federal and state law...Federal labor law is all about "protected classes." It only applies to race, skin color, nationality, religion, gender, age, and disability.All true. And yet all seem perverse in the face of one fact: the employee was fired for surviving. Is there any right more basic that his right to life?

One should not have to choose between being employed, and being alive.

If the courts refuse to give him redress, which is likely, perhaps this case will spur a change in law, the way that protections for the above listed "protected classes" came about. Certainly, we have here the perfect demonstration of the need for a change in law.

Or the courts may surprise us, after Heller, and say that a ban on legal carry (especially in such an obviously dangerous environment) cannot stand.

What the employee should really do is sue the employer under a different theory: the employer caused, by failure to provide adequate security, the need for the employee to protect himself. That foreseeable need, due to the employer's failure, has caused harms: emotional distress, loss of income and benefits, legal costs--and all these result from the employer's failure.

I know how I'd vote on THAT jury.

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