Like a lot of police officers, Michael Zuby moonlights as private security. Zuby worked as a security guard at Pennsylvania Wal-Mart, until one day he entered the store to buy himself some lunch while on duty and in uniform as a police officer. Wal-Mart fired him for carrying a gun, which he is required to do while on duty.
Officer Michael Zuby had been employed by both the Taylor Police Department and Wal-Mart as a security guard.
The flashpoint of the dispute occurred approximately two weeks after Wal-Mart hired Officer Zuby in July 2015. While the officer was on duty with the Police Department, he stopped at the Wal-Mart store in Taylor for lunch in full uniform.
His security guard boss saw him and told him he could not be armed on store property.
Officer Zuby responded he was a police officer and had to be armed in his jurisdiction of Taylor.
Zuby is now suing Wal-Mart for wrongful termination.
The lawsuit states the store then twice requested a letter from the borough of Taylor prohibiting Officer Zuby from entering Wal-Mart property while on duty as a police officer.
According to the lawsuit, which calls the request “illegal,” the police chief refused this request both times, noting the officer may have to respond to a call there as the business is in the Police Department’s jurisdiction.
Wal-Mart is is arguing that the firing is because Zuby has a conflict of interest.
Wal-Mart policy bans employees from carrying weapons of any kind while on company property, but that was not the issue here, said Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for the company.
The conflict of interest of Officer Zuby serving as both a police officer and a store security guard in his police jurisdiction concerned the company, Mr. Hargrove said.
Actually the issue here is unthinking adherence to zero-tolerance policies no matter the situation.