Taylor, Pennsylvania - Taylor police Officer Michael Zuby was fired from his off-duty job at an area Walmart after he entered the store while on-duty (with the police department) while carrying a firearm. Zuby is now suing Walmart in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for wrongful termination, arguing that to comply with Walmart's demand, he would have had to violate state code in order to be in compliance.
Blue Lives Matter Spokesman Randy Sutton interviewed Officer Zubny who provided his account of events.
Taylor Police Officer Michael Zuby, 38, is a part-time Municipal Police officer. He took on a full-time position as an Asset Protection employee at an area Walmart in July of 2015. Zuby claims that Walmart knew of his position with the Taylor PD when he was hired and the store even donated $4500 for K-9 equipment on stage during his graduation from the police academy. During the summer of 2015, Zuby says he went in to Walmart for lunch while on-duty with the Taylor Police Department. He stopped by the Asset Protection office and was met with concern at his carrying of a firearm.
Walmart Asset Protection Manager Charles Hamm was shocked when seeing Michael Zuby's gun, a Glock 17 that had been passed down by his older brother, a veteran of Taylor PD. Zuby protested that he was not on duty with Walmart but with the police department. Hamm told him that as a Walmart employee, he is not allowed to carry on property at any time. This would be a clear violation of Zuby's state-bound orders to be armed in the line of duty. Zuby is not a full-time officer with Taylor PD but he still maintains a 30-hour work week with the department and picked up his full-time job at Walmart to cover the need for benefits.
After the incident, Officer Michael Zuby was informed by his Chief that Walmart requested to the department that he no longer respond to calls at the store. When the Chief refused their request for one of his officers to not show up for calls, Walmart then asked that he show up unarmed. “I felt devastated,” Zuby said. “I mean, how can I serve the community without being fully prepared to protect myself or others with every tool made available to me by the state?”
In September of 2015, Walmart reportedly offered Zuby another position which would resolve the issue. Officer Michael Zuby says that the choice was to either move store locations or be fired. Zuby's responsibility as a law enforcement officer required him to act in the event of a crime and would give him an overriding right to carry openly or concealed. This responsibility was not something Walmart was willing to reconcile with. As a result, Zuby was fired over a policy that violated his state obligations as a police officer, as outlined by Pennsylvania law.
Officer Michael Zuby is now suing over wrongful discharge and hopes to recoup some of his lost benefits and wages. More than that, he hopes to uphold his family's good name, which has served the Taylor community for nearly two decades. “I feel like I’m being stomped on,” Zuby said. “I have a reputation to protect. That is very important to me.”
Blue Lives Matter National Spokesman Randy Sutton interviewed Officer Michael Zuby in our Blue Lives Radio podcast. You can hear the full interview here:
Walmart doesn't have a good track record with police recently, from refusing service to an officer to refusing to bake a police cake. Walmart at least addressed those situations. However, this time they've dug in their heels.
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Source (Michael Zuby)