Oklahoma: 12 fired from Weyerhaeuser for guns in cars


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November 28, 2004, 08:18 AM
In Oklahoma, a Ban
On Guns Pits State
Against Big Firms

Weyerhaeuser Fired Workers
Who Had Weapons in Cars,
And Legal Dispute Unfolds

By SUSAN WARREN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (http://www.wsj.com)
November 26, 2004; Page A1

VALLIANT, Okla. -- In late summer of 2002, Steve Bastible put three bullets into a dying cow at his ranch, threw the emptied rifle behind the seat of his pickup and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, the rifle cost him his job of 23 years.

That Oct. 1, in a surprise search, Weyerhaeuser Co. sent gun-sniffing dogs into the parking lot of its paper mill here. Mr. Bastible and 11 other workers were fired after guns were found in their vehicles. The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. The fired workers said they knew nothing of the new rule.

The firings outraged many in this wooded community in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. In rural Oklahoma, carrying a firearm in one's car is commonplace. "In Oklahoma, gun control is when you hit what you shoot at," says Jerry Ellis, a member of the state legislature.

Now, the dispute is reverberating beyond the borders of tiny Valliant, located in the southeast corner of the state. In response, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a law giving Oklahomans the right to keep guns locked in their cars in parking lots. But just days before the law was to go into effect this month, several prominent companies with Oklahoma operations, including Whirlpool Corp. and ConocoPhillips sued to stop it. A federal judge put the law on hold pending a hearing.

Meanwhile, several of the paper-mill workers have filed wrongful-discharge lawsuits against Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors, which employed the workers. "This is a heck of an injustice that needs to be fixed," says their Tulsa lawyer, Larry Johnson, 72 years old, who has spent a lifetime studying the second amendment.

On one side, companies are trying to keep guns away from the workplace, driven by real-life horror stories of disgruntled employees on the rampage, stalking the hallways and shooting down bosses and co-workers. On the other side are employees who argue that guns help keep law-abiding workers safer.

The debate transcends partisan politics. Nearly 90% of voters in the county are registered Democrats, and yet 66% of county voters cast ballots for George Bush for president, in part because they viewed him as more pro-gun.

The new law was sponsored by Mr. Ellis, a Democrat from McCurtain County. It passed unanimously in the Oklahoma Senate, and on a 92-4 vote in the House. "I just didn't think the state should be dictating weapons policy to property owners," says J. Mike Wilt, a Republican from Bartlesville who was among the four voting against the law.

Mr. Ellis, a former mill worker himself, counters: "These are good, hardworking, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. I just wish these big companies could understand that these people are not a threat to anybody."

Guns are part of everyday life in McCurtain County, where many residents hunt and ranch, and houses are miles apart. In the local gun and pawn shop in the county seat of Idabel, worker David Brakebill spreads out a map on the counter and points to the green blotches representing vast expanses of tree-covered wilderness. "When you call the police," says Vicki Luna, an owner of the gun store, "they don't get there for 30 minutes -- if they can find your house."

The Weyerhaeuser paper mill has been the largest employer in town for more than 30 years, providing about 2,500 jobs in the area and contributing more than $55 million annually to the local economy in taxes, payroll and community donations, according to the company. The whole gun flap actually started with an apparent drug overdose at the plant. Plant manager Randy Nebel hired a security company to bring in four dogs to search for drugs and guns in the parking lot. The dogs didn't find any drugs but zeroed in on several vehicles containing firearms.

The company then ordered the workers to open the suspect cars so that they could be hand-searched. A dozen workers, four Weyerhaeuser employees and eight who worked for subcontractors, were suspended for having rifles, shotguns or handguns. A couple of days later, they were fired as part of Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors' zero-tolerance policy for major safety violations, the companies say.

Jimmy "Red" Wyatt, a 45-year-old father of five who worked his way up from the factory floor to supervisor in his 22 years at the mill, says he often carried his rifle to scare off coyotes threatening the cattle he raises in his spare time. A shotgun also found was left over from bird hunting with his sons the day before.

Mr. Nebel says that firing Mr. Wyatt, a model worker, was difficult. But after clearing the parking lot of guns, "I believe the plant is safer," he said.

The plant manager said the new gun rule had been in place since January 2002 after reversing a previous policy that had allowed workers to leave their guns locked in their cars. The company says it told workers in writing and during "team meetings" of the new policy. "It was well known this would be dealt with severely," said Mr. Nebel. Mr. Wyatt and the other fired workers say they never were told of the changed rule.

Hearing of the case, the National Rifle Association referred the workers to Mr. Johnson, a longtime gun-rights advocate. Mr. Johnson contacted Mr. Ellis, and together they crafted what was to become the new law. In a recent brief supporting the law, Mr. Johnson sprinkled his legal arguments with historic quotes from poets and philosophers. "I even quoted Christ," he says, reciting a snippet from the Book of Luke in which Jesus admonishes his followers, "Let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one."

In fighting the law, Oklahoma companies are walking through a community-relations minefield in what is known as an NRA stronghold. The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce normally supports the NRA. But it says it joined the lawsuit opposing the law because it believes companies should be able to exclude weapons from their premises.

"Things happen at work that make people mad: They don't get a raise," explains attorney David Strecker, who is representing the chamber. "If a gun is handy, someone might use it, and that's just something employers don't want to risk."

In a surprise move at a hearing on the law in U.S. Chief District Judge Sven Erik Holmes's Tulsa court Tuesday, Whirlpool withdrew from the case, leaving ConocoPhillips and Williams Cos. to lead the lawsuit. Mr. Johnson, who has joined Rep. Ellis in calling for a boycott of Whirlpool and the other companies involved in the lawsuit, said he believes Whirlpool succumbed to worries it might be punished by pro-gun rights consumers. "People are taking it very, very seriously," he said. "Look at how politicians have suffered when they get on the wrong side of this issue."

Whirlpool responds that it had only been seeking clarification on the law, and that it believes a recent brief by the Oklahoma attorney general gives them the green light to maintain their no-gun policy, resolving their concern. A spokesman for Attorney General Drew Edmonson, however, said he didn't agree with that interpretation. Neither did Steven Broussard, the Tulsa attorney for Conoco and Williams. "We feel that nothing has changed and it's very important for us to get a resolution of this," Mr. Broussard said.

The law remains on hold as the legal dispute unfolds in court.

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Old Fuff
November 28, 2004, 09:24 AM
Da Old Fuff understands ...

The company doesn't want bad people bringing guns to the factory and shooting it up.

So they make a rule ... No guns on company property - and no exceptions.

Now everyone is safe ...

If they can convince the bad people to follow the rules ... :banghead:

enfield
November 28, 2004, 09:32 AM
We can't protect people from their own idiocy by passing laws. We really don't want to go there.

Waitone
November 28, 2004, 09:45 AM
Lemme see if I got this right.

Since January 2002 a policy is in place that keeps workers from having firearms in thier cars (locked) on private property. During that time there were no incidences of illegal use of said firearms. November 2004 they begin enforcing the law. It is at that point that the company becomes safer????????????

Are we making progress as a society or what? At first we wanted to make guns safe. Then we moved to laws make guns safe. And now we say the thought of a law makes the gun safe. :eek:

I hope Oklahoma slaps these companies hard. They are fearful of attorneys first and insurance companies second. Somehow they need to begin fearing the pro-second amendment lobby. :fire:

Double Naught Spy
November 28, 2004, 10:06 AM
It is interesting how gun folks are all about rights to keep and bare arm and the rights to protect their private property, but then get all upset when companies like Weyerhaeuser exercise their rights to not allow guns on property.

While I don't agree with the decision or the policy, Weyerhaeuser has its rights and the employees know about the rules and apparently decided to violate them. Not everybody had to go out and shoot a dying cow several times and then absent-mindedly toss the firearm in the truck, lose track of it for several weeks, only then to have it discovered by the dogs. I know the description was to make it sound like the guy was really innocent as he didn't realize he was breaking company policy, but in reality, it just shows how poorly he was keeping track of his gun.

States other than Oklahoma have similar laws, such as Texas. The laws pertain to private property and who gets to be master of said property. Whether it is a person's land, home, or business property not owned by the government or otherwise part of a government institution (some particular types of business, though private, fall under special laws), then it is private property. I am sure most Oklahomans would not like people to come on to their own property with guns and without their permission, especially people not known well or personally by the landowner. The same holds for many companies.

You have to wonder about the 12 folks who went against company policy. It isn't rocket science. Breaking company policy is a risky business and to be out there and breaking policy just before Christmas is just plain sad. I can see the 'pity me' comments coming already. The fired employees will be talking about the horrors of job loss just before the holiday season and how Christmas won't be right for their kids and oh how terrible Weyerhaeuser for firing them at this time of year, etc. etc. etc. when the blame comes down to their poor decisions or poor ability to manage firearms under their control.

If you work for a company that does not allow guns and you bring a gun to work in violation of that policy, then you have to figure that the potential is there that sooner or later you may get fired. The same holds for breaking any company policy.

iamkris
November 28, 2004, 10:36 AM
As much as I think the above mentioned policy is idiotic, I have to agree with Double Naught Spy above that IF (and I mean if) the company really did publicize the policy then it is shame on the people who broke the policy. Even if you don't like the policy, it is the comany's policy on their own property and you have to obey it.

mlheppl
November 28, 2004, 10:37 AM
Double Naught Spy hit the nail on the head IMO. I do not want the govt. telling me what I can or cannot allow on my property any more than I want them to tell me if or what kind of firearms that I can own. The RTKBA does not supercede my rights as a property owner OR vice versa.

I agree with DNS, these employees chose to break the rules. They are a poor example for us to rally around. We as responsible gun owners should rebuke any efforts to make saints of such poor examples of "responsible" gun ownership.

Mike

oneshooter
November 28, 2004, 10:51 AM
Most,if not all large companies document ALL training sessions with a sign in sheet.All they have to do is supply this paper and there is NO defence of "I didn't know/you never told me."

Oneshooter
Livin in TEXAS

rick_reno
November 28, 2004, 10:55 AM
The company, Weyerhaeuser in this instance is simply protecting it's interests with the no gun policy. Remember, in a litigation rich environment, they have the deep pockets and are likely to be sued if an employee does bring a gun into the facility and starts shooting. I'm sure, like most big companies the employees were given a copy of the policies when hired - or when changes were made to them - and asked to sign something stating they'd read them.
These folks screwed up and they paid for it. Nothing new here.

F4GIB
November 28, 2004, 11:01 AM
Private property consists of a "bundle" of rights. The state gets to decide the make up of that bundle of rights.

No right is absolute. That's why the state can require 5 handicapped parking spaces per 100 spaces and insist they be right outside the door (even if the property owner claims to have no handicapped employees or customers). Or, more traditionally, make a property owner build and maintain a sidewalk (on which the owner never walks).

feedthehogs
November 28, 2004, 11:06 AM
The double mindedness runs rampent around here.

Alright for me, but not for you.

Dannyboy
November 28, 2004, 11:24 AM
I'm astounded...that there are enough trees in OK to run a paper mill. All I ever saw there were dirt and rocks.

Selfdfenz
November 28, 2004, 11:27 AM
Double,

We're in TX. If the parking lot is company property and if the company has erected fenses and/or some security controls to limit access I think your perspective makes sense. In a like manner, if the company provides me with a company car they make the rules.

Devils' advocate time:

How about areas where several companies share a parking area that's uncontrolled, one say were the general public has access during working hours? What about companies located where an individual might have to park on a public street during working hours? Would the company be right to fire an employee that did not park his or her vechicle in company property but nearby yet carried in their vechicle? What about if your wife drops you off and picks you up in her car every day and there is a gun in it? Say a shotgun in a visible rack in the rear window of a PU and she drives onto company property if only for 30 seconds twice a day? And last, what if I use my own car on company business and they reimburse me for it's use? Do corporate runs have sway during the time that vechicle if being used for company business?

Large companies are very lawyered up & the bigger the outfit the more they are run by lawyers. While these companies may claim the birth of these rules is based in their desire to have a safe work I think it's much more likely there are other reasons. If someone does go postal the company may be able to mitigate damages by having such a rule in place in the past and by having a record of enforcement. I'm sure the insurance companies far from OK that sell outfits like W-hauser insurance like such rules and what they like or don't like falls to the bottom lines on the revenue sheet.

People, on the other hand feel like it's their vechicle and they should be able to decide what they carry in it, guns included. Especially CHL holders. If not possessing a firearm in you car on company property is a condition of contuned employment, however, the employee does not have that right and they don't have their very own personal legal or HR departments to argue their side of the equation.

Not being biased but I wonder how many of the employees fired were (a) men and (b) long time employees? If seems sometimes that part of the thinking of large companies is long time employee are just not desirable. They cost more. I wonder if that 23 yr employee got unemployment. In some states, if the employer can claim "misconduct" effectively the state may not be compelled to pay unemployment.

My personal bottom line is if it's Co. prop, they make the rules but if it's uncontrolled public parking they have no control regarding my choice to carry a firearm in my personal vechicle. If I worked for a company that had such a rule they might still fire me if they were able to determine I had a gun in my car even if I parked on the street. As one of the newly unemployed, I'm not sure there would be a lot I could do about it unless I could afford to sue which is expensive and hold little chance of success.

Such is the relationship between workers and corporate America.

S-

berettaman
November 28, 2004, 11:42 AM
Yes these 12 people are screwed since the law didn't exist in 2002.They got what they deserved.Tough luck and move on.

My problem is with the businesses and the new law.The State passes a law,if the company doesn't like it move.Oh that's right they're getting massive tax encintives and this just happens to be where the forests are.They're not going anywhere.They sure wouldn't complain if the legislature passed a law that every employee was required to bring a tree for processing to work everyday now would they.A company can't infringe on your civil rights and as far as I know having a gun is one of my civil rights.The legislature decided that this law is going to be a part of doing business in this state and if you disagree with then don't do business here.

Once again,the 12 people broke the rules and should be fired.

And to the liability issue,the company is going to be sued no matter what.If anything the new law "could" in some respects even wind up protecting the company from some litigation.Which would you rather present in court.
"We put a sign in the parking lot that said no guns and even after we fired Mr Jones he still brought a gun in and started shooting people." or
"Hey the government said they could have guns in their cars,and Mr Jones got his and started shooting people,it's not our fault."

Great Sunday topic though!! :D

Obiwan
November 28, 2004, 11:44 AM
My employer has a no weapons policy...but all employees are required to physically sign it...no wiggle room there.

This company went to far IMHO...think about it for a minute.

So...they can search your car.

How big a step is it for them to search your house....

Think about it...they just enact a rule that exempts gun owners from company funded medical insurance...you know...because guns in the home are so dangerous.

Don't tell me it couldn't happen....

I am sorry, but I think bringing in the dogs was over the top.

If it was a case of the people carrying a gun into the building in knowing disregard for company policy, that would be different IMHO.

And I wonder????

Did any of the employees sign something that gave the company the "right" to physically search their cars?

Because I would not have allowed them to "verify" the presence of a firearm in my car.

Here is a better analogy.

You have a non-smoker dicount on your healthcare plan.

We would probably all agree that if you got caught smoking you should lose your coverage.

But how many would approve of them searching your home for cigarretes?

verticalgain1
November 28, 2004, 12:05 PM
I'm not sure how Oklahoma law works, but here in Florida your car is an extension of your home. Whether it's parked in a company parking lot or not, the interior of your car is not their property.

My company has a "no weapons" policy, so I asked a local circuit court judge who confirmed that they can restrict me from carrying on company property all day long, but I could have a trunk full of guns in the parking lot, refuse any number of searches, and come out on top in any legal battles they tried to start.

I agree with the sentiment that allowing a private company to search a private vehicle is a slippery slope towards further injustice.

CAPTAIN MIKE
November 28, 2004, 12:06 PM
If we can get them to Ban cars and trucks -- just in case -- then, that way, if a worker doesn't get a raise or doesn't get that promotion he thinks he deserves, he won't use his car or truck to run anybody down. Right??

They should also ban the murder of co-workers and bosses. That way, every one in the plant is safer.

I know that business managements is in a tough spot. They are on the defensive side if "something happens" that they could have avoided. On the other hand, if they go the other way the are criticized just as harshly for allowing firearms. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit in which the company is held 'negligent' for not screening out firearms, an argument could be made on the other side that they are negligent if they don't insist that everybody is armed at work.

mete
November 28, 2004, 12:11 PM
Are they really worried about disgruntled emloyees shooting up the place ? If so they have to address the problem of disgruntled employees. Provide a good environment to work in ,see that problem employees get training or treatment .But of course it's much easier to pass a silly rule. I wonder how many disgruntled employees there are now in that company ? Today's business schools don't teach that a happy worker puts out higher productivity and better quality.

Otherguy Overby
November 28, 2004, 12:13 PM
Okay for starters, companies and corporations don't have rights like people do. There are similarities for legal reasons, but they really aren't the same.

(Please note this is a cool deal for NFA purchases)

Throughout every situation like this, you have a group of people either in charge or agitating for the "Right to feel safe". Now, would someone please direct me to the founding document(s) that restricts governmental power so the people (or a few individuals, in this case) can "feel" safe.

To reduce this to the ridiculous, why does some coporate executive's "right to feel safe" at work supercede an employee's "right to feel safe" on the way to and from work? Or even at work, for that matter. I "feel" safer with a gun on my belt...

Of course, since the "right to feel safe" does not exist it's a huge leap of illogic to disarm citzens/employees so management can "feel safe".... People just don't realize how expensive education can be when it's "free" from the government.

One more thing to think about. Isn't Weyerhauser (sp?) a publically held corporation? Wouldn't that make a stockholder an owner and then allow that person to choose whether or not to bear arms on his property?

Mr. Clark
November 28, 2004, 12:16 PM
Anither thread full of mindless crap from the "rights for me, but not for thee" crowd.

There are people here fighting the good fight, but most people on this board don't want anything remotely resembling freedom.

Hawkmoon
November 28, 2004, 12:19 PM
The company, Weyerhaeuser in this instance is simply protecting it's interests with the no gun policy. Remember, in a litigation rich environment, they have the deep pockets and are likely to be sued if an employee does bring a gun into the facility and starts shooting. I'm sure, like most big companies the employees were given a copy of the policies when hired - or when changes were made to them - and asked to sign something stating they'd read them.
IANAL but it appears to me that this new rule makes them MORE liable in the event of a nutcase worker shooting up the place, not less. The workers have now been told that there are NO guns anywhere on the property, and that they are as a result "safe." So the company has now 100% assumed responsibility for protecting the workers at any point on the company's property.

Ain't gonna happen.

Furthermore, as I've commented in another thread, the company's rule conveniently overlooks the fact that workers might need a means of self-defense while in transit between home and the plant. The article says that this plant provides 2,500 jobs. If we assume that most people drive themselves to work, the parking lot must hold more than 2,000 cars every day of the week. Two shifts? Even then, it has to hold more than 1,000 cars for the second shift. If workers want to park off-site to avoid this company's new rule -- just where does anyone think the surrounding area is going to absorb between 1000 and 2,000 cars every day? Which means that the company's "right to control it's property" is effectively depriving its workers of a Constitutional right.

Dunno about you, but (1) Constitutional rights trump property rights; (2) Corporations should not be equated with individuals. Personal rights trump corporate rights, IMHO.

Selfdfenz
November 28, 2004, 12:31 PM
"There are people here fighting the good fight, but most people on this board don't want anything remotely resembling freedom."

?

S-

Mr. Clark
November 28, 2004, 12:38 PM
?
Too broad a brush, Selfdfenz? Maybe. But there are way too many people here who think freedom means that they can do whatever they want and everyone else can do exactly what they tell them to do. They whine incessantly about their rights being curtailed but don't miss an opportunity to stick to the next guy.

Pilgrim
November 28, 2004, 12:53 PM
If a company feels it has the power and authority to exercise the degree of control necessary to search employee's vehicles for guns and drugs, then I would think the same company would responsible for the security of said vehicles and would compensate the owners for damage as a result of burglary, theft, and vandalism to those vehicles while parked in the company parking lot.

Seems to me to be a good point to negotiate during renewal of union-management contracts.

Pilgrim

redbone
November 28, 2004, 01:07 PM
I previously worked for a company that adopted such a policy while I was employeed there. Corporate HQ in NYC. I chose to break it everyday, as did others. Not having a weapon in my vehicle meant that I was unarmed coming and going as well, so their policy effected me far beyond their parking lot. I was driving 30 miles one way.

Now I work for the federal govt. Policy: no weapons in the building. But, that is enforced by armed guards, who are very effective at screening with walk-thru metal detectors and wands. I can live with this. Pretty sure the only people getting thru with guns are the FBI, etc.

So, my personal experience is that of having been on both sides of this issue.

But, back to my point, which is this:

I think the company is now liable for anything that happens on their premises, i.e., they have been successful only in raising their laibility. Unless they screen every person who enters the premises, they are only putting their rule-following employees in jeopardy from those that choose not to follow the rules, and then act out at work, or from an armed visitor with evil intent.

The real problem is that when you speak out against such a rule, you draw attention to yourself and bring down the enforcement.

This whole thing makes as much sense as Joe Foss not being allowed to take his CMOH on board that plane.....

RBH

Okiecruffler
November 28, 2004, 01:53 PM
Just curious, what else do you think they should be allowed to search for in a private vehicle? And if you come to my house, is it Okay for me to search your vehicle? Unfortunately the law is currently being held up by a judge.
I work in a pretty intesting part of town, granted not dowtown D.C., but interesting for these parts. Do I have a weapon to and from work? I'll let you guess.

txgho1911
November 28, 2004, 02:20 PM
Where should an individual's rights end in respect to a company. So maybe it should be braught up to a vote in a shareholders meeting. Most shareholder votes are cast 1 for 1 1share = 1vote as 2000shares = 2000votes.
Let the principle owners decide so consumers can make an inteligent choice.

Still nothing will stop the one guy or gal who doesn't care what the rule is. Or the law.

Fletchette
November 28, 2004, 02:34 PM
It is interesting how gun folks are all about rights to keep and bare arm and the rights to protect their private property, but then get all upset when companies like Weyerhaeuser exercise their rights to not allow guns on property.

I thought that the Supreme Court has ruled that your car is an extension of your home. That is why a police officer must ask you permission, have a warrent or have "probable cause" to search your car. If you get stopped by a Trooper for speeding and asks to search your car you can simply say "I do not give permission". The trooper can then search your car (anything found is inadmissable since speeding is not "probable cause") or impound it and get a warrent before searching your car. Getting a warrent would be impossible (if the law is followed) without the aforementioned probable cause.

I do not see how company security can just search a car because they feel like it. You would have to have previously signed a contract allowing them to do so, in which case the plaintiffs are not going to be able to claim ignorance.

musher
November 28, 2004, 03:08 PM
I find this issue a difficult one. It's likely the individuals gave consent to the company to search their vehicles, bags, or whatever as a condition of employment. From this perspective, it seems pretty clear that they knowingly took some chances with their job and lost the bet.

On the other hand, the company policy has a direct and significant impact on the normal lives of the employees outside the workplace. I'm tempted to say, if you don't like it don't work there, except in a lot of cases the company is the only employer in town of any size.

Also, I wouldn't be suprised to learn that the issue just didn't cross the minds of some of these folks, any more than having a hammer or a wrench in the car would occur to them as an issue.

This is a big difference between rural and urban. While lots of folks will talk about firearms as just being tools, it's really true in a lot of the country.

Not everybody had to go out and shoot a dying cow several times and then absent-mindedly toss the firearm in the truck, lose track of it for several weeks, only then to have it discovered by the dogs. I know the description was to make it sound like the guy was really innocent as he didn't realize he was breaking company policy, but in reality, it just shows how poorly he was keeping track of his gun

This is an example of what I'm talking about. I read that situation much differently. I didn't see it as an example of the guy not keeping track of his firearms, but of keeping firearms as just another tool. My uncle (a farmer) always had a rifle in the truck, just like he had a spare tire and a jack or a flashlight. Spare ammo was rattling around in the glove box. It's not so much that he wasn't keeping track of the thing, as that it didn't cross his mind until he needed one to pop a coyote, deer, injured stock or whatever. If you asked him, he could tell you where it was, but he never really spent a lot of time thinking about it. I'd be willing to bet that almost everyone around carried something like that in their vehicle all the time. That's where the term 'truck gun' came from.

Mike Hull
November 28, 2004, 03:10 PM
To those that support weyerhauser's parking lot ban! What will you say when Wal Mart, and all the big shopping malls enact the same laws, with the same type of enforcement.

It will effectively prohibit you from having a gun in your car almost anywhere you go, where you may be in danger, except for your own driveway, and while cruising around.

Don't forget that apartments are the landlords private property too.

It doesn't take much imagination to see where this could go, eventually.

skich
November 28, 2004, 03:23 PM
I don't understand how anyone could possibly justify firing any of these employees with an otherwise long and spotless work history.

musher
November 28, 2004, 03:27 PM
The difference is that the walmart lot is open to the public. You have not given consent to the company to search your car (or your person) when you shop there. Of course, they could do like the airport, fence the lot and put up a sign saying that parking there implies consent to search....not sure how that would affect their business.

As for the lease restriction...it already happens, example (http://www.rha-ps.com/q_and_a/tenant_hunting_rifles.aspx) . If you read your lease and you don't agree with the terms, you don't rent.

cracked butt
November 28, 2004, 03:38 PM
If the people who were fired were dumb enough to allow someone else to search their vehicles instead of just claiming they were sick and driving home, they deserve to be fired.

If they worked for a company that had a "no weapons" policy and decided to bring weapons anyhow, and submitted to a search, they deserve to get fired.

Personally, I've worked for such companies, and I've kept a gun or two in the truck often, but I always knew in the back of my head that there was a risk that I could get fired because of it.

I currenlty work for a small company that jsut put a "no weapons" policy into place with the exception of getting permission from the company. I immediately talked to the company president and he agreed that it was ok for me to keep guns in my truck, because I often go to the range or hunting after work, so long as I keep quiet about possessing a gun on company property and keep my heicle locked.

NorthernExtreme
November 28, 2004, 04:08 PM
I believe any organization that chooses to make their place of business a "Gun free zone" should be required to have a check in station where an employee can safely check his/her gun in prior to entering the property. And the Organization should be held responsible for the safe storage and return of that weapon (property) when that person leaves.

Company rules like this have repercussions that extend far past the scope of their property or the intent of such rules. Insuring their employees do not bring guns on company property reasonably insures (has the unintended consequence) they will not be able to exercise their legal rights prior to entering or after exiting the property. I'm not sure, but I don't believe a company can do that.

A company can have any rule it likes. It in no way guarantees that those rules are legal. Having a business that requires the need to employ people (American citizens) has the expressed legal requirement that their rights be protected. Just one more reason the SCOTUS needs to put the whole individual rights (2nd Amendment) issue at rest once and for all.

Truth be known, the companies are far more afraid of lawyers than their employees. If it were your business would you like the idea of a lawyer coming and legally robbing you of everything because and employee did something evil with a firearm on your property?

Lawyers and Judges will be the undoing of our Nation. All our freedoms and rights are now subject to the whims of lawyers and Judges. Companies run in fear of the legal system, and they often seek shelter by trampling on the rights of their employees to achieve that safety. It's a crying shame. :banghead:

Cacique500
November 28, 2004, 04:09 PM
I work in a paper mill - and at my mill I bet that at least 20% of the vehicles in the parking lot have firearms in them.

The employees at the Weyerhauser mill should've refused to open their vehicle up for a search. If management wants to call the cops and have their drug sniffing dogs get a hit on my car then fine - but what's this sniffing for guns? If you're not driving your vehicle *into* the mill (which *is* subject to search) then it shouldn't matter.

Let them try and fire me for refusing to open my car up...lets see how that holds up in a court of law.

Wildalaska
November 28, 2004, 04:10 PM
But there are way too many people here who think freedom means that they can do whatever they want and everyone else can do exactly what they tell them to do. They whine incessantly about their rights being curtailed but don't miss an opportunity to stick to the next guy.

I join in the ????????????????????

Cant see what that statement relates too..

As to the issue....private property, company policy, o well, the fired workers lose. Sympathy notwithstanding, they lose legally and morally.

WildmyhouseismycastleAlaska

Werewolf
November 28, 2004, 04:25 PM
I'm astounded...that there are enough trees in OK to run a paper mill. All I ever saw there were dirt and rocks. You could fit the entire state of commie freakin' New Jersey into the forests of Eastern Oklahoma. Based on the tone of your post - I am one Okie that's glad you went back to NJ - stay there.

standingbear
November 28, 2004, 04:58 PM
I dunno bout you folks but I find that a company can search your private property to be disturbing,especially disturbing is the "with or without the owners consent".jobs arent exactly easy to find these days but I would be hard pressed to resign,not because Icarry a gun in my car but because of the policy itself.

Is there anybody here that would not find it disturbing to go out at your lunch break and find 3 or 4 company "officials" going through your car or truck while curious onlookers watch?
would it be equally allowable to have them set up "hidden" video cameras in a locker room to monitor a no smoking on company grounds policy?remember,you signed a statement to the effect you agree with or without your consent


seems to be opening up a door to a whole new way of "legalized" snooping.if theres a concern about having violance in the workplace then I would think that theres more going on within the company than liscenced legal permit holders locking the firearms in their cars or trucks.passing out pamplets and maintaining access to everyones private property by random searches at any given moment is not going to solve any issues.



My .02 cents worth :neener:

LoneStranger
November 28, 2004, 06:06 PM
Rights are Rights, but the Devil can be in the details.

Asked the dog handler one day about what his dog was hitting on when it was saying guns are in a vehicle. What he said was that the dog was picking up the smell of gun oil and propellants.

Obvious counter strategy is to make sure that spilled propellant and gun oil are visible thru window/in bed of vehicle. "Well shuckydurn, your dog is just hitting on something legal and clearly visible. I don't see why I should let you look any further. Besides, I was planning on calling the towtruck to remove my vehicle after shift change cause its broke and you can't get in."

BTDT, lots of people bs with their buddy and goof off when paperwork like that is handed out. "What? Me read that nonsense. I'll get ol' Joe to tell me if I should pay any attention."

Yes, the property owners do have certain property rights. No, they are not all inclusive and can be modified by legal means. Obvious situation would be the driveway where it attaches to the road. If you build a fence and gate along the road you are generally not allowed to build at the edge of the pavement. Seems they have a thing called setback or edge of right of way. This means that as long as I do not go thru your gate or past your fence I can turn around in your driveway as much as I want. And most likely the authorities will require you to perform maintenance.

What looks like happened here is the Property Owner excercised percieved rights and the state legally changed them. The terms the court should tell them is "Suck it up Big Boy! Get on with life." There is alot to be said about making lemons into lemonade.

Standing Wolf
November 28, 2004, 07:07 PM
My right to defend my life and property trump an employers right to stoop to anti-Second Amendment bigotry.

45Badger
November 28, 2004, 07:28 PM
My right to defend my life and property trump an employers right to stoop to anti-Second Amendment bigotry.

That's a free choice on your part. As is their's if they fire you for breaking company policy.

JohnKSa
November 28, 2004, 09:29 PM
Company policy is company policy. They can pretty much fire you for doing anything against company policy.

The problem with this kind of policy is that it effectively denies you the right to carry on the way to and from work--not just on company property. I know exactly what that's like because I live 40 MILES from my workplace. I spend just short of 2 hours a day commuting through 3 counties and all during that time I can not have a firearm in my car because if it is discovered in the parking lot I could be fired. They are not just restricting my right to have a firearm on company property, they are also restricting it all the way from my home to the company and back.

Here's the irony of my situation. TX law states that it is illegal to restrict CHL holders from having firearms in parking lots because the parking lot is not legally considered to be part of the company premises for the purpose of restricting firearm carry. That means that VISITORS or CUSTOMERS to my workplace are allowed to bring firearms into the parking lot and can not be prosecuted or even forced to leave for doing so. The company policy can not touch them because the only penalties that can be legally levied are against EMPLOYEES. Let's say I retire or get fired. I can come back the next day with a gun in my car, sit in the parking lot all day, and they can't legally do a thing about it.

For the next step up in stupidity--my company has a policy that states you can not smoke or dip tobacco anywhere on company premises--including in your car while it is parked in the company lot. I don't use tobacco, but I still think this is a pretty foolish policy.

Bill St. Clair
November 28, 2004, 09:50 PM
As far as I'm concerned, my car and its contents, my body and my clothing and their contents are my private property. If you allow me or my car onto your property, they remain my private property. Nobody may search any of them without a warrant proving probable cause that I have committed a crime and stating exactly what evidence is being sought. Dogs cannot testify in court, hence the barking of a drug- or gun-sniffing dog does not change this one whit, court decisions to the contrary notwhithstanding.

If a company can convince me to contract away my privacy, and I do so, knowingly and willingly, then it's different. Publishing a company policy does not count as a contract, unless I have knowingly and willingly contracted to follow company policy as it changes.

I also consider drug tests of any kind, including breathalyzer, urine, blood, and hair tests, to be blatant violations of my fifth amendment right against compulsion to testify against myself.

cerberus
November 28, 2004, 10:07 PM
My car or truck "My private property" Everyone else keep their eye's and hands off. I would never work where some stupid jerk tried to make me any unsafer then the law has already made me. :cuss:

cracked butt
November 28, 2004, 10:16 PM
I would never work where some stupid jerk tried to make me any unsafer then the law has already made me.

I hear this kind of talk all of the time. The fact is that paper mills pay really good wages. In my state, there are a lot of paper mills, and they pretty much pay the highest wages for factory work of any employer in the state. When I worked in a factory, some of the people I worked with dreamed of getting into a papermill- they tried leaning on connections such as relatives to try to help to get them an interview via a good reference. Typical wages where I worked were $10-12/hr while papermills usually payed upwards of $20/hr.

If you had your choice of making $12 per hour at a factory that allowed you to keep a handgun in your car vs a factory that paid $22 per hour that didn't, and had few other job options, and had a family to feed, would you put your money where your mouth is?

DBR
November 28, 2004, 11:01 PM
re: dogs detect propellant and gun lubricants:
Not to make light of the real issues involved here; but it sounds to me like a good reason to keep your guns REALLY clean and lubricate them with whatever oil you use in your engine.

Selfdfenz
November 28, 2004, 11:03 PM
Most companies of any size have an employee handbook that spells out in black and white what that company's policies are. Most will require that new hires sign a statement that they have read same and understand same before and as a condition of the hire.

Basically my understanding of employment law is that coming to work everyday is an unwritten, unspoken reaffirmation that I know co. policy(ies) and will not violate them.

The balance of power is as an employee I can always vote with my feet and leave a co. if I don't like a policy and the co. can vote me out of my job if they can prove I am breaking policy.

Frankly I think rules forbidding the possession of firearms in personal vechicles su-- and are totally wrong headed. I would hate to have no option but to work for such a company but every day I took my weapon on co. property in violation of this kind of rule I would be aware that it might be my last day there if it was detected. It would be my decision to take or not take that chance but if they pink slipped me for breaking their rule I would be at fault. My ex-employer, their attornies and the HR department may be but-heads but the decision to break that rule was mine.

In my experience when the economy is bad, companies feel safe making and enforcing unpopular rules they might not were hiring conditions more competitive. They also feel comfortable laying off as many people as possible and doubling up that work load of the people that remain when the job market is tight.

What about going to work everyday is a promise of fairness.

S-

P95Carry
November 28, 2004, 11:06 PM
But after clearing the parking lot of guns, "I believe the plant is safer," he said. Sorry but - this really yanks my chain. :cuss:

So - the company can then guarantee - can it? - that any person with mal intent cannot gain access to the place - with a gun ... ?? I doubt it - and all the while the employees are denuded of any means of protection.

This is so darned logical ... not!

As a major employer I would elect to have everyone carrying that wished so - against the time that some buttwipe just might go postal.. At least then the odds are that no folks will get badly hurt - simply because there exists the means to control such an episode.

Oh hang on - maybe my cynicism and logic is off this planet - of course - defenceless folks are sooo much safer. :rolleyes:

4D5
November 28, 2004, 11:25 PM
The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area.

If the workers had not been advised of the "NEW company policy" ammendment now including the parking areas (in which case they would be requred to sign statement of same) then they can not be held accountable for a violating the "NEW company policy".

As in any items relating to terms and conditions of employment, any changes to your current conditions of employment always requries your written signature which acknowledges you have been informed of same and will comply or face the consequences.

If they had been so advised then there's no recourse, otherwise the 12 workers may be the new owners of the company :)

Selfdfenz
November 29, 2004, 12:04 AM
4D5
I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV but:

"As in any items relating to terms and conditions of employment, any changes to your current conditions of employment always requries your written signature which acknowledges you have been informed of same and will comply or face the consequences."

I'm not sure I agree with that.
I think employers change those very things all the time without the requirement for a signature.

Hopefully one our legal eagles will chime in but I was under the impression an employer could do things like this company-wide without employees signing off on it. (especially so if they tell you at hire where changes in co policies are regularly posted and that it's your responsibility to stay aware of changes or pay the consequences) Different states may have different laws.

Course.
If they ask you to sign and you refuse they can fire you.
If they ask you to sign and you do but then break the rule they can fire you.

Legal eagles????

S-

fistful
November 29, 2004, 12:59 AM
The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. The fired workers said they knew nothing of the new rule. the employees know about the rules and apparently decided to violate them I agree that property owners have a right to keep guns from their property and hire and fire at their fiat, but keep in mind these employees were fired for ostensibly innocent behavior. We have no reason to assume the employees knew of the change in policy, or had signed anything to that effect.

They are a poor example for us to rally around. We shouldn't be rallying around these men, or heaping invective on them. Their guns weren't stolen or used in crime, but some have suggested that they are irresponsible or that they "deserve to be fired".

What we should use this story to illustrate is that gun owners are being persecuted (even though legally) and that the policy is actually detrimental to the safety of the plant.

Rimmer
November 29, 2004, 01:16 AM
For those that feel a company can keep firearms out of their parking lots I grant you they have a right. In many instances they are creating a situation where their employee is at risk in and around that parking lot.

I drive 86 miles (one way) to work in a very bad section of Cleveland. I work 3 to 11 Pm 6 days a week. My Company has a "No Firearm" policy posted. I still carry one in the vehicle as I have my CCW and am only breaking the Companies law. I am forced to park in their lot as the only other parking available is 1/2 mile away and it's on the street. The lot is unsecure and poorly lit. I feel if I can get to my vehicle at 11:30PM and touch my pistol I have a chance. I will not work for this company on this or any other shift without access to a gun in my vehicle.

I hope that the cold weather will keep most of the bad guys indoors at that hour and by spring I can find employment elsewhere.

Coyote6
November 29, 2004, 08:45 AM
A lot of this discussion is just blather, such as;

Rights are Rights, but the Devil can be in the details.

If the people who were fired were dumb enough to allow someone else to search their vehicles instead of just claiming they were sick and driving home, they deserve to be fired.

If they worked for a company that had a "no weapons" policy and decided to bring weapons anyhow, and submitted to a search, they deserve to get fired.
[/I]

We have been so used to our "rights" being watered down that we focus on everything except the critical part...can an employer or any other entity overrule your constitutional right to self protection and to bear arms. If lawful, and it seems that there is much precedent, both on the part of business and government, then we should consider what is needed to effect a permanent change both on a local and national basis.

Your car is an extension of your home and should be subject to the same protections.

I'm of a mind that no one has the power to take away my fundamental freedoms, compromise my safety nor coerce or intimidate me into doing so.

I agree with a previous poster that property rights should be subordinate to personal rights.

cracked butt
November 29, 2004, 09:02 AM
Coyote6- does your 1st amendment right to free speech apply to one's workplace as well?

Nuff said.

HankB
November 29, 2004, 09:55 AM
It is interesting how gun folks are all about rights to keep and bare arm and the rights to protect their private property, but then get all upset when companies like Weyerhaeuser exercise their rights to not allow guns on property . . . Weyerhaeuser has its rights . . . If "anything goes" since it's private property, then Weyerhaeuser can:

* Ignore fire codes, since it's private property.
* Mandate everyone drive a Toyota, if they want to use the parking lot.
* Prohibit the presence of blacks, Jews, or any other group on their private property.
* Provide no handicapped parking, wheelchair access, or the like.
* Require everyone to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, if they want to work there.

etc. etc.

Augustwest
November 29, 2004, 10:49 AM
Stupid, stupid policy.

But sadly, Mr. Clark is right IMO - far too many friends of ever-increasing government power around here. :-(

Carlos Cabeza
November 29, 2004, 01:49 PM
The paper mill is a big employer in that part of the state. They pretty much have the say in how they conduct business. There will be people jumping at the chance to fill those positions. Lotta good folks down that way. They don't call it "Little Dixie" fer nuthin'. McCurtain county IS bigger than Jersey ! :D ( Hails from Circus city, OK. myself )

spacemanspiff
November 29, 2004, 04:31 PM
lessee, the right to Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness...Right to free speech, worship whatever god i choose, right to keep and bear arms, right to not incriminate myself, and a few others....

hmm, wheres the right to have a job with XYZ company?

spacemanviolatingcompanypolicyrightnowbywearingonlyatshirtandaconcealedfirearmwhileoncompanypropertyspiff

saltydog
November 29, 2004, 04:51 PM
Unfortunately when you only have your labor to sell to a company, you are at that companies mercy and their policies. My suggestion, "if possible", is to start your own business and tell Corporate America to go screw itself. :neener:

DRZinn
November 29, 2004, 05:06 PM
I'm getting in on this a little late, and this has all been said, but:

My car is an extension of my home, morally if not legally. They have no right to search it.

If they ask to search it and I refuse, they have a right to fire me. Legally, but not morally.

Bringing in "gun dogs" to sniff employee's cars is ridiculous. That "gun dogs" even exist is ridiculous.

ricedw
November 29, 2004, 05:57 PM
I am sitting here at my desk at work reading all of this and thanking God that I am self employed. (The Glock 23 is IWB)

I agree with others that said they would never allow the employer to search the vehicle in the parking lot. I can not think of any reason why I would search any employee's car on my property except if I suspected theft. And even then, I doubt that I could legally do it.

cerberus
November 29, 2004, 06:13 PM
The employer can dismiss "fire" anyone at any time without any reason. :cuss: Thats how the Republicans like it and they control just about everything in the state. :cuss:

Werewolf
November 29, 2004, 07:37 PM
The employer can dismiss "fire" anyone at any time without any reason. Thats how the Republicans like it and they control just about everything in the state. Uhhhhhh...
NO!

The democrats have controlled both houses in OK since about 1922 or so and not by narrow margins either. It wasn't until the last election (read last month) that the Republicans gained control of one of the houses (I forget whether it was the house or senate - house I think).

So you can't blame a single OK law on the Republicans because they haven't been in charge for quite a long, long while.

Darned democrats - blame republicans even when its democrats that make the laws.

cerberus
November 29, 2004, 08:50 PM
Quote:So you can't blame a single OK law on the Republicans because they haven't been in charge for quite a long, long while.

It's not the law :rolleyes: And I stand behind that it's the Republicans who make things happen with employers. ;) Like keeping the wages real low. :cuss: and making sure things happen as they want. :rolleyes: Has nothing to do with who controls what house. ;)

fistful
November 29, 2004, 09:09 PM
Cerberus,

You're playing with us, right? In any case, if OK law actually allows employers to stop buying the labor of people they don't like...GOD BLESS OKLAHOMA!! I'm glad I am free to fire (sell) the guns that I decide I no longer want.

If "anything goes" since it's private property, then Weyerhaeuser can:

* Ignore fire codes, since it's private property. Can private property rights really be used to justify that? Wouldn't that impinge on surrounding property and the safety of unsuspecting employees?


* Mandate everyone drive a Toyota, if they want to use the parking lot. And your point is? Sounds like the reverse of American auto plants.

* Prohibit the presence of blacks, Jews, or any other group on their private property.
* Provide no handicapped parking, wheelchair access, or the like.
You mean, like you have a right to exclude certain ethnic groups or other minorities from entering your own home? Why must places of business be open to people the owners/operators disapprove of or provide for the needs of everyone who wants to be a customer or employee? If I pay people to hang out at my house, must I suddenly become an equal opportunity host, and make my house handicap accessible? Apparently so.

* Require everyone to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, if they want to work there. And? HankB, if you work for me and I want you to smoke a carton an hour, you can either light up or start walkin', son.

SteveS
November 29, 2004, 09:15 PM
We have been so used to our "rights" being watered down that we focus on everything except the critical part...can an employer or any other entity overrule your constitutional right to self protection and to bear arms.

A further question would be is it lawful for the government to pass a law that allows people to have a gun in their car contrary to company policy? As previously mentioned, there are laws that prohibit racial discrimination by companies and require that companies follow certain safety standards.

Dannyboy
November 30, 2004, 12:33 AM
You could fit the entire state of commie freakin' New Jersey into the forests of Eastern Oklahoma. Based on the tone of your post - I am one Okie that's glad you went back to NJ - stay there.

Um...yeah. Lighten up, Francis. It was one of those things that people with a sense of humor call a joke. You might have heard one of those before, then again maybe not. I spent 3 years in that miserable dustbowl of a state. Trust me, I will not be back. You can keep it. But I'll admit that you have the purtiest dirt and rocks in America.

fistful
November 30, 2004, 03:01 AM
Threadjack:

I am not from OK, but I have seen some beautiful country down there, around Anadarko. Hills; thick, green grass; bison; and a constant, refreshing light breeze. Very nice. Reckon I didn't see the real Oklahoma, as our learned correspondent informs us the whole state is a dustbowl. My bad.

HankB
November 30, 2004, 10:04 AM
fistful:Can private property rights really be used to justify that? Wouldn't that impinge on surrounding property and the safety of unsuspecting employees? So does banning guns - including licenced carry weapons - from employee cars. Same principle, connect the dots. It shouldn't be hard. You mean, like you have a right to exclude certain ethnic groups or other minorities from entering your own home? So you equate one's own home with the Weyerhauser plant? You really don't see a difference? Interesting viewpoint. And? HankB, if you work for me and I want you to smoke a carton an hour, you can either light up or start walkin', son.I'll be on my way right quick . . . maybe to the Cigarette Nazis who work in The Gov. :uhoh:

And, luckily, I ain't your son. :rolleyes:

Freedomv
December 1, 2004, 07:28 AM
It has ocurred to me that this "Company Rule/law" may be discrimitory (sp) in the effect that it is affecting only the gun owners/users. (hunters-target shooters and self protection people)

And what about the land (forest) that it owns or leases for timber cutting? Does a lumberjack have to abide by these rules? What about hunters during hunting season hunting the timber acerages for deer etc.?
After all company policy must be enforced equally to be applied to all of it's employees.
Something to think about.

Vern

Brett Bellmore
December 1, 2004, 08:01 AM
"A further question would be is it lawful for the government to pass a law that allows people to have a gun in their car contrary to company policy? "

Is it lawful for the government to pass a law that allows people to have a book in their car contrary to company policy? Look, the key point here is that gun ownership is a civil right. Not just federal, but state:

"OKLAHOMA:

Article 2: Bill of Rights:

Section 26: Bearing arms -- Carrying weapons:

The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

NEVER be prohibited. Got that? And that's what the company is doing, prohibiting the exercise of this civil right.

Blackcloud6
December 1, 2004, 11:37 AM
The ethically right way for Weyerhauser to have handled this would have been to send out the dogs, discover what cars had guns in them. Call in the 12, give them a written reprimand and a 48 hours suspension and look them in the eyes and say "If you do it again, you're fired!" This would have gotten the word out just as effectivley and nobody would have los their job and got lawyers, and lawmakers and posts on the highroad.org.

They did knee-jerk "zero-tolerance" reaction just like our sidiots who run the shcools do.

Sometimes adult "leadership" just amazes me.

And yes, they have the right to do enact what policies they want to on their property. But they don't have to be irresponsible in carrying it out.

cracked butt
December 1, 2004, 11:47 AM
OKLAHOMA:

Article 2: Bill of Rights:

Section 26: Bearing arms -- Carrying weapons:

The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

NEVER be prohibited. Got that? And that's what the company is doing, prohibiting the exercise of this civil right.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

There is nothing in that rule of law that says a company cannot fire you for not following one of their policies. Your civil rights end when you willing give your time and energy to someone else who is willingly compensating you in exchange for your efforts- if they tell you that you have to where a uniform that says Chuck E Cheese on it and you don't like it, your 1st amendment rights give you no protection from this. If you don't like the terms of employment, you have the rights and obligation to walk. I include the word obligation, because if you don't take the initiative to leave an unfavorable employment situation, I and many others will not feel any remorse when you are fired.

Blackcloud 6- great post!

Brett Bellmore
December 1, 2004, 12:38 PM
Zero tolerance isn't irrational. It's rationally designed to make people afraid of violating the rule in question. When you're promulgating unreasonable rules, you need a bit of fear to get people to comply.

Yojinbo
December 1, 2004, 02:48 PM
I live in rural Oklahoma. Good employers here are few and far between. Wheyerhauser had a right a right to do what it did, but firing good people over deer rifles and shotguns is an intresting choice.

There are more guns then people in rural Oklahoma - restricting them will be impossible. The best an employer can do is rounds of sniffing and firing.

<Crazy Idea Filter OFF>
However the solution is simple: the workers need to "help".
1. Lubricate all car/truck door hinges with RemOil.
2. Scatter a few grains of gunpowder (A FEW) on the carpets of all cars (not the trunk - your luggage may pick some up on the way to the airport).
3. Some shotgun choke tubes should be kept behind the seat. Or - lay your tire irons in muzzel blast range and use that.
I reccomend a party to do this togther after work one day.

After your benolivant employer searches every other car with ZERO actual firarms, he may start searching every car on the way in daily or he may just drop it all. Sadly, FLSA portal-to-portal will not pay you for your time waiting to get searched - however no one is working if everyone is in line at the front gate...

Always use the momentum of the oppenent to your advantage.

-Yo

Ps - You may also want to include a dog biscuit on the seat for the poor mutts - I don't think thier handlers are going to give them any after so many false alarms.

Pps - Do not try this if you work for your uncle Sam.

Cosmoline
December 1, 2004, 05:49 PM
They have a right to fire employees with firearms, and survivors have a right to sue them to the max if someone does go on a shooting spree and the Company has disarmed them. We also have the right to stop buying their timber products in protest.

bhart89
December 1, 2004, 09:51 PM
Concealed means concealed.

My company has a "no weapons" policy which I choose to ignore. If I were caught, I would be fired.

I do not believe that any company has the right to search my private vehicle. A company car is a different story.

I "off-body" carry in a laptop bag. (not the bag issued by my company so it is not their property). Even though their computer is in my bag, they have no right to search it unless I consent.

My life is worth more than a job. The only way that someone would find out that I have a pistol is if my life were in danger.

Everyone must decide for themselves if they accept responsibility for their own protection or if they choose to outsource their right to life and liberty.

MrPhil
December 1, 2004, 11:50 PM
A few related and random comments:

FWIW - Here in Oregon, Weyerhaeuser lets you hunt on their timber lands. They close said lands when fire danger is high. Knowing how crazy it can be in the woods, I would guess most logging-contractor employees are armed.

A reminder of what a corporation is: it is a legal fiction that allows the owners (share holders) to avoid personal liability, legal and financial. Corporations, as we know them today, are made possible by the same government that was created by the U.S. Constitution. To me, the idea that a legal fiction can have the same constitutional "rights" as me, is wrong headed.

I too work for a company that has a "no guns in the parking lot" policy. The company pays high wages and provides excellent benefits for this area. I fully accept that they will fire me if I'm caught with a gun on my person or in my car while on company premises. So far, nobody has done anything stupid enough to trigger mass searches. If this happens, hopefully I'll have enough warning to start parking in the street.

SteveS
December 2, 2004, 12:54 PM
NEVER be prohibited. Got that? And that's what the company is doing, prohibiting the exercise of this civil right.

Companies can, and do, prohibit the exercise of certain rights. For the most part, the Constitution (state and federal) is a barrier to State power :rolleyes:

Many have pointed it out on this thread and others that an employer can "violate" the BOR. Critisize the company and get fired...you can't claim that 1st amendment rights are violated. Fired because of your gender...this is a violation of employment laws, not the 14th amendment.

USP45usp
December 2, 2004, 01:37 PM
My company has the same policy. Oregon is also a "right to work" state (which means the opposite, they can fire anyone for anything or nothing at all). I have also never signed the "company policy" form.

To me, it really doesn't matter, I will carry anyway. Sure, I may get fired but that's the way it is. I may have some "legal" cause to sue since I have never signed the policy form or I may not, like I said, they can fire/lay you off at anytime.

This includes refusing to do anything they want you to do up to and including not giving them permission to search your car and/or person.

Wayne

cracked butt
December 2, 2004, 01:51 PM
(which means the opposite, they can fire anyone for anything or nothing at all).

Actually "right to work" means nothing other than you are not forced to pay union dues or pay for a "work permit" from a union to work in a factory. I wish we had the same law here :fire:

mons meg
December 2, 2004, 07:10 PM
Exactly, CB. The term you're looking for is "at will" employment. Oklahoma was an "at will" state long before we passed "right to work" a couple years back.

In an attempt to steer us back to the specific topic of whether Oklahoma's law will survive judicial review, a friend of mine pointed out in a recent conversation over this thread that depending on the state, corporations only have rights specifically granted to them under their articles of incorporation. So, some attorney might want to chime in on whether in our current situation, corporations can complain that their private property rights are at odds with OK's now-pending legislation concerning weapons in a locked vehicle.

Also, I do think Yojinbo's proposal for a form of corporate "civil disobedience" (spray rem-oil on your hubcaps, etc etc) is not only hilarious, but merits serious consideration. :)

publius
December 2, 2004, 10:02 PM
I do think Yojinbo's proposal for a form of corporate "civil disobedience" (spray rem-oil on your hubcaps, etc etc) is not only hilarious, but merits serious consideration.

I agree. Seriously funny stuff! :D

fistful
December 3, 2004, 01:59 AM
Hank,

from fistful:

Can private property rights really be used to justify that? Wouldn't that impinge on surrounding property and the safety of unsuspecting employees? I said "unsuspecting employees." I made that distinction because a gun prohibition is rather obvious, whereas a hundred things around me might be a fire code violation without my realizing it. On second thought, however, I may have been wrong on that point. Forgive me; I am currently recovering from over-libertarianism.

Yes, I do equate homes with places of business. Both are private property, are they not? If I own a home, I allow only certain people inside. If I own a lumber mill, I'll do the same. I am not a racist , but I am free to practice racism if I so choose, right? If I employ labor, I have a right to not hire or to fire certain people, correct? I am free to choose a barber of my own race, yes? If the barber I choose displeases me, I will fire him. Why must "employers" ask the government's permission when hiring/firing personnel? I don't.

"Son" is an expression - get over it. I gather you're not coming to work for me? I wouldn't take that job, either. If your employer doesn't allow certain kinds of cars, or doesn't like guns, or requires that you smoke, then either get in line or look elsewhere. I don't like being on call, but my job is worth it, so I suck it up.

USP45usp
December 3, 2004, 12:48 PM
Actually Fistful, you CANNOT keep someone from your business or employment due to any of the reasons that you mentioned (color, race, age, etc..), it's federal law that you cannot discriminate on certain factors.

You are able to do so in your home, you have those Rights while a business or a place of employment does not.

Since gun ownership is not a protected aspect, a business can bar you from their property as a policy of employment if you insist on carrying a gun and/or weapon on their property while they cannot bar a non-employee (unless marked by state law or federal law (federal buildings/property)) that has a permit from that property or business. Example, here in Oregon, only certain places are marked by state law (and federal buildings by federal law) and no other place can bar you from their property. The hospital in Eugene is marked "no weapons" with the gun sign with a slash through the circle but it means nothing, it's just a symbol of their anti-gunness and it carries about as much weight as a vacuum (not the cleaner, like the vacuum of space, nothingness).

I choose to carry at work. Yes, it's against the "rules" but I would rather have the strain of finding another job then the stress to my family of having to make my burial arrangements. I know the policy, as do all the employees here, but let me tell you, I'm not the only one that has a gun on trust property.

As for the dogs, heck, they would go crazy on my car. I bought it new in 1992 and though these years I have spilled hoppes in it, still finding loose ammo and brass, have had oil soak into the carpet in the back, have spilled powder (when shooting the BP's), etc.. Even if they never found a gun (which they wouldn't since it's in my "hide a way" case that is attached to me) they would still fire me for "cause" (they will think that I just have it very well hidden in the vehicle).

Reminds me of the time I was picked to have a randam search when I was active duty at the gate. Dog went wild (explosives dog) and they did an "in-depth" search, found nothing but some spilled powder and the oil stain.

Wayne

Grump
December 3, 2004, 01:14 PM
I'm not going to read the rest of this thread, but it's a cold hard fact that the U.S. Constitution is generally a restriction on the Government's efforts to restrict your rights. The Courts rather consistently take the approach that we can freely bargain away certain rights, even the inalienable ones, in exchange for employment.

Most of our silly "rights" that people have in the employment setting have been imposed on the employers by mere laws.

However, I believe that the appropriate approach here is that, under general contractual principles, no employer can rightfully extend its reach into your car without also assuming all duties and responsibilities of providing for your protection. That means separate employee parking not accessible to the public, staffed entry points, plus fencing and gates suffienct to stop a Beriut-style suicide bombing truck. There must also be some strong protecive measures at the general public/deliveries in AND out/customer sides. Absent such undertakings to ensure my safety, the bargain of me keeping my job in exchange for being de-fanged fails to want of adequate "consideration" or payment.

IOW, if an employer undertakes to protect the boss's safety by disarming ME, it must also undertake to PROTECT me with all lethal force it seeks to deny me. Does any employer want that responsibility? There's a similar rationale behing making common carriers (buses, planes, etc.) responsible to "insure" the safety of their customers against accidents.

Master Blaster
December 3, 2004, 02:33 PM
If you wanted to be a bad boy and bedevil the dog handlers,

Get some codeine cough syrup and a pumpspray bottle of clp, put a couple table spoons of syrup in the clp, and mix in a teaspoon of bullseye propellent for good measure.

Go through the lot and spray the wheel well or under the edge of the trunklid of every manager in the companies car or spray every car with a little of the mixture.

The dogs will indicate the presence of opiates and gun products on every car in the lot.

Pretty soon it will become cumbersome for management to do these searches. :evil:

DRZinn
December 3, 2004, 03:24 PM
I think fistful was referring to a moral right to exclude anyone for any reason, not necessarily a legal right.

PaleRyder
December 3, 2004, 06:20 PM
A private company is breaking the law by searching people's personal vehicles without permission though, are they not?

mons meg
December 3, 2004, 06:28 PM
Remember folks, Whirlpool is a *corporation*. The question at hand should be one of whether corporate private property rights are at all the same as say, a citizen-landowner's property rights.

There are also instances that have nothing to do with civil rights that affect your use of prvate land, anyway. Try and tell the game warden you shouldn't be fined for baiting deer and taking over the limit since by golly, it's your land... :)

fistful
December 3, 2004, 08:36 PM
Actually USP45usp,

Doc Zinn is right. A business owner has a basic right to discriminate based on race, gender or otherwise, even if it is a crime. Please don't tell me you approve of a law that forces people to hire labor that they don't want.

USP45usp
December 3, 2004, 08:46 PM
Fistful,

Never said that I agreed with the law, just pointed out what the law says. I agree that a business owner should be able to hire whomever or whatever he/she/it wants and also pay them what they want.

I don't believe in quota's, I don't believe in "kickbacks" to companies that are minority or women, I don't believe in the minimum wage (fed or state) either.

In the true America, we wouldn't be discussing these things but this ain't your fathers, fathers, father America :(.

But, as an individual (and hopefully soon to be small business person), I will do as I please.

Wayne

DRZinn
December 3, 2004, 11:04 PM
I must say, I am amazingly good at seeing when people are arguing apples and oranges....

dustind
December 4, 2004, 12:24 AM
"anything goes" since it's private property, then Weyerhaeuser can:

* Ignore fire codes, since it's private property.
* Mandate everyone drive a Toyota, if they want to use the parking lot.
* Prohibit the presence of blacks, Jews, or any other group on their private property.
* Provide no handicapped parking, wheelchair access, or the like.
* Require everyone to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, if they want to work there.

etc. etc.
I agree.

Insurance would be difficult to get unless they followed what the insurance company said they needed for fire protection.

No one would work for them, and their customer would boycott them. If you change the list, then people may work or buy their products because of their views.

As for the race/religious part. Would you force a minority person to accept a bigot even if the bigot behaved himself or herself while on duty? <begin sarcasm> If so, then aren't you supporting bigotry, and doesn't that make you a racist/antisemite? </end sarcasm>

As for the argument that every buisness could ban guns and thus you could not carry... You could find businesses that cater to your views even in a society that was mostly against you. Free markets cater to smaller groups than governments do. Take the black people in the segregated south for example, even when the government was really against them they could still find places to work, shop, and eat.

fistful
December 4, 2004, 01:33 AM
All the best, Wayne. Do what you think is right.

Quit braggin', Doc Zinn. ;) By the way, doesn't "moral right" actually refer to right, as opposed to wrong, and not to rights, as in the Bill of Rights?

DRZinn
December 4, 2004, 10:37 PM
To me, if it is "a right" then that's as used in the Constitution. If it's just "right" then that's as opposed to wrong.

I rarely get the chance/have the excuse to brag. Let me indulge!

glocksman
December 5, 2004, 02:00 AM
Sounds like those Weyerhauser people need a good union to back them up.
If the gun policy is important to the employees, they can organize a union local and strike over it.

Oh, I forgot.
Unions are merely the tool Commies use to supress 'free labor' and persecute innocent corporations. :rolleyes:

Selfdfenz
December 5, 2004, 10:51 AM
I'm as anti union as they come but a union might be the perfect way for the employees in this factory to convey to management "play nicer and start using common sense".

If this is an operation that has to be run near the woodlot there is no way the company can close the place since they can't outsourse the forest.
S-

telewinz
December 5, 2004, 03:16 PM
The timber company said the weapons violated a new company policy that extended a longtime workplace gun ban to the parking area. As a private company, they have the right to ban firearms or any weapons on their private property. I suspect plenty of notice was given on this "new" policy but as usual some irreponsible employees chose to ignore it then cry like babies when they have to face the results of their actions. "Responsible" gun ownership involves more than just safety.

""anything goes" since it's private property, then Weyerhaeuser can:

* Ignore fire codes, since it's private property.
* Mandate everyone drive a Toyota, if they want to use the parking lot.
* Prohibit the presence of blacks, Jews, or any other group on their private property.
* Provide no handicapped parking, wheelchair access, or the like.
* Require everyone to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, if they want to work there.

These comments are a knee jerk reaction and for the most part are "fiction". And where were you parked in the lot?

I believe that the appropriate approach here is that, under general contractual principles, no employer can rightfully extend its reach into your car without also assuming all duties and responsibilities of providing for your protection. That is the justification for the search. An employee going postal on company property. This happens all the time as you know if you watch the news.

junyo
December 5, 2004, 05:49 PM
As private property, the owners can make many stipulations to the use and/or conduct of individuals on their property. It's different than with public property since as a citizen, you are a de facto part owner of public land, which obviously isn't the case with a building or parking lot owned by a coporation. It isn't an infringement of your rights since you choose to accept those conditions to gain access to the property, or as a condition of employment. For instance, your employer has no intrinsic right to search your car and/or belongings, but most employers have a sign at the entry point or a notice in the employee handbook that states that cars, bags, and employees are subject to search. Seeing that sign or having read that notice and proceeding is taken as your acknowledgement and surrender of that right.

skich
December 19, 2004, 02:36 AM
How does the company justify firing an otherwise model employee for a relatively minor infraction? Does anyone else think that maybe the company was reducing it's pension obligations? Or, just cutting it's payroll? A simple written reprimand in the employee's personnel file would have sufficed. If the company was truly worried that an employee was going to "go postal" I'd say they're pretty stupid. They just gave twelve guys a pretty hard push over the edge by firing them. Bastards! :cuss:

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