Court Rules That Walgreens Employee Who Fired Concealed Handgun At Armed Robbers Has No Claim For Wrongful Discharge

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a former Walgreens employee who was discharged because he fired a concealed handgun at armed robbers has no claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.  The employee held a valid license to carry a concealed firearm under Michigan law.  When armed robbers pointed a gun at the employee, he retrieved his firearm and shot at the robbers multiple times.  Walgreens subsequently discharged the employee for violating its policy against escalating a potentially violent situation.  The employee sued Walgreens alleging that his termination violated his rights to self-defense, defend others, and to carry a concealed weapon.  The court held that while the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Constitution limit some state interference with the right to engage in self-defense and bear arms, they do not prevent interference with these rights by private actors.  Additionally, Michigan’s concealed firearm law specifically authorized employers to prohibit employees from carrying a concealed firearm in the course of their employment.  The court’s decision is welcome news for employers concerned about their ability to enforce policies that limit the possession and use of firearms at work consistent with state law.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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