(CN) – A drugstore had the right to fire an employee who reported suspected child pornography directly to police, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled.
A customer twice brought in sexually provocative photos of a girl between the ages of 10 and 12. Dawn Arispe, an assistant manager, reported the conduct to police both times.
Walgreen’s policy states that only the Loss Prevention department should contact the police in these cases. Arispe refused to sign a statement that she would not report such things again.
Walgreen’s then fired Arispe, alleging misappropriation of funds. She did not renew her pharmacy technician registration after the company gave her money to do so.
Judge Doyle agreed with the trial court that Arispe did not engage in protected conduct.
“When Arispe reported the photographs to the police, she did not express her concern with the photographs as one of child abuse,” Doyle wrote. “There is no indication … that the woman who brought the photographs into Walgreen’s to be developed is the caretaker of the young girl depicted in them.”