Will This Pizza Man Get Fired For Defending Himself On The Job?

Companies might claim it’s for liability reasons that they have a strict no guns policy. It seems they’d rather have to deal with a dead or injured employee rather than a dead or injured innocent bystander who (or whose family) might sue the company for damages. Employees are expendable. If one of them dies as a result of an armed robbery, the company can very easily replace him.

And everything’s under contract. As long as an employee understands the risks of the job and agrees not to carry any weapons while on the job, the company can’t be held liable for deaths or injuries resulting from robberies or other criminal encounters. Well, people can try to sue, but the company will likely win.

But this rather callous policy also lands some companies in hot water with their customers. It’s not uncommon in these robbery situations where an employee disobeyed his employer’s rules and carried a gun for his own protection and used it on a would-be criminal. And in those cases, having the gun for protection saved the life of the employee. But when word would get back to the manager, the employee would find himself out of a job for violating company policy.

It remains to be seen if that will happen to this Domino’s Pizza delivery driver in Florida:

“The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 32-year-old Fredrick Lorenza Kelly Jr., who was shot and killed during an alleged Armed Robbery of a pizza delivery driver Friday night. The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Days Inn motel…in West Melbourne shortly before midnight. Detectives say 54-year-old Bryon Park of Palm Bay had just returned to his vehicle after delivering a pizza to a room in the motel complex, when he was approached by Kelly who had a large knife. Kelly demanded money from Park and threatened to kill him if he did not comply. Deputies say that’s when Park, the pizza delivery man who happens to be a former law enforcement officer, grabbed a gun from his car and defended himself, by firing one shot towards Kelly. Kelly was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.”

The robber made the age-old mistake of bringing a knife to a gunfight. But maybe that’s because he knew most companies like Domino’s have a “no tolerance” policy towards guns. Delivery drivers’ cars are often company-mandated gun-free zones. He didn’t expect the driver to be breaking his company’s rules. He depended on the driver being a good little “law abiding” citizen and employee.

But little did he know, he was dealing with a company “rebel,” who valued his own life more than his job. And for that reason, an armed and dangerous criminal is dead, and a working American is still alive.

As to whether he’ll get fired for “standing his ground” against Kelly, it may depend on whether the Domino’s where Park worked was a franchise or not. A similar incident happened a couple years ago in Kansas, and the pizza man got fired by the franchise owner. Regarding the incident, the Domino’s spokesman stated that the driver wasn’t a Domino’s employee per se and was at the mercy of the franchise:

“I can’t speak to the exact policy at the franchise, but corporately, we have all employees sign an employment agreement. Among the many things in that agreement…is a clause about not carrying a weapon.”

So if this particular franchise in Florida is OK with their employees carrying concealed in their personal vehicles, then maybe Park will keep his job.