Tim Sackett’s HR 101: What Do You Do If an Employee is Carrying a Gun?

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Mar 31, 2014

Okay, HR fans, here’s the game — I give you a real-life HR scenario and you tell me how you would handle it if your were the HR person in charge of handling it.

Got it!? Here’s the issue:

You’re a Regional HR Manager of a major chain of pizza restaurants. Most of your business is home delivery. This means you primarily have location managers, pizza cooks, and drivers.

It’s a random Tuesday in the Detroit metro area, and one of your drivers leaves on a delivery to local address. When the driver arrives at the address and goes to the door, there are two armed men there to rob him of his $37 and change, and of course, the pizza.

Your driver in Detroit shoots a would-be robber

Unbeknownst to the would-be robbers (and you), your driver grew up on the streets of Detroit and he is legally carrying a concealed weapon of his own (gotta love the D!). He decides he’s not giving up his $37 or his pizza without payment, and he gets off three (3) shots into one of the would be robbers and takes off.

Your driver didn’t get hurt and didn’t get robbed, but he also didn’t deliver that pizza!

123RF Stock Photo
123RF Stock Photo

The robber who was shot is discovered by police at a nearby hospital and booked; the other robber has yet to be found. (By the way – this is from an actual story in Detroit this month!) You get a call from one of your District Managers who wants to know what she should do with your driver, who is looking to return to work. After all, he’s got a family to feed.

Now, what do you do Mrs. or Mr. Regional HR Manager of Jet’s Pizza?

(By the way, Jet’s is a very good pizza place. Also, here’s a little known Michigan fact for those who don’t live in Michigan – for some reason Michigan is the large pizza chain capital of the world with both Little Caesars and Domino’s founded and headquartered in Michigan. No one knows why.)

What would YOU do with this employee?

Classic HR theory would have us look at our policies and past practices. What? You mean you might have had this happen before?! It’s Detroit, it might have happened earlier that evening.

Wait, you have a policy against your employees shooting your customers? Again, it’s Detroit; the policy might actually spell out when it’s all right to shoot customers.

Regardless, something will happen to this young man. Will you fire him, do nothing, set him up with EAP, reward him so other employees do the same, etc.?

Hit me in the comments and let me know what action you would take if this was your HR shop. I’ll follow later with what action I would take

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

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