Tag Archives: Federal Express

Fed Ex Stands By Driver Who Stopped Flag Burning

On Friday a video circulated on social media of a Federal Express Driver stopping protesters from burning a U.S. Flag.  The video can be see  here https://mobile.twitter.com/sgrubermiller/status/824680301003677696/video/1

As you can see from the link, the altercation got a bit heated.  Federal Express has announced that the driver’s employment status will not change  as a result of the incident.   But could the company have fired the driver for his role in this matter? Absolutely.

The driver is likely an at will employee, which means that either he or the company could terminate employment at any time, with or without cause and with or without prior notice. Furthermore, even if he is not an at will employee his conduct likely violates several rules of conduct or company procedures, since he involved himself in a protest while on the job  that did not involve or impact the performance of his duties.  My guess is he kept his job because he has a strong performance record with Federal Express and he stopped flag burning which, while legal, is extremely unpopular and controversial.  Firing this employee likely would have resulted in a backlash against Federal Express.

The take away for employers is when employees engage in conduct that violates your rules, you can legally terminate their employment, even if the termination is unpopular.

 

 

 

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Contractual limitations period for filing suit is valid in Tennessee

The parties to a  contract can shorten the statute of limitations, which is the time for filing suit, by specifically stating a shorter time period in the contract. Recently, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld a contractual limitations period in the case of Skaan v. Federal Express, a copy of which can be found here.

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/skaankopn.pdf

In Skaan the contract provided that the legal action had to be brought “within the time prescribed by law or 6 months from the date of the event forming the basis of my lawsuit, whichever expires first.”  As a result the employee’s retaliatory discharge suit, which has a 1 year statute of limitations, was dismissed as untimely when he filed it 8 months after his termination, 2 months after the contractual limitations period had expired.

If you are entering into a contract with an employee consider adding a contractual limitations period to it which will shorten the length of time the employee has to file suit against you.

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