EDITORIAL: Employer rules are beyond feds' reach


PDA






Desertdog
October 13, 2005, 02:39 PM
My Comment - :barf: :barf: :barf:

EDITORIAL: Employer rules are beyond feds' reach

Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Texas Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/news/editorial/12876170.htm

Oct. 11 - It seems hardly a week goes by that one group or another tries to pit one of our rights against another. It's usually the result of someone claiming an absolute right or misreading the Constitution.

The latest example we've seen is actually a replay of one we commented on earlier this year. In that case, legislators in Oklahoma passed a law that forced employers to allow employees to store firearms in their locked cars in company parking lots. Employers balked at the law and it's currently tied up in court.

Without waiting to see how that case turns out and perhaps learn something from it, a state lawmaker in Florida has proposed a similar law in the Sunshine State. According to a report in the Ocala, Fla., Star-Banner, state Rep. Dennis Baxley's bill is aimed at what he fears is a coming wave of workplace rules that forbid firearms on company property, even if they're securely locked in vehicles.

The purpose of those laws varies, but generally they're in place to prevent a disgruntled employee from retrieving a gun from the parking lot and shooting fellow workers. Violating most workplace gun bans can result in the loss of one's job. Baxley wants to prevent that.

His bill would allow employees to bring firearms to work, provided they keep them locked in their cars. That way, employees would have guns for self-defense on their daily commute. In addition, his bill would protect employers from liability should a workplace shooting occur as a result of the presence of a firearm in an employee's vehicle on company property.

On its surface, the proposal seems to pass muster. But, when you think about it, the proposal seeks to extend the reach of government, yet again, onto private property and into the workplace.

Although we're supporters of gun rights and the right to self-defense, employers and other property owners have the right to limit behavior on their property. Arguments that the Constitution guarantees one's right to carry a firearm don't apply in this case because the Constitution limits the government's actions, not those of individuals or companies.

Discussions on Internet forums often bring up the argument that if employers prevent firearms on their property, they must assume responsibility for employees' safety going to and from work. That is, of course, impossible; it involves far too many variables to be practical and would require employers to be responsible for things they can't possibly control.

The flip side of this situation is that employers shouldn't be held liable if an employee brings a gun to work and commits violence. To hold them liable would, extending the argument to its most extreme conclusion, require employers to be responsible for all actions of all employees.

In the final analysis, it's up to the individual to be responsible for his or her actions and safety. If employees feel the need to carry firearms in their cars for protection and their employers ban guns on company property, they should work with the company to get rid of the ban or allow specific exceptions to the rules. Or they might have the option of parking on public streets, where company policies don't apply. In the most extreme cases, they can look for employment at a company that doesn't have such restrictions.

It's up to the employee to decide what's best for his or her particular situation. In any case, this isn't something the government should get involved in.

If you enjoyed reading about "EDITORIAL: Employer rules are beyond feds' reach" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
cuchulainn
October 13, 2005, 02:46 PM
Notice how the title speaks of the feds, but then the article is against state laws (Oklahoma and Florida).

Yes, "employer rules are beyond feds' reach." They should be, 10th Amt and all that.

Employer rules are not beyond the States' reach.

Talk about a straw man argument.

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 02:48 PM
Yep. Since the state and the feds don't have a single law on the books affecting employer/employee relationship :rolleyes: no reason to start now.

Gunpacker
October 13, 2005, 03:03 PM
This issue would be moot if PC and a search warrant were required for an employer to search an employee's car. I don't know about what rights to restrict firearms on their property exist for an employer, but an employee should not be required to give up his guaranteed right to privacy regarding his own vehicle. A police officer cannot search without probable cause that a crime has been committed, or with owner's permission. Permission to search your property that never comes into the workplace should not be a requirement of driving to work. :cuss: :fire:
My personal observation is that even if they successfully ban guns from the cars of law abiding citizens, the guy that is pissed off by today's work environment, or is simply deranged, and decides to commit violence won't mind. They will be searching his car after he has committed his deed. Workplace violence is not usually a spur of the moment act, but a planned event. However, banning guns will certainly stop any spur of the moment defense.

HankB
October 13, 2005, 03:14 PM
employers and other property owners have the right to limit behavior on their property.To a point, but by this logic, if an employer says an employee cannot use a wheelchair, cannot use crutches, cannot (if Jewish) keep kosher for lunch, etc., that's OK, within the owner's rights, and the state can't meddle.

What if the employee worked at a sales counter and the "behavior" that was limited or prohibited was serving black customers?
Discussions on Internet forums often bring up the argument that if employers prevent firearms on their property, they must assume responsibility for employees' safety going to and from work. That is, of course, impossible; it involves far too many variables to be practical and would require employers to be responsible for things they can't possibly control.But whether or not the employee can have the MEANS of self defense IS within the employer's control. Asserting that the employer can't be held responsible if those means are removed would be like saying the employer is not responsible for employees being rear-ended in their cars if he prohibits brake lights on autos in the parking lot.

Crosshair
October 13, 2005, 03:39 PM
This person is going to get LOTS of mail. :cuss:

boofus
October 13, 2005, 03:53 PM
Businesses should be held responsible if they prohibit self defense on their property. Reponsibility for everyone's safety goes from the individual to the policy maker.

There are also certain things that are beyond the power of property owners. How'd you like it if all Outback Steakhouses decided they would lynch blacks, Jews, women, mimes, and Yankees fans the moment they stepped in the door?

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 04:00 PM
Mimes and Yankee fans, no problem. :p

Augustwest
October 13, 2005, 04:06 PM
I'd like to buy whoever wrote that column a drink, or a cuppa joe, or something wet 'n tasty.

It's right on the money.

To a point, but by this logic, if an employer says an employee cannot use a wheelchair, cannot use crutches, cannot (if Jewish) keep kosher for lunch, etc., that's OK, within the owner's rights, and the state can't meddle.

What if the employee worked at a sales counter and the "behavior" that was limited or prohibited was serving black customers?

Any and all of those are within the rights of a property owner, IMO - I wouldn't patronize a business that did such things, but they are within an owner's rights nonetheless.

How'd you like it if all Outback Steakhouses decided they would lynch blacks, Jews, women, mimes...

Big, BIG stretch between refusing to do business with someone and stringing them up. One is an act of agression which deprives someone of his rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." The other is narrow-minded foolishness.

But it's surely my right to be narrow-minded and foolish on my own property, and in my own business.

Car Knocker
October 13, 2005, 04:24 PM
To a point, but by this logic, if an employer says an employee cannot use a wheelchair, cannot use crutches, cannot (if Jewish) keep kosher for lunch, etc., that's OK, within the owner's rights, and the state can't meddle.

An employer certainly does have the right to say an employee can't use a wheelchair or crutches. For example, if you own a small roofing company and one of your employees has surgery for a foot disorder. You, as his employer, have every right to keep him off the job if he's using crutches or a wheelchair.

An employer does not have to hire someone who is disabled if a reasonable accomodation cannot be made.

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2005, 05:15 PM
...when you think about it, the proposal seeks to extend the reach of government, yet again, onto private property and into the workplace.

Yeah, sure, but it's okay for government to intrude into my holster, right?

Without illogic, leftist extremists would have no philosophical principles whatever.

Desertdog
October 13, 2005, 05:27 PM
On its surface, the proposal seems to pass muster. But, when you think about it, the proposal seeks to extend the reach of government, yet again, onto private property and into the workplace.
Why is this government regulation any different from all the other government regulations that extend int the work place, such as OSHA regs, must serve all races, must pay minimum wages, must have handicap access, plus many more.

Augustwest
October 13, 2005, 05:40 PM
Yeah, sure, but it's okay for government to intrude into my holster, right?

Of course not. Nor is it ok for it it to force a property owner to allow conduct on his property which he doesn't approve of.

Why is this government regulation any different from all the other government regulations that extend int the work place, such as OSHA regs, must serve all races, must pay minimum wages, must have handicap access, plus many more.

It isn't. Those regs are all wrong too.

It's an individual's choice whether or not to work for a particular employer. If a business owner says "no guns" then we're all free to find someplace else to work.

Since this is a gun-related site, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that people care so little about broader freedom, property rights and limits on governmental power. But it usually does. :(

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 05:49 PM
Since this is a gun-related site, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that people care so little about broader freedom, property rights and limits on governmental power. But it usually does. Generally, we do care. It's the selective intrusions that gall us so much.

A similar example is the War on Drugs and public welfare / medicaid. The libertarian in me would like to see the .gov butt out of what people choose to grow or put in their bodies. However, if we are going to pick up the medical tab for every stoner and fool, it becomes our business.

The law of unintended consequences. Sometimes we have to back out of the mess we made before moving into the right direction.

Zundfolge
October 13, 2005, 05:53 PM
It isn't. Those regs are all wrong too.
I agree with you there ... however those who push for "gun free zones" are almost NEVER doing so because they believe in property rights.

I agree that property owners should have the right to decide what goes on on their property, however my car is MY property and if I want to keep a gun inside it its not the place of any parking lot owner to say I can't (any more then they have the right to dictate what is playing on my stereo, or tell me I can't have leather upholstery because "leather is murder" or whatever).

This also all stems from a company in OK that quietly changed the rules about guns on their property ... didn't tell their employees and then set up a sting on the first day of hunting season clearly for the express purpose of persecuting the hunting/gun owning employees.

So lets not pretend that the proponents of "the gun free workplace" give a damn about our rights, property rights, the constitution or ANYONE'S safety.

Augustwest
October 13, 2005, 07:06 PM
Sometimes we have to back out of the mess we made before moving into the right direction.

Can't argue with that. But further encroachment on fundemental individual rights ain't backing out - it's more encroachment.

...however those who push for "gun free zones" are almost NEVER doing so because they believe in property rights.

Again, no argument. But I do believe in property rights. And as long as we're not talking about an act of agression, I can't support forcing someone to let something happen on his property that he doesn't agree with.

As an aside, and just so's I'm understood, I think "gun-free school zones," gun-free Post Offices, or any other gun-free publicly-owned places are an abomination. And I wouldn't work for someone who would drive me of the means to protect myself and others.

I agree that property owners should have the right to decide what goes on on their property, however my car is MY property and if I want to keep a gun inside it its not the place of any parking lot owner to say I can't (any more then they have the right to dictate what is playing on my stereo, or tell me I can't have leather upholstery because "leather is murder" or whatever).

We'll have to disagree there...your choice to park on their property...their choice to limit what goes on.

I'm aware of the case in OK, though I wasn't aware that the policy had been snuck through without the employees being made aware of it. If that's the case, it's just plain wrong.

So lets not pretend that the proponents of "the gun free workplace" give a damn about our rights, property rights, the constitution or ANYONE'S safety.

I'm under no such illusion. They're at best ignorant and wrong, and at worst knowingly furthering statism. But just because they're wrong doesn't mean I'm going to support another wrong in another guise.

Cacique500
October 13, 2005, 07:58 PM
We'll have to disagree there...your choice to park on their property...their choice to limit what goes on.

Except in the case of Weyerhauser, where the parking lot in question was 'public'.

HighVelocity
October 13, 2005, 08:28 PM
Even though the car is parked on company property, the car is the employees property and the cars interior is the employees domain. What the employee keeps within his/her domain is nobody elses business. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2005, 09:18 PM
Even though the car is parked on company property, the car is the employees property and the cars interior is the employees domain. What the employee keeps within his/her domain is nobody elses (sic) business.

No objections hereóbut consider this, eh?

Even though my gun and holster are worn on company property, they're both my property, and my person is my domain. What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.

KriegHund
October 13, 2005, 09:21 PM
So because im employed by so and so i have to follow their rules when im at home?

I dont think so. In cruder words...well...;)

HighVelocity
October 13, 2005, 09:36 PM
No objections hereóbut consider this, eh?

Even though my gun and holster are worn on company property, they're both my property, and my person is my domain. What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.

Ok. Sounds good to me. :D

pax
October 13, 2005, 09:40 PM
Even though my gun and holster are worn on company property, they're both my property, and my person is my domain. What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.
That's been my argument for years, but no one's listening.

pax

Flyboy
October 13, 2005, 09:53 PM
HighVelocity is on to something. In some states (Missouri, I believe, is one), your vehicle is treated as an extension of your home. That's the reason you don't need a carry permit to keep a gun in your car in that state. If your jurisdiction treats your vehicle as your own personal property (within its confines), then laws such as this are preventing an employer from restricting your property rights. If, however, your vehicle is not treated as sacrosanct (as your home would be), then the law restricts the employer's rights. So the question here isn't whether the prohibition on such policies is right or wrong; the question is where your privately-owned vehicle falls on the private property scale. There's room honest debate on both sides of this issue.

Personally, I favor the "my car, my property" theory. And yes, I've already started fighting company policy for the law that goes back into effect on 1 November.

Wish me luck.

cowboybobb693
October 13, 2005, 09:59 PM
This is almost as stupid as the New Mexico( I believe) police department that will not hire smokers because of health reasons and has DEMANDED that all current employees stop smoking, even in their own homes !!! Gimmeee a Breakkkkkkk

Augustwest
October 13, 2005, 11:03 PM
What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.

So if I decide to wear a pink tutu and a tinfoil tiara to an important meeting with the firm's biggest client, I should expect to have a job the next day?

Because that's my domain too.

Look folks, I think everyone should be allowed to carry at work. Life would be alot safer that way. I'll repeat that I wouldn't work for a company with this policy. But we've already seen plenty of other rights besides property rights slowly chipped away. I can't think that the slope would be any less slippery in this case.

'sides, I don't every recall reading anywhere credible that anyone has the right to work for any specific company...

And as far as that rule with the PD in New Mexico, yeah it is stupid. Particularly the part about what folks do in their free time. But other than that partm that's mainly a public/government property issue, not a private one. Don't know as I'd have much a problem with the department denying smokers health insurance though, or at least making them pay for it out of pocket.

JohnKSa
October 13, 2005, 11:17 PM
It's not really about whether or not you can carry AT work, it's a lot more insidious than that.

I'm not allowed to have a firearm locked in my private vehicle while it's parked in the public parking lot out in front of my workplace. Sure, I can do it, but if I get caught, I'll be fired. And yes, if they ask to search my car and I refuse I'll be fired for that too.

That effectively disarms me from the time I leave my house in the morning until I return to it at night.

Of course, the common argument is that I could work some other place, but most of the places I would apply have similar rules...

Jammer Six
October 14, 2005, 01:03 AM
Even though my gun and holster are worn on company property, they're both my property, and my person is my domain. What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.

There are two separate issues there.

Hit your wife, even in the privacy of your own home and it's our business. Everyone's business. Hell, I'll take a personal interest. I'll call it a hobby.

An illegal act is an illegal act, doesn't matter where it's committed.

So no, at a minimum, you don't get a free pass, your acts need to be legal, no matter whose property you're on.

Breaking an employer's rules is a separate issue. Break the rules, look for work.

So, carry on. You guys were speaking of straw men.

c_yeager
October 14, 2005, 03:43 AM
Even though my gun and holster are worn on company property, they're both my property, and my person is my domain. What I do within my domain is nobody else's business.

Certainly. Consider for a moment that your employers property is also their domain. Why is your's more important than theirs? If you willingly put yourself into someone elses property then you have to play by their rules, this is a basic tenent of property ownership and if you happen to find yourself on the property of some jerk that doesnt want you to carry a weapon, THEN LEAVE.

gunsmith
October 14, 2005, 06:49 AM
is a law that prohibits disgruntled ex employee's from murdering people!

leglislators, kept safe by armed security where they work, tell us to rely on crazed murderers obeying laws preventing them from bringing a gun to work and killing everybody.

the laws agaisnt postal employees having guns at work never prevented all those killings in the 80's....it did however insure that law abiding postal employees couldn't shoot back.

if you tell me to be unarmed you shouldn't hide behind armed security.

If you enjoyed reading about "EDITORIAL: Employer rules are beyond feds' reach" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!