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Rights of corporation and employee clash over use of weapon

By Steve Giegerich and Denise Hollinshed
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
01/05/2008

Missouri's firearm statutes gave the Domino's pizza deliveryman who shot
and
killed a would-be assailant Dec. 28 every right to use a legal weapon to
protect himself and his property.

By simply carrying the gun, however, the still unidentified employee
violated
a company policy prohibiting Domino workers from packing a weapon even
if, as
happened in Ferguson on the night of the shooting, the employee was
using his
own car.

To some, the circumstances raise questions about where the right of
Missouri
citizens to legally keep and bear arms ends and the corporate right to
limit
liability begins.

"I am not aware of a case quite like it," said Anders Walker, an
assistant law
professor at St. Louis University. "The legal riddle is whether Domino's
can
fire this guy because, if he agreed to work for them and signed a contract,
he needs to abide by their policies."

To borrow a law school term, the question is moot: The deliveryman quit
shortly after the death of Brian Smith, 19, of Ferguson, in what
authorities
say was a robbery attempt.

Another teenager alleged to be Smith's accomplice, Rodney Reese, 18, of
University City, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree
robbery and two counts of armed criminal action.

The deliveryman has not been charged.

Had he not resigned, a Domino's spokesman said this week, the company would
have disciplined the deliveryman.

Kerry Messer, a gun rights supporter and lobbyist for the Missouri Family
Network, said it's Domino's that stands guilty.

"For a company to ban (employees who deliver) from using firearms makes
them a
sitting duck for criminals" in high-crime areas, said Messer.

He contends the deliveryman was protected by not only the state's concealed
weapons law but also the "Castle Doctrine" permitting Missourians to use
force to protect homes and, more recently, cars.

Other businesses that send workers on the road with cash have policies that
differ from Domino's.

Deferring to state firearm law, the St. Louis Taxi Commission leaves the
decision about allowing drivers to arm themselves up to the individual cab
companies.

St. Louis' Harris Cab Company, in turn, leaves the decision to the
discretion
of the drivers.

"We don't prevent drivers (from carrying) because we want them to be safe,"
said manager Shermand Palmer.

At Ferguson's Pantera's Pizza, manager Steve Moses subscribes to a
philosophy
of don't ask, don't tell.

"They can't have a weapon in the store," he said. "But if they have a
weapon
in their car, I don't know about it. They aren't supposed to, though."

Moses said the popularity of cell phones has made the job of delivering
pizzas
susceptible to assailants using false addresses to lure delivery drivers
into
a trap.

Messer said that Domino's policy is "shortsighted."

"He did it legally. It's a shame his employment came under fire because
of it.
It's definitely not right," said Messer.
 

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Unfortunately, the Utah Supreme Court more or less agreed with the sentiment of this article when they told AOL they had the right to fire 2 Utah employees because they carried weapons onto company property, even though the firearms were in the trunks of their cars.

I, however, disagree with Domino's stance and find it absolutely reprehensible to discipline someone for such an action, especially since it saved his life. They need to take a step back and look at the larger picture. Had this man not been carrying, he may be dead. And that opens up a can of worms for them if the man's widow ever decided to press charges against them for removing his right to defend himself.

What a flock of maroons.
 

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I'm going to write a letter to Dominos Corporate and tell them that I will not buy their products anymore since they do not provide for the protection or allow the employees to protect themselves.
 

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Strategic Tactical said:
I'm going to write a letter to Dominos Corporate and tell them that I will not buy their products anymore since they do not provide for the protection or allow the employees to protect themselves.
+1 my letter will be on its way tonight, along with phone calls to the local branches expressing my decision to choose another carry and the reasoning begind it.

On another note....I wonder what the other pizza delivery companies have for gun policies? I might not be eating pizza for a long time :roll:
 

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Tis is the email that I just sent to Domino's:

I am writing this email and hope that it does not fall on deaf ears. I recently read an article in a news paper (St. Louis Post)from Missouri where an employee of a Dominos Pizza made a life altering decision that had great impact on his life. From the article it stated that a delivery driver had defended himself LEGALLY. From what I gather, he was attacked by two men in an attempt to rob the delivery driver. The driver, who had a State issued permit to carry a firearm, defended himself that unfortunately cost the life of one of the attackers. Had the attackers killed or injured the delivery driver, Domino's has HUGE liability from what I can see by what is said as a "policy prohibiting Domino workers from packing a weapon". If the driver was injured because he was not allowed to legally defend himself in a manner that made the outcome in his favor, I would hope that the family members of the delivery driver would SUE Domino's Pizza for millions of dollars. I think that it is ridiculous that employers want employees to work for them but then tie their hands when it comes to protecting themselves from the evil that is everywhere. In the article it stated that the delivery driver has since quite his job. But it also states that if he did not quite, that he would have been disciplined. Nothing like standing behind your employees. Because of Domino's position on this employee who LEGALLY defended his own life, I will no longer be buying any items from Domino's. It shows that you DO NOT stand behind your employees and that you believe that money is more important than the life of a human employees.
 

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I just sent a complaint to Dominos also. Here is mine:

I am writing to express my disgust with your no weapon policy in regards to your employees. I recently read an article that indicated that a St. Louis Domino's employee defended himself legally with a firearm when he was attacked by 2 assailants. Unfortunately one his attackers was killed. However, this employee has a God-given (not to mention legal) right to defend himself. Your company policy denies him this right. If he had been injured in the performance of his job duties by these attackers, I would hope that he would sue Dominos Pizza for millions because, you his employer denied him the right to legally defend himself. From what I have read, a pizza delivery driver is one of the highest risk jobs in relationship to being attacked during the performance of your job. Denying your employees the right to be able to defend themselves is inexcusable. This article stated that this particular employee has quit his job, however it also stated that he would be disciplined for violating the Dominos Pizza no weapons policy. Nothing quite like a good business standing behind their employees is there... (if you can't tell that sentance was meant to be sarcastic.) I will no longer be spending any of my hard earned dollars at a Domino's Pizza.

Chris, thanks for the link.
We should all take 5 minutes and send Domino's some well deserved feedback!
 

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I sent my letter too...
Hello,

I just read a 5-Jan-2008 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The title was "Rights of corporation and employee clash over use of weapon". One of your drivers legally defended his own life with a firearm -- for which he had a state-issued permit to carry -- when two assailants attacked him. I am incensed that Domino's Corporation would have disciplined this driver if he had not quit first.

What kind of company sends its employees out in one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, then prohibits those employees from having the means to defend their own lives?

Does Domino's Corporation believe that people should not have the right to self-defense or is it just a particular corporate anti-gun fervor at work here? This is an asinine and ludicrous policy.

Please be informed that I shall no longer be patronizing Domino's for our pizza needs. There are plenty of alternative choices where I can spend my money.

Quite Sincerely,
Jeff Johnson
 

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Well, here is he B.S. reply I received from Domino's about my letter:

January 11, 2008

Chris Willden
XXXXXXXXXX
Bountiful, UT 84010-6366

Dominos Case #: 502283

Dear Chris XXXXXXX,

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Domino's Pizza Customer Care Team. As one of our valued customers, your comments are extremely important to us.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. In the case you have brought to our attention, we have learned from the independent franchise owner that the employee has resigned following the unfortunate incident that occurred.

We do our best to keep our team members safe and secure when they make deliveries for us. On average, we make more than 1 million deliveries a night - the vast majority of which occur without incidents of any kind. We do an extensive amount of training to help our employees from being targets of robberies or other crimes. We do have a set of policies that all team members agree to when they join our company - and those policies include making sure they obey all traffic laws, will show up to work without being under the influence of intoxicants, and that they will not carry weapons.

After 47 years of delivering pizza in the U.S. and in 55 countries around the world, we have found that the few robbery incidents we've encountered end better - and more safely - for our team members if they hand over the pizza and the less than $20 they carry on deliveries. Resisting is a virtual guarantee that someone is going to get hurt, and police departments around the country report that in many cases, a person's own weapon is used against them when they are trying to defend themselves. We have also learned that the majority of our customers prefer to know that they pizza delivery person at their doorstep is not carrying a gun when they are visiting their home.

Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective with us.

Sincerely,

Domino's Pizza Inc.

Ok, so is there anyone on this forum that has delivered for them? If so, please, do tell us what this "Extensive" training is......LOL
 

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I delivered for Pizza Hut 15 years ago. The training then was don't carry too much cash and if confronted, give them the pizza and cash and walk away. I don't specifically remember a no guns policy. When I found my insurance company wouldn't renew my policy because I delivered pizza, I found a new, better job.
 

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Same one i got, what a crock of poo
 

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Sharing this information between members and writing letters to Dominos is a great idea. I would also encourage everyone to share this story with anyone that will listen. While citizens carrying concealed are still a minority, the masses are very much in favor of one's right to defend their own life. The more people than know of this type of behavior, the more Dominos' bottom line is affected and that is what causes corporations to make change.
 

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I delivered for Domino's as recently as a little over a year ago. The training certainly wasn't "extensive", basically just what Apollosmith said about Pizza Hut.

Will I still order from them? Yes; namely b/c I love their product, dislike most of the others, and believe (at this point) that I am probably correct in assuming the majority of their competition does the same thing.

Would I still deliver for them? Yes.

Would I carry if I delivered for them again? Yes -- as Tarzan says, you gotta be SMART about how you CARRY.

If caught, I would give serious consideration to challenging them all the way on it, however.

I wonder if a better tactic than letters to them might be hand-outs to the drivers explaining how dangerous their job is, and that their company(s) are prohibiting them from defending themselves and that they should consider fighting back, along with things like letters to the editor and such???
 

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This already happend in the salt lake valley, I think around 89 or so; A Dominos pizza guy was making a delivery to a house, and right next door a fight or yelling going on between 2 guys, well this pizza guy pulls out a gun and said "Stop fighting, I'm a undercover cop off duty", lol. One of the guys runs in and calls the real cops, well the pizza guy got the pink slip you can say.
 

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Yikes, sounds like a dumb guy. Pulling the gun on people because they are fighting (didn't feel anyone's life is in danger) is assault and I believe impersonating an officer is a felonious charge. Should have just called the cops himself and dealt with his own business (delivering pizzas).
 

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I've NEVER seen a pizza delivery guy from ANY company come to my house and not be able to break a $50. This means that the guy had to have well over the $20 that they claim.

As for getting involved in an incident that you happen to walk up on, that's not a good idea. Pulling a gun on the two guys fighting, even dumber idea. Falsely claiming to be LEO, sure way to become a guest of the state for a while, not to mention losing your job.

I'm thinking that the pizza company fired the guy to help mitigate their liability in any possible civil suit by the BG or surviving family members. This happens a lot of times because corporate American doesn't have the rocks to stand up for their employees. It's a sad but ever so true reality.

Their "no weapons policy" is a big crock of bovine scat. There's so many ways you can argue this one. If the policy simply says "no weapons", then you're free and clear to carry your personal firearm that you would use for "sporting purposes". Like one could use a set of keys, flashlight, or even a solid book as an impact device, just about anything could be considered a "weapon". The automobile if employed properly can be uses as such. We as citizens can change the whole mentality of our fellow citizens by speaking in proper terms. Words like "kill", "weapon", etc don't sit well with the general public. Too many people call their defesive firearm a "weapon". It's a "defensive tool". When I'm carrying, I have no intention of "killing" anyone. If the need should arise for me to defend myself, I will use my "firearm" to "eliminate the threat". Notice how the law enforcement community now says "neutralize the threat" rather than "kill the guy". As members of the gun owning community, we need to change our ways to be more "friendly" to the greater portion of the community who are "neutral" meaning that they're not on the "anti" side of the gun issue, they simply don't have an opinion either way. These are the people that the OC folks are working on. If people realize the citizens who carry firearms aren't necessarily "bad", then they may be more open to siding with the "pro gun" folks. Until we change our way of thinking and how we present ourselves to the "neutral" folks, we're just spinning our wheels and won't be making very much progress.

In closing, it's mostly "corporate America" that causes change to our firearms laws. Look at the biggest donors to the "anti gun" groups. These large corporate folks are the ones making rules that their employees must follow. ConcoPhillips is one of the bigger ones that come to mind. I stated in an earlier thread that I don't buy anything from their gas stations or conveinence stores unless it's "absolutely necessary". I've been in situations where their gas station is the last one for 100+ miles and I only have a 1/4 tank of gas. In this case, I'll buy enough gas to get to the next major town where I'll be able to find a more "gun friendly" :D establishment. It's a delicate balance of sticking to your beliefs and doing the "responsible" thing. Being stranded 60 miles from a gas station isn't exactly what I would say is "responsible". Just something to think about for my fellow "pro gun" people. :wink:

gf
 

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Great post gf, I like the part about changing our language. If we change our language, we change the way we think and then we can change the way others think, bringing a more positive light to what we are really pushing for - rights.

Thanks for taking the time to post all that :D
 

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I find folks to be more receptive when I use the "friendlier" language. Folks see rifle shooting in the Olympics, so why is it so bad for a citizen like myself to hit the range with my .22 rifle? OTOH when talking to LEO, they sometimes get confused with the "friendly" language. I went with a friend to register a couple of pistols and loved it when the LEO told my friend to "clear your weapon and place it into the drawer", and my friend pulled out the clear firearms (slides were already locked back) from the case and said "My firearms are already clear, do you still want me to clear them?" The LEO looked kind of puzzled, then after a second or two responded "That's O.K., you can put the firearms into the drawer just like that." I think we got him changing his ways for a moment. :D

I get a lot of practice due to having to constantly debate the firearms issue with the many "anti gun" folks here in the People's Republic of Hawaii. That along with the NRA teacing philosopy of not using the "W word" in NRA classes has helped a lot.

gf
 

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I was a pizza delivery man, but not for Domino's. Back in '99 I delivered for Papa John's. I don't remember _any_ training. Not that there wasn't any.... just can't remember it.
 
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