Employee of the Year

In December, car-parts retailer AutoZone became the most recent employer to fire a worker for taking action widely admired — but prohibited in the workplace because of a fear of liability. Devin McLean and his store manager in York County, Va., were herded into a back room by a gun-wielding holdup man and, being the only witnesses, understandably feared for their lives. But McLean broke free, ran to his truck and got his gun. He could’ve fled altogether but insisted that, morally, he couldn’t leave his colleague. When McLean re-entered, pointing his Glock 40, two things happened: (1) The robber fled and (2) McLean became in violation of AutoZone’s “zero tolerance” policy against employees bringing firearms into the store. Two days later, he was fired.

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