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Guns and work policy

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by keithte, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. keithte

    keithte PNW Member

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    I am looking for any advice/help regarding guns and company policy. To set the stage for the story I have an Oregon & Utah CCW and carry all the time.

    I started three weeks ago with a great company and really enjoy the people. I read through the entire employee handbook and there was no reference to weapons of any kind. Now being the responsible person I am notified only my immediate manager that I have permits and do carry but had no intention of carrying inside the building but my weapon would be in my car a short distance away. My previous employer also did not have a policy and myself and owner came to an agreement it was ok to have my weapon in my car but could not take it into/on a customers property.

    The new company did not have anything in writing and there are many pro-gun people that work here, my manager was up front about this and he embraced a person's individual rights. He had to work through HR and when I shared the policy with my previous employer they agreed this was a good policy and for the short term this would be the policy. Today I received an email from my manager which, as he said to me does not agree with it but the President of the company created a new policy, that reads like this:

    All Weapons Banned
    The Firm specifically prohibits the possession of weapons by any employee while on Firm property. Employees are also prohibited from carrying a weapon while perform Firm's services off the Firm's business premises.
    Weapons include guns, knives, pepper spray, stun guns, explosives, and other items with the potential to inflict harm.
    Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, will be taken against any employee who violates this policy.

    I really don't want to hear anyone say "you shouldn't have said anything" I felt it was prudent to only tell my manager since I did have a weapon. I am looking for legal positions that may be there since this is my "personal" vehicle and do drive to and from work in it. There will be times I have to visit customers in my "personal" vehicle so where is the line drawn about how far a company can go to restrict my rights?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and really appreciate anyone that can respond, I believe they have gone overboard (they lease the property) in saying I cannot have a weapon while on company property or visiting customers in my PERSONAL vehicle!
     
  2. nextgenar

    nextgenar roseburg Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I believe this was covered by a law suit brought by an employee of wherehouser several years ago.
     
  3. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Personally, if they didn't already have a policy, I'm not sure why you felt it was prudent to tell your direct supervisor. It's not required by law that you notify them. Yet, magically, when you ask the question, they suddenly have a new policy. I know you don't want people to say that, but I work in a place where they have no stated policy - and no, I don't tell anyone, it's not their business. I too have reviewed my company's handbooks/policies - all of them - and find no mention of it. I'd rather not take my chances by bringing up the question in the first place. That, and I know I'm not the only one carrying, I don't want to potentially ruin it for them.

    Unfortunately, it's their company and their property, so they can make the rules on their property, even if your personal car is on their property. When it came to telling your boss, I know you don't want to hear it (and I'm not trying to jump on you about it), but you were under no legal obligation to do so. From what you've said, it sounds like you're SOL any time you're on their property. As for off their property, it may or may not be something they can enforce, but now they've written the policy, so you can't claim you didn't know about their requirements. It wouldn't be illegal though as long as you're following the law for concealed carry.

    If it were me in the same position, I'd probably still carry. Unless you expect them to frisk you each day or run you through a metal detector, or you print, how will they know? You only risk getting in trouble if they spot it. You carry so you can protect your life in a dangerous situation. So if they only time they see it is when you pull it to defend your life (which you'll hopefully never have to do), you'll probably lose your job, but you'll still be alive. I seriously doubt they can take any legal action, but maybe someone with more info can address that.

    Concealed means concealed. I don't tell anyone I'm carrying, it's simply not their business. My wife and a few select friends are about the only ones that know.
     
  4. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    Even though they lease, it is still their property and can do as they see fit as far as company business is concerned. If you park on the property then you can not have a weapon in the vehicle if they ask to search it for what ever reason and you refuse they could fire you. It is your right to refuse but in their mind you are obviously hiding something thus you are guilty of company policy violation.

    Yes you can hire a lawyer yada yada but good luck with that. I would recommend not mentioning this to fellow coworkers that you just threw under the bus either. They might not agree that you were being "prudent" in calling attention to the lack of a company policy.
     
  5. keithte

    keithte PNW Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I understand what you are saying and will stand by my action of just notifying my manager of having a weapon and no one else. I do not tell anyone about my carrying, it's no ones business but mine but believed in the workplace the manager should know in case there was some type of incident and suddenly a firearm appears and then have repercussions after the fact.

    Seems like being honest and prudent doesn't apply with firearms, something that I will struggle with as that is my character. In this case looks as if the good guy gets the dog crap!
     
  6. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When you're thinking about your 'honesty', you have to consider your co-workers that carry. I consider myself a very honest person, but that doesn't mean I go around telling everyone everything about me or my life. As another already stated, you've put your carrying co-workers in a bad position now, one they weren't in before you decided to be 'honest'. I realize that may be difficult for you, but if you were doing nothing wrong in the first place, weren't violating any rules and were under no legal obligation to notify him, then I can't see why you felt the need to do it in the first place. Not telling him wouldn't have been dishonest, simply because you weren't doing anything wrong.
     
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  7. PDXoriginal

    PDXoriginal PNW Well-Known Member

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    It blows my mind that people create problems for themselves for absolutely no reason.

    Don't ask? DON'T TELL.

    Why bring unnecessary attention to yourself? And create a problem that did not or would have ever existed otherwise!

    In this situation keeping your mouth shut really is not being dishonest.

    And keep in mind people, yeah you have rights, but so do businesses. As a private business they have all right to limit their employees possessing firearms on their property on their time, heck even public organizations have all right to restrict their employees from doing so and I really have no problem with that as you have no inherit right to be simply employed. Yeah you have the right to possess a firearm, but if you use your first amendment right to announce such you invite their right to fire you under very legal employment laws that the Second Amendment do not protect from!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    swpost10 likes this.
  8. keithte

    keithte PNW Member

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    I get it people, how many more need to tell me I shouldn't have opened my mouth! I did not post this to hear that crap, I did what I did based on my morals and ethics, not yours so lighten up peeps!

    I was only looking for advice/help, that's it, is that to difficult for some to put their own opinions to the side and address the question....sheesh!:rolleyes:
     
  9. PDXoriginal

    PDXoriginal PNW Well-Known Member

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    I'm not telling you as you already made that mistake, I'm hoping it gets drilled into other people so they don't repeat it.
     
    Koda, swpost10 and Kruejl like this.
  10. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    No need to get upset about it. I'm assuming you're new to forums? When you post a thread and ask a question, you are going to get advice and opinions - the two are tied together - they can't be avoided. No one is trying to chastise you, but since you brought it up in the first place, it's a good time to remind everyone of the consequences of sharing certain information - remember others are reading this thread too - even if they're not weighing in. So there is a chance here to help prevent others from doing the same thing.
     
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  11. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    <- Why there aren't any school shootings in Israel!
    Teacher with long gun slung over her shoulder!!!

    Our facility has a "no weapons allowed" policy. The previous administrator kept a pistol in his desk and also carried when he rode his Harley. One other security person asked him about carrying at work, his comment was "You have a permit don't you? Just don't do anything stupid". The new administrator knows I carry and even told me once when an employee was terminated and threatened others just said "You have a permit don't you?"
    So, I guess it's kind of OK that I carry my .45 at work.
     
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  12. keithte

    keithte PNW Member

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    FYI- I have been on forums before there were forums (chat rooms) so am totally tuned in on how they work. I was once a neighbor to Al Gore (not that one haha)One issue that is common is people will read the original post and not bother to read the thread then make a post, that is why there are so many repetitive responses in forums. When I respond to a post, reading most of the others will generally give an insight on what people are thinking and try not to repeat others, especially when the white flag is flying!

    OK, no back to your regularly scheduled postings!:D
     
  13. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    What kind of "advise/help" are you seeking (wanting to get)? I don't see you offer any options here.... Are you seeking legal counsel, Starting a protest?

    You pooed the bed and they changed policy... Hire lawyers and battle or suck it up and hope Johnny D. Usetocarry don't figure out you'r the whistle blower.

    I can not have guns on any of my employers property, It sucks, I hate it! I accept it reluctantly.

    Good luck.;)
     
  14. keithte

    keithte PNW Member

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    Here is what I posted and if it was read then questions and statements might be different!

    I really don't want to hear anyone say "you shouldn't have said anything" I felt it was prudent to only tell my manager since I did have a weapon. I am looking for legal positions that may be there since this is my "personal" vehicle and do drive to and from work in it. There will be times I have to visit customers in my "personal" vehicle so where is the line drawn about how far a company can go to restrict my rights?

    I appreciate everyone providing input, please don't take me wrong but was punched in the mouth too many times when trying to seek answers from others that may have had experience with the same issue.

    Peace out :cool:
     
  15. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    Rock meet hard place. You can continue to keep a gun in your car, but my experience is that employers like you describe all have policies that they may search your vehicle at random on company property, and a refusal to allow the search = automatic termination.

    I'm assuming you occasionally perform work off-site (or you have co-workers who do) and are now thusly prohibited from possessing a weapon of any wort while you are representing the company - so even if you keep a firearm in your car, parked off company property, if you are using your car for working purposes you're violating policy and risking termination.

    So now you're stuck either going unarmed all your working day + commute, or you continue business as usual and accept the risk of being fired. If it's a well paid, hard to come by job I would suck it up and not carry, at least until you can find more suitable employment with a more suitable firm. If it's fairly easy to find work in your field - carry and keep quiet about it from now on and just be ready to find another job should something happen - ie a random (or not so random targeted search because now they have established that you have been carrying a weapon onto company property) search of your vehicle, or god forbid something bad happens and you have to get and use your firearm.

    I've worked places that had these policies - I still carried in my vehicle. The working uniform I had to wear didn't lend itself to carrying any weapon. We routinely went onto customer / client property and most likewise had no-weapons policies and lots of security and random search policies.

    The place I work now has no written policy. It's a small, close knit company - but I don't say crap to the boss about having a firearm on my person. He might suspect but has never said anything. He knows I shoot, I own guns, and that I had a small custom holster business for a while. I just don't make it a point to say "hey dude, while representing your company I'm toting a Glock under my shirt - hope it's cool" and putting him in a position of having to say "OK" or "stop it" - it's as much a courtesy to him by not making him make that call as it is a benefit to me of not having to break a written company policy to ensure my protection. I deal with cash, cars, and random strangers all over the state on a daily basis and would not do so or go a lot of the places I have to go without the ability to protect myself.

    I'd say this has been a lesson learned for you, and I hope that in the future the same mistakes will be avoided. I don't think you've got a legal leg to stand on though, if you want to continue carrying against policy and wind up terminated.
     
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  16. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Your only legal option is to not park on company property. The days you have to use your personal vehicle for company work you must leave your firearm at home.
     
  17. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    It seems to me the OP asked his supervisor to ok a situation he did not have authority to approve. Once the situation is known to him he has to bump it up to higher authority to protect his own bottom if something goes wrong. There was no reason for this to be brought up. There you are for next time.
     
  18. GrpCapMandrake

    GrpCapMandrake Vancouver Active Member

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    This whole thing also drives home the point that no-one needs to know you are carrying. As Etrain pointed out in his early post. By telling a manager, co-worker or others that you are going to keep a gun in your car, pocket or purse, you no idea what they are going to do with that information. The Manager in this scenario was sympathetic to the cause but turned around and talked to others and now there is a policy. While there are a number of people that know I have a concealed permit, no-one needs to know when I am carrying. My guns and my permits are on a need to know basis. That does not make me or anyone else dishonest, lacking in moral character or nare-do-wells. When I go to a restaurant and I am CC'ing I do not ask the manager if he/she is okay with it. Point made.

    In reference to your (the OP) situation specifically you are now seemingly hosed. Right off the bat the employer can set rules concerning what can be done on their property. As far as your personal vehicle, not real sure on that. If you are on company business there could still be liability issues that the employer could possibly dictate what you can and can't do in relationship to those customer calls. Best you are going to be able to do at this point is consult with a lawyer, presumably your employer did when setting the policy.
     
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  19. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm wondering if you read through the posts themselves? Or just saw the folks that took exception to what you said to your boss and just moved on to get upset? I read your entire OP before I made my comment. You'll note in my first response (quoted above) that I referenced the very fact that you didn't want to hear anyone say "you shouldn't have said anything", then I went on to offer my advice in the situation, which is exactly what you were asking for. That advice is based on experience - I do carry, even if there is a sign posted on the door or a policy in place, so long as it's not in a place prohibited by law, like a courtroom. And I do so knowing that there could be repercussions if I have to present the gun. But I don't carry for fun. I carry for protection. And as far as I'm concerned, my personal protection (something most companies don't bother to provide for), is more important than some hastily drafted 'policy' against firearms. I don't want to lose my job or be kicked out of a business, but I'd rather do that than to find myself defenseless should an attacker show up. If you're really serious about carrying, then I would expect that's your belief as well.

    The discussion you had with your boss is tied into this thread, like it or not. If anything, you may have helped remind some folks that it's best to keep your CC business to yourself, no matter what. Maybe some other folks will learn from that and won't do the same thing. Instead of taking it as a personal attack, roll with it and encourage others not to do the same - that way you can help people avoid your predicament.
     
  20. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    I/We read what you posted, It changes NOTHING. What are you trying to gain here on a internet forum? What reply would you like us to give you?
    I offered options and it still was not good enough.
    Again, Some options...

    1. BREAK THE RULES
    2. SUCK UP THE NEW POLICY
    3. SEEK LEGAL HELP
    4. PROTEST (Unemployment pays great these days).

    Point notes,
    "where is the line drawn about how far a company can go to restrict my rights?" (you)- Corporations push and get away with as much as they want until someone has a legitimate recourse and FIGHTS back!

    "but was punched in the mouth too many times when trying to seek answers from others that may have had experience with the same issue." (you)- Your doing the same thing here and expecting a different result?

    Sometimes (Always) when we ask a large audience for advice/input, we don't always get the answers we want.

    Good luck (Again). :)
     
    etrain16 likes this.