A Papa John’s delivery driver in Dekalb County, Georgia is worried that she might lose her job for defending her life earlier this week against a pair of armed robbers.
When a woman delivering pizzas in DeKalb County was ordered to the ground by a man with a gun, she fired back. Armed with her own gun, she shot the man Sunday night, according to police.
The employee of a Columbia Drive Papa John’s wasn’t injured, her mother told Channel 2 Action News. But the woman is worried the incident could get her fired because she carried her gun for protection.
A suspect, Donquaz Devon Stevenson, was found nearby with a gunshot wound to his face, police told Channel 2. Stevenson, 24, of a Decatur address, was arrested and charged with armed robbery, DeKalb jail records showed.
Armed robber Donquaz Devon Stevenson is in jail, awaiting trial, as he should be. His accomplice is still on the loose.
Unfortunately, the woman who survived this armed ambush with her life is more than likely going to lose her job unless Papa John’s has recently changed a long-running policy that forbids employees from being armed for their own self-defense.
Though being a food delivery driver is one of the ten most dangerous jobs in the United States, companies like Papa John’s have done the cold, hard analysis and have determined that is is cheaper to deal with drivers injured or killed in robberies than it is to deal with the possibility of litigation if one of their employees shoots someone and the company’s policies allowed them to be armed.
As a practical matter, many companies have this official policy against their drivers carrying firearms for self-defense on the corporate level, while at the local level, franchise owners and store managers tend to take a “don’t ask/don’t tell” approach, knowing the hazards of the job. Unfortunately, when drivers are then forced to use their weapons, franchise owners and store managers have little choice but to fire them to be in compliance with corporate policies written to protect the bottom line, not the lives of employees.
This woman did what she had to do to save her life, which is far more important than any job.
Perhaps it’s time to consider a federal law shielding employers against lawsuits if their delivery drivers are forced to use firearms in self-defense.
1/15/2015 Update: Thanks to significant social media pressure and the threat of a boycott (from people like you), Papa John’s will not be firing the employee, as confirmed in a statement sent to Vocativ:
Papa John’s spokeswoman Amy Salloum has sent Vocativ the following statement:
“The shooting that occurred during a Papa John’s delivery in Atlanta recently is a tragic event. The safety of Papa John’s employees is a top priority for our company. Company policy prohibits employees from utilizing firearms in the performance of their duties. We plan no changes to our current policy, which is designed to protect customers and employees. Upon investigation and considering the specific facts of the situation, we have reassigned the employee to work in the store and are offering her counseling to help her recuperate from the incident.”
In other words, Papa John’s will continue the corporate policy of banning firearms, but they will not terminate this employee, and will even offer her some counselling.
I’d really like to believe that Papa John’s would have done this anyway, but the extra social media pressure certainly seemed to help them make up their minds, I’m sure.