Employment at Will assignmentthe Gardner v Loomis Armored?
Employment-at-will gives employers broad discretion to fire employees for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all,™ (Halbert, J.D. & Ingulli, J.D., L.L.M., 2007, p. 31). Employees of the Loomis Armored Inc., found this out the hard way. This paper will discuss the Gardner v Loomis Armored Inc. case.
Do you think an employer goes against public policy when it terminates an at-will employee who violated a company rule in order to go to the assistance of a citizen who was in danger of serious physical injury or death
The employer in this case terminated an employee for assisting a person that was being held at knife point. The employee was required to stay with the armored car he was guarding at all times. When he saw the bank manager in danger, he exited the car, locked the door and left the armored car unattended. As discussed in the last chapter of this class a person, has a duty of care. Duty of care is a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. (The Free Dictionary, n.d.). The question that comes to mind would be to question if the driver would violate this duty by adhering to the company rule. Could the employee do both The employee could have called 911. He or she could have made a commotion that drew attention to the crime being committed. He also could have moved the truck to gain assistance for the woman in danger. Would these actions be enough to help the woman that was in immediate physical danger It is this student™s opinion that these actions would not have been enough to help the woman and therefore, the company did go against public policy by firing the employee for going to the assistance of the bank manager.
What is Public Policy
Public Policy is an attempt by the government to address a public issue.
The government, whether it is city, state, or federal, develops public policy in terms of laws, regulations, decisions, and actions. (“What is Public Policy, n.d.). One example of public policy is that an employee cannot be fired for is retaliation. If an employee files a sexual harassment claim an employer cannot fire that employee as retaliation. The same is true for a workers™ compensation claim. Another public policy that protects an employee from being fired is the requirement to appear for jury duty. Finally, an employer cannot fire an employee for his or her refusal to commit a crime. (Halbert, J.D. & Ingulli, J.D., L.L.M., 2007).
Did the employer, Loomis Armored Inc., have a legitimate interest in enforcing the work rule that armored truck drivers were forbidden from leaving the truck unattended when it fired Gardner If you were the employer, what legitimate business reason would you cite in the case
Loomis Armored Inc. prohibited their drivers from leaving the truck unattended. The drivers were required to guard the truck at all times. In this case the armored car was parked at a place where a robbery was taking place. This truck is filled with an enormous amount of money. As an employer, this would be one time that it was unacceptable to leave the truck unattended. There was a real danger that the truck could be stolen or robbed because it was left unguarded. The driver was unaware of additional accomplices to the criminal(s) inside the bank. Leaving the truck unguarded was leaving very duty that they were employed to perform.
Did Gardner have a legal duty to aid the victim in this situation
As discussed above, Gardner did have a legal duty to aid the bank manager. As so famously illustrated by the final episode of Seinfeld, violation of the Good Samaritan law, as duty of care is often referred to, is a serious offense. The driver saw that the woman needed help and that her life was in serious danger. He had no choice but to act. In that action, he was careful to lock the truck taking care give protection to the truck while he was carrying out his legal duty to offer help to the woman in danger.
If the court ruled in favor of the employer, Loomis Armored Inc., how likely do you think other citizens would be of helping, or coming to the aid of, another person whose life was in danger
It is already difficult for a person to put themselves in the way of danger to help another. To require them to do so and risk unemployment as a result, it would be more unlikely that a person would come to the aid of another person whose life was in danger. I think people would naturally help a person in danger.
If that person realized that they could be fired as a result of that good deed, it would make it less likely that they would offer help.
Do you think the court should rule in the favor of the employee, Gardner, or the employer, Loomis Armored Inc. Why should the court rule in favor of the party you™ve indicated
I think that the court should rule in the favor of the employee, Gardner. I believe that the court should rule in the favor of the employee because he was performing his duty of care by offering assistance to the woman in danger. He took care to lock the truck and did his best to perform his duties as best as the situation allowed. One would hope if they were in the same situation that the guard would act in their best interest as well. Loomis Armored Inc. was acting against public policy when they fired Gardner.
Additional research found that the court ruled for Gardner. They found that Loomis Armored Inc., violated public policy when they terminated Gardner. This case was important because it shows a willingness on the part of the courts to expand the public policy exception to the at-will doctrine where the courts believe that it is important to do so. (Sutherland, 2003). An employee should not have to fear termination for coming to the aid of a person that is in immediate physical danger. This decision protects employees from being fired for performing their civic duty.