Appeals Court rules against weapons at work..


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bg
February 16, 2006, 01:46 PM
Fed Court upholds decision of lower court regarding bringing
weapons onto an employers property. Big loss as the Fed
court states this below. >

Article 2, Section 26 says: "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."
Link below
http://www.occupationalhazards.com/articles/14725

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k_dawg
February 16, 2006, 02:00 PM
yep, and notice with this massive assault against basic human rights are all but ignored by the leftoid media.

Thefabulousfink
February 16, 2006, 02:11 PM
The worst thing about this is the fact the the employees were not fired for CCW, but for having a gun locked in the trunk of their cars. :scrutiny:

Merkin.Muffley
February 16, 2006, 02:15 PM
It's not the employees property their cars are parked on - if they don't like the rules their employer (who owns the property) makes, they should start their own business where they can make their own rules. If that doesn't work for them they should find someplace else to park their cars.

dav
February 16, 2006, 03:36 PM
Merkin... they were not told ahead of time that those WERE the rules. :fire:

Merkin.Muffley
February 16, 2006, 03:39 PM
Merkin... they were not told ahead of time that those WERE the rules. :fire:

It'd be unusual for a big corporation like Weyhauser to not inform employees of what behavior is acceptable. It often happens in a new employee orientation - and might have been missed, but I'm going to assume they were told. Anyway, they know the rules now.

ARperson
February 16, 2006, 03:53 PM
Gotta go with Merk on this one. (Honestly, how many large corporations actually allow "weapons" of any type to be on company property?)

I would agree that it is wrong to bring action against employees who weren't aware they were violating the rules (any proof they weren't aware?), but the ruling regarding the company's right to dictate the allowance of firearms on company property is right, IMO.

I don't like it, but it is private property.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 03:56 PM
Yup.

If you want a steady paycheck, daily quittin' time before happy hour starts, health insurance, sick time and paid vacation days, count on giving up something in return. That's why I support anything that allows and encourages free enterprise. I don't think we should all HAVE to work for big companies.

You makes your choice, you pays your price, though.

hso
February 16, 2006, 04:05 PM
"The eight terminated employees argued that the Business Owner's Rights passage violated their constitutional right to bear arms, but the appeals court disagreed."

I don't think that was the point they should have based their case on. The employer controls the premisis they can establish such a rule as firearms not being permitted. Much better would have been a wrongful termination based on absence of training to inform the employees of this company rule.

My company has such a rule. I would not park my vehicle in a company parking lot under the circumstances.

HerrWolfe
February 16, 2006, 04:54 PM
Perhaps one of these days: (20-20 foresight by the Oklahoma legislature :D in the Oklahoma Self Defense Act ) It would be in everyones' best interests, including the company, if employees had the right to keep firearms in the trunks of their cars. Oklamoma Self Defense Act is one giant step in the right direction; hopefully they will win over the self centered interests of those opposed.
I am so surprised at Oklahoma. They get one great big that-a-boy. Lived there for two years and swore I would never go back or through there again. With forward thinking like this, might have to reconsider! It might have become a people place again. :D :D :D

Nitrogen
February 16, 2006, 05:01 PM
If the weapons were in the car's trunk, how did the company know they were there?

GTSteve03
February 16, 2006, 05:03 PM
I don't like it, but it is private property.
So are all other rights allowed to be violated while on someone else's private property, then?

Just curious.

The Real Hawkeye
February 16, 2006, 05:07 PM
The inside of one's car is the same as the inside of one's home, except it can travel from place to place. The law should recognize this. So long as the firearm does not leave the locked car, the inside of the car should be sacrosanct.

Herself
February 16, 2006, 05:12 PM
+100, Real Hawkeye! Simply using the employer's lot does not imply consenting to a search.

--H

Langenator
February 16, 2006, 05:14 PM
So are all other rights allowed to be violated while on someone else's private property, then?

The Bill of Rights doesn't apply to private entities on their own property.

If you want to be on my land, I don't have to listen to you speak, I don't have to allow you to practice your religion, if I want to search you and anything you want to bring with you, I can, and I don't have to allow you to bring along anything I don't want on my land-dogs, booze, guns, whatever.

If you don't like my conditions, you can just stay off my land.

My opinion is that the NRA made a silly decision in trying to go the legal route on this one-any strategy pitting one right against another (RKBA vs private property) isn't a fight you want to start.

If they want to change Weyerhauser's policy, things like ad campaigns and boycotts would have been the way to go.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 06:14 PM
The inside of one's car is the same as the inside of one's home, except it can travel from place to place. The law should recognize this. So long as the firearm does not leave the locked car, the inside of the car should be sacrosanct.

That is true IMO, but different states have differing laws about this. I believe that some states DO recognize the interior of one's car as being equivalent to the interior of one's home, with all the same rights regarding search and seizure, self-defense, etc.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 06:16 PM
If the weapons were in the car's trunk, how did the company know they were there?

I understand they were searching cars using tracking dogs.

A boycott and PR campaign would be a good thing here. "Weyerhauser fires hunters" would be a really ugly bit of PR in some parts of the country.

Langenator
February 16, 2006, 06:41 PM
AFAIK, the situtation of the interior of a car being treated, legally, as the same as the interior of one's home only applies to search by state actors-ie, the police or other law enforcement.

The problem here is, you're bringing your mobile 'home' onto the private property of another.

Property owners have the right to control what items are or are not allowed on their private property, not matter how they may be transported or contained.

JMusic
February 16, 2006, 06:47 PM
hso is dead on. Our company has the same rules for weapons. None on the premises. Unlike many companies though we have not authorized any manager the powers to search a vehicle. Since I manage the plant I was part of this decision. I don't believe anyone would welcome their vehicle searched without a good reason by management or LE. My criteria would be "probable cause" and frankly if a vehicle was deemed necessary to search I would have the SO and the employee there to witness.
Jim

The Real Hawkeye
February 16, 2006, 06:59 PM
AFAIK, the situtation of the interior of a car being treated, legally, as the same as the interior of one's home only applies to search by state actors-ie, the police or other law enforcement.

The problem here is, you're bringing your mobile 'home' onto the private property of another.

Property owners have the right to control what items are or are not allowed on their private property, not matter how they may be transported or contained.This is not entirely true. You cannot, for instance, have a policy against employees with severe allergies to insect bites possessing a hypo full of epinephrine in their vehicles. If you doubt that, what do you think would happen, legally speaking, if this policy was enforced and an employee died because of an insect bite, due to not having said hypo? A firearm is similarly a legitimate piece of life saving emergency equipment. How many innocent lives are saved annually because someone had a firearm nearby? So long as it remains inside of a locked vehicle, the employer should not be able to interfere with it.

Cosmoline
February 16, 2006, 07:06 PM
It would be humorous to see how well these corporate regulations work when a disgruntled employee comes in to go on a shooting spree. I'm sure he'll cease fire as soon as the regs are read to him.

MGshaggy
February 16, 2006, 07:25 PM
This is not entirely true. You cannot, for instance, have a policy against employees with severe allergies to insect bites possessing a hypo full of epinephrine in their vehicles. If you doubt that, what do you think would happen, legally speaking, if this policy was enforced and an employee died because of an insect bite, due to not having said hypo? A firearm is similarly a legitimate piece of life saving emergency equipment. How many innocent lives are saved annually because someone had a firearm nearby? So long as it remains inside of a locked vehicle, the employer should not be able to interfere with it.


My guess is that the ADA probably prohibits an employer from preventing an employee from possessing necessary medical devices on the work site. However, I haven't researched the ADA, so if it doesn't I see no other reason why the employer couldn't preclude the possession of syringes on their property. It might not be smart, and it may result in civil liability, but thats their decision to make.

As to possession of a firearm in a locked car, its still on the employer's property. How many innocent lives are saved by guns is completely irrelevant to the issue of private property rights and who can control what goes on within the bounds of their property. Whether the gun is locked in the car, strapped to the roof, or hidden in a holster on the individual employee, if its physically located within the bounds of the employer's property, the employer should have the right to dictate the rules. Your Constitutional rights in this case don't override their private property rights. Constitutional rights are protections against the government, not private actors like a company. The BoR provides no protections against anyone but the government or a state actor. Thus, since you have no right to carry on their property, and they own the property, they can set the rules.

Personally, while I think a company shouldn't prohibit the possession of legally carried firearms on their property, I'd fully support their right to do so. Would you like it if the government forced you to allow anti-gun protestors on your property to protest in exercise of their 1st Amendment rights?

The Real Hawkeye
February 16, 2006, 07:35 PM
My guess is that the ADA probably prohibits an employer from preventing an employee from possessing necessary medical devices on the work site. However, I haven't researched the ADA, so if it doesn't I see no other reason why the employer couldn't preclude the possession of syringes on their property. It might not be smart, and it may result in civil liability, but thats their decision to make.

As to possession of a firearm in a locked car, its still on the employer's property. How many innocent lives are saved by guns is completely irrelevant to the issue of private property rights and who can control what goes on within the bounds of their property. Whether the gun is locked in the car, strapped to the roof, or hidden in a holster on the individual employee, if its physically located within the bounds of the employer's property, the employer should have the right to dictate the rules. Your Constitutional rights in this case don't override their private property rights. Constitutional rights are protections against the government, not private actors like a company. The BoR provides no protections against anyone but the government or a state actor. Thus, since you have no right to carry on their property, and they own the property, they can set the rules.

Personally, while I think a company shouldn't prohibit the possession of legally carried firearms on their property, I'd fully support their right to do so. Would you like it if the government forced you to allow anti-gun protestors on your property to protest in exercise of their 1st Amendment rights?I think their needs to be a balance of property rights here, since there are clearly two property interests involved. The car is also property, and you do not seem to be willing to give this any consideration in the law. This is what I believe to be a balance which adequately, even fully, recognizes both property interests here; the real estate owner has the option of preventing ANY and ALL vehicles from entering his property, including those of all of his employees. If he should decide, however, to allow employees to enter, he may not violate the private space inside the vehicles themselves, which is also someone's private property. This gives full recognition to BOTH property interests. No one is holding a gun to the employer's head requiring him to allow cars on his property, and no one is forcing the employees to surrender the privacy of the interior of their vehicle, which is also private property.

MGshaggy
February 16, 2006, 07:42 PM
I think their needs to be a balance of property rights here, since there are clearly two property interests involved. The car is also property, and you do not seem to be willing to give this any consideration in the law. This is what I believe to be a balance which adequately, even fully, recognizes both property interests here; the real estate owner has the option of preventing ANY and ALL vehicles from entering his property, including those of all of his employees. If he should decide, however, to allow employees to enter, he may not violate the private space inside the vehicles themselves, which is also someone's private property. This gives full recognition to BOTH property interests. No one is holding a gun to the employer's head requiring him to allow cars on his property, and no one is forcing the employees to surrender the privacy of the interior of their vehicle, which is also private property.

True, but the employer can condition employment upon the employee doing certain things. It may be wearing a certain uniform, performing a certain task, showing up to work at a certain time, and abiding by various other terms and conditions of employment. Not carrying a weapon on company property and not possessing one in your vehicle (if the vehicle is located on company property) are such terms. If you don't like the terms of employment, you find a job elsewhere that has rules more suited to you. If you chose to work there you consent to their terms.

Jeff White
February 16, 2006, 07:48 PM
Langenator is right. This was a very stupid fight to pick. No one is required to work at Weyerhauser or any other place. If you don't like the company policy (and I don't) you work to have it changed. But you don't tell anyone what they have to allow on their private property.

The Real Hawkeye said;
This is not entirely true. You cannot, for instance, have a policy against employees with severe allergies to insect bites possessing a hypo full of epinephrine in their vehicles.

And what good would their epinephrine kit do them in their vehicle? I think that if you kept epinephrine kits with the other first aid supplies in the plant you could get by with banning it's possession.

You have no rights on private property other then what the property owner wants to let you have.

Jeff

Boats
February 16, 2006, 08:01 PM
Given the outcome there is an interesting line of legislation that could address the problem(s).

1. Any owner/rightful possessor of land may bar a guest or employee from keeping firearms on thier person or in their car. However, such owners/lessors shall be rebuttably presumed to have assumed a duty to personally protect the employee or guest from criminal harm.

2. It is reasonably forseeable in light of criminal activity by a third party that the dispossessed guest/employee might be greiviously wounded or killed during any such incident, and may have been deprived the only opportunity to save himself by the actions or omissions of the owner/possessor who bars the right to keep or bear arms to a licensee or invitee.

3. Therefore there shall be no workers compensation bar to a lawsuit against the employer for failing in its duty to safeguard injured or killed workers from reasonably foreseeable criminal activity by third parties. A lifting of said bar shall also encompass their disarmed commute so long as no frolic or delay is engaged in by the employee.

3a. A possessor of land who bars his guests from the use of privately owned arms shall not be able to use intervening criminal causality as a defense to a suit for negligence or wrongful death for failing in his assumed duty for the personal safety of the guest who abides by his restrictions. Such liability shall extend to the guest's commute as outlined above for employees.


There. If you assume the duty of guarantor of the personal safety of another, and you fail in that duty, and you have deprived the victim of the means to save him or herself, and the plaintiff, claimant, or executor could demonstrate that you would have provided for your own safety if afforded the chance, one should have the right to sue the living daylights out of the property owner who thinks it wise to disarm folks because they can.

boofus
February 16, 2006, 08:02 PM
The car sitting in the company's parking lot is no more the company's property than your body is sitting in your desk at work.

Do you consent to random body cavity searches at the employer's whim? As long as the gun stays in the locked car it is none of their damn business. The courts just opened the way for your boss to put on rubber gloves and start probing your orifices without consent.

goalie
February 16, 2006, 08:14 PM
The car sitting in the company's parking lot is no more the company's property than your body is sitting in your desk at work.

Do you consent to random body cavity searches at the employer's whim? As long as the gun stays in the locked car it is none of their damn business. The courts just opened the way for your boss to put on rubber gloves and start probing your orifices without consent.

You don't have to consent to the search (body cavity or car), but the company can fire you if you don't. Your state may be different, but in Minnesota that's the law.

MGshaggy
February 16, 2006, 08:37 PM
The car sitting in the company's parking lot is no more the company's property than your body is sitting in your desk at work.

Do you consent to random body cavity searches at the employer's whim? As long as the gun stays in the locked car it is none of their damn business. The courts just opened the way for your boss to put on rubber gloves and start probing your orifices without consent.

The car (or your body) is not the company's property, but when they sit on company property the company can set the rules and conditions for them being there.

You have a right to free speech, but that doesn't mean you can go into your boss' office, tell him his wife is a $0.50 crack whore, call him a string of names, yell profanities to the customers/clients, and expect to keep your job, would you? But you have a right to free speech, right?

Now I know what you're going to say...but that affects his (the boss/owner's) business whereas the gun in your car doesn't. But its HIS right to run his company as he sees fit; its not your company and its not your property - you're not in charge when you're on his property. If he thinks his business is benefitted by not allowing emlpoyees to carry guns on his property, thats the employer's business decision to make. Its just as if the employer made a decision to have sara brady be the company spokesperson; its a business decision. It may be for insurance or liability reasons, it may be because the owner just doesn't like guns, or it could be for any other reason. It may be wrong and you may not like it, but then you get to make the decision of whether you will work there, or continue to work there.

bg
February 16, 2006, 09:14 PM
It appears this was situation which was based on
suspected substance abuse at the workplace. The
company used Security with dogs trained to sniff
out contraband substances called the local LEO to
find out whose car/cars they were via the tags if a
dog sniffed out something wrong. They then searched
the cars with the permission of 6 of the 8 employees.

I think the employees blew it by bringing contraband
to work. If the company thought there was abuse, someone
had to know what was going on. I wonder if the company
put out a notice about this contraband search policy ?

I don't know if this would of happened if not for a substance search.
Still it doesn't sound right. If the company was concerned with
just contraband, they should have stuck with just contraband,
not bring weapons in on it as well, even though the policy states
no weapons allowed. Does this not sound like an abuse
of a search ? What do you think ? If something is not
named in a search and is found, is that not illegal search
and seizure ?

What concerns/puzzles me along with this is the
statement made by the 10th Fed Dist of Appeals decision.

n support of its conclusion that employers have the right to regulate weapons on company property, the appeals court cited the same constitutional passage that the eight terminated employees cited in their argument that their right to bear arms had been violated Article 2, Section 26 of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Article 2, Section 26 says: "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

Question: If you're not carrying a weapon how would you
be able to protect yourself ? Doesn't one has to carry/hold
a weapon in order to use it ?


The appeals court also pointed to a 1998 opinion of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that held "there is no absolute, common-law or constitutional right to carry loaded weapons at all times and in all circumstances."

gc70
February 16, 2006, 10:56 PM
The short answer is that if you don't like your employer's conditions of employment, you are free to find another job.

geekWithA.45
February 16, 2006, 11:25 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again:

"To Regulate" means "to make regular", as in form or method. It does not mean "To Prohibit" with an edict bearing the word "regulation" in the title.

One of Many
February 16, 2006, 11:41 PM
If I own rental property (houses or apartments), for deriving income to support myself, am I allowed to exclude certain types of clients from renting that property? Am I allowed to limit rental to only white people? Am I allowed to refuse rental to disabled people? Can I exclude soldiers families from renting my property?

The answer is NO; there are Federal Civil Rights laws that restrict my (the property owners) rights to do anything I want to with my own property, because someone else's rights supercede mine.

gunsmith
February 16, 2006, 11:58 PM
if I wasn't so busy and poor I would have gone to court.
I allways thought that gun rights were civil rights, try telling that to the left wing judiciary, they will sneer as they jail you.
Does this ruling mean they can now say only white people can work there? ??
I doubt it, if you're denied housing based on skin color you can sue, lawyers would salivate at a case like that against a big pocket but a constutional right
is no longer a civil right in this country.
they probably consented because they couldn't imagine their hunting guns would be contraband.
even though the guys who wrote the Bill Of Rights tried to be clear as a bell
you can't move NYC with your gun...you have to wait a year for your "license":cuss:
or move to CA with an AR15:fire: ...what civil rights...what does weyerhauser make? ...I'm never buying there crap again.

gunner03
February 17, 2006, 12:50 AM
I may be reading this wrong, but we seem to have some protection against this here in MN. Sec. 23. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 624.714, is
29.9 amended by adding a subdivision to read:
29.10 Subd. 18. [EMPLOYERS; PUBLIC COLLEGES AND
29.11 UNIVERSITIES.] (a) An employer, whether public or private, may
29.12 establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of
29.13 firearms by its employees while acting in the course and scope
29.14 of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may be
29.15 invoked for a violation.
29.16 (b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under
29.17 chapter 136F or 137 may establish policies that restrict the
29.18 carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the
29.19 institution's property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a
29.20 violation.
29.21 (c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or
29.22 a postsecondary institution may not prohibit the lawful carry or
29.23 possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area Am I looking at this this right?Or do A and B come first?

Meplat
February 17, 2006, 03:45 AM
It's not the employees property their cars are parked on - if they don't like the rules their employer (who owns the property) makes, they should start their own business where they can make their own rules. If that doesn't work for them they should find someplace else to park their cars.

If it is the Weyerhaeuser case you are referring to, then the cars were not parked on company property either. The parking lot in question was one shared by the general public as well. How do I know? Notice the correct spelling of Weyerhaeuser? One gets to know how to spell that name after having worked for them for a while.

Meplat
February 17, 2006, 03:51 AM
if I wasn't so busy and poor I would have gone to court.
I allways thought that gun rights were civil rights, try telling that to the left wing judiciary, they will sneer as they jail you.
Does this ruling mean they can now say only white people can work there? ??
I doubt it, if you're denied housing based on skin color you can sue, lawyers would salivate at a case like that against a big pocket but a constutional right
is no longer a civil right in this country.
they probably consented because they couldn't imagine their hunting guns would be contraband.
even though the guys who wrote the Bill Of Rights tried to be clear as a bell
you can't move NYC with your gun...you have to wait a year for your "license":cuss:
or move to CA with an AR15:fire: ...what civil rights...what does weyerhauser make? ...I'm never buying there crap again.

Weyerhaeuser makes construction materials, has a hugely profitable real estate division, pulp and paper products, and corrugated containers. Most people have no idea whether they are buying products made by Weyerhaeuser unless they go to the back of the store, find the carton that their chosen product comes in, and looks for the BMC (Box Maker's Certification) on the bottom. Knowing whether you were supporting Weyerhaeuser on the construction materials end would be even more difficult for the average joe to discover.

Meplat
February 17, 2006, 04:23 AM
I think the employees blew it by bringing contraband
to work. If the company thought there was abuse, someone
had to know what was going on. I wonder if the company
put out a notice about this contraband search policy ?

I never heard anything about anyone being charged with possession of any illegal substance. And yes, Weyerhaeuser DOES have a policy which it circulates and even requires it's employees and contractors to read stating that they and/or their vehicles can be searched at any time, for any or no reason at all, while on company property, or while using one's own vehicle and conducting company busieness. (Since it's Sales Reps are NORMALLY issued company vehicles, this sounds reasonable, but oft times non-sales force personel are required to use their own personal vehicles to conduct company business - I used to rack up thousands of miles per year in my own car, many of them in places where you wouldn't want to go with a Sherman, much less unarmed - or in very remote locations where help would be hours away should an emergency arise.)

I don't know if this would of happened if not for a substance search.

If the "substance search" hadn't taken place on the opening day of hunting season, it might have been a bit less suspect. The Weyerhaeuser plant in question works three shifts, and knew full well that many employees would be leaving directly after work to go hunting, or reporting directly to work after a hunt. REALLY fishy.

Still it doesn't sound right. If the company was concerned with
just contraband, they should have stuck with just contraband,
not bring weapons in on it as well, even though the policy states
no weapons allowed. Does this not sound like an abuse
of a search ? What do you think ? If something is not
named in a search and is found, is that not illegal search
and seizure ?

See above. All Weyerhaeuser employees and their personal property are subject to search at any time, for any or even no reason while on company property or while conducting company business. What makes this one VERY questionable is the fact that the employees were parked in a lot NOT owned by Weyerhaeuser, and shared by the general public. My guess is they stretched this one pretty thinly to fit the "while on company business" clause. Careful note should also be taken of the fact that Weyerhaeuser did NOT own the lot in question, so the "while on company property" clause holds no water. The employees thought they were keeping the company policy, if not in spirit, at least in letter. It should also be noted that some of the dismissed employees are now back at work at the plant, while others were never offerred their old positions back. Seems that Weyerhaeuser is a bit selective in enforcing it's own policies.

Edited:

As goalie stated above, one does not HAVE to consent to this search, but if consent is refused, an employee is considered to be summarily termininated.

HerrWolfe
February 17, 2006, 09:33 AM
My comment regarding one's right to keep a firearm inside a vehicle is not to ensure the individuals right to bear arms on private property, but to do so to and from work, which is in the public sector.

Protection from harm is an individuals right and prevention from doing so by private companies simply because they do not want firearms on company property, even if locked in private vehicle, infringes on that individual's right, no matter how you cut it.

This argument is quite similar to that of the United States which guarantees the right to have a pistol on airport property and airplanes [the most obvious example I can identify] if the owner is between two points permitting ownership, the firearm is unloaded and locked in a secure case, etc.[packing.org, United States Laws]. This law also guarantees passage through states not permitting concealed carry etc, if the firearm is secured as stated above [see that site for details]. The Oklahoma Self Defense law appears to follow same argument. Those who would argue against locking firearms in vehicles might also argue against the rights above as guaranteed by existing US law and as proposed by Oklahoma Self Defense proposal. Go figure....arguing against the rights that they want or already have :banghead: .

Lupinus
February 17, 2006, 09:50 AM
It is a private company. They make the rules for the property you either deal with it or work elsewhere.

The car sitting in the company's parking lot is no more the company's property than your body is sitting in your desk at work.

Do you consent to random body cavity searches at the employer's whim? As long as the gun stays in the locked car it is none of their damn business. The courts just opened the way for your boss to put on rubber gloves and start probing your orifices without consent.
The car may not be their property but it is on their property as is your gun. By that logic companies can't implament dress codes, hair codes, etc. Frankly if I own a company I want to be able to tell my employees to chop off the purple mowhawk spikes ditch the chain wallet and get some khaies and button down shirts. As an employer and property owner it is my right to set the rules, you can stay and follow them or leave and don't.

As for the cavity searchs they can't, but they can drug test you. Find it redicules, but its legal.

1911 guy
February 17, 2006, 09:59 AM
So because I'm fortunate enough to land a decent paying job with a company that offers good benefits so I can better support my family, I'm to give up the option of ensuring my own safety? Horse-hooey. An employer can tell me not to carry on the job, an employer can tell me to leave it in my car. Unfortunately, America has become a neutered version of itself in all areas of personal responsibility. Too many of our own members here have bought into it and say an employer can bar even transport to and from work. Bet you'll be glad you've got than good job when you're robbed on payday and unarmed because you chose to be a good little serf and go unarmed. So much for the bravado of "I always carry" and "I choose to protect myself and family". For all the complaining most Americans do about corporations, a lot of it rightly so, we lack the stones to stick together. Why didn't every worker walk out? Weyerwhat'stheirnuts would have been clamoring to get them back to work. It's happened before in other places, but those of us who actually give a fart about where we're headed are outnumbered by those who talk a good game and fold.

GTSteve03
February 17, 2006, 10:38 AM
If I own rental property (houses or apartments), for deriving income to support myself, am I allowed to exclude certain types of clients from renting that property? Am I allowed to limit rental to only white people? Am I allowed to refuse rental to disabled people? Can I exclude soldiers families from renting my property?

The answer is NO; there are Federal Civil Rights laws that restrict my (the property owners) rights to do anything I want to with my own property, because someone else's rights supercede mine.
+1

That's the point I was trying to get across with my previous post. So you're allowed to violate some rights as they're not "politically correct" enough to call for federal protection. :rolleyes:

another okie
February 17, 2006, 12:00 PM
The company in this case admitted (or bragged) that they were following a script from the Brady organization, which suggested picking the first day of hunting season as a good time to search cars.

If you read the entire article you will also see that this case is basically irrelevant today, since the Oklahoma legislature has now passed a law that prevents companies from doing this, though that law is now tied up in federal court and doesn't seem to be moving forward.

Some above have suggested the NRA shouldn't have taken this case, since it was probably a loser. Well, sometimes you just have to show that you're willing to fight, and if the NRA hadn't supported the workers there would be ten threads on this board complaining that the NRA never did anything for us.

The thing that strikes me the most about the case is that apparently there has never been a problem with employees having guns in their cars, but if there was going to be a problem, it seems to me it would be most likely to happen when you fired some guy with 15 years on the job and a family to support.

GruntII
February 17, 2006, 12:19 PM
True, but the employer can condition employment upon the employee doing certain things. It may be wearing a certain uniform, performing a certain task, showing up to work at a certain time, and abiding by various other terms and conditions of employment. Not carrying a weapon on company property and not possessing one in your vehicle (if the vehicle is located on company property) are such terms. If you don't like the terms of employment, you find a job elsewhere that has rules more suited to you. If you chose to work there you consent to their terms.


This is the key you enter a contract with your employer when you go to work.They provide wages, benefits, certain garunteed working conditions in many cases . In return you accept their rules and tasks set forward that you must preform in your employers stead. These requirements must be legal and within the law. Also for the contract to be valid there must be total disclosure by both parties. I find it hard to believe that there wasn't an employee's handbook given each worker with the rules in it.
Personally I have a problem with coroporate bypass of constitutional protections to search and siezure.The answer there is simply revoke you permission for them to search when they say they want to search your car. They cannot hold you if or enter the vehicle if you refuse.They can ask you to remove the vehicle, they can tell you to go home pending personal action, ot they can flat out fire you right there(I doubt it as there are proceedural elements to disiplince required ie, it must be progressive, due process must be observed and so on) This is the wrong battlefield. The more appropiate way to address this is a state law that basically says employers may not search employee vehicles or must use law enoforcement standards for the reasoning behind the search and that the employee must be given a chance to refuse the search without the duress of negative personal action beyond losing your parking space.

GruntII
February 17, 2006, 12:23 PM
So because I'm fortunate enough to land a decent paying job with a company that offers good benefits so I can better support my family, I'm to give up the option of ensuring my own safety? Horse-hooey. An employer can tell me not to carry on the job, an employer can tell me to leave it in my car. Unfortunately, America has become a neutered version of itself in all areas of personal responsibility. Too many of our own members here have bought into it and say an employer can bar even transport to and from work. Bet you'll be glad you've got than good job when you're robbed on payday and unarmed because you chose to be a good little serf and go unarmed. So much for the bravado of "I always carry" and "I choose to protect myself and family". For all the complaining most Americans do about corporations, a lot of it rightly so, we lack the stones to stick together. Why didn't every worker walk out? Weyerwhat'stheirnuts would have been clamoring to get them back to work. It's happened before in other places, but those of us who actually give a fart about where we're headed are outnumbered by those who talk a good game and fold.


I don't encourage people to break rules or laws that impact them I merely say you decide what's important to you and follow your own beliefs. I keep a written refusal of search of my vehicle handy for stupid employer tricks. The worst thing they can do is ask me to move my vehicle out of our leased parking deck.

JGReed
February 17, 2006, 12:37 PM
I keep a written refusal of search of my vehicle handy for stupid employer tricks. The worst thing they can do is ask me to move my vehicle out of our leased parking deck.

I think the worst thing they can do is fire you, then ask you to move your vehicle.

fantacmet
February 17, 2006, 01:02 PM
Ok referring to the insect bite. Imagine the repercussions of one or more employees dying becuase they were murdered in the parking lot. If they had their firearm in the car, they had a chance to live but instead employee dies, kids left without parent, man or woman left without spouse, etc. We could go on and on, but the right to life is above all the most sacred IMHO, if not then why do we even bother to protect it above all others? We are turning into such a capitolist society that money and power trump our rights to live every day of our lives. I've got the money therfore I've got the power, therefore I can decide if you live or die, and your life therefore is not as important as mine so you can die because of my political opinions and hatred for inanimate objects.

Your right, if you want to come on my land I can even require that your wife and daughter have sex with me until they get pregnant and give up the child to me if I so choose. Immoral? You betcha! Rediculous? Again, without doubt! Possible in most places? Yet again, for sure! So lets bail on that one shall we?

Rev. Michael

45crittergitter
February 17, 2006, 01:06 PM
It'd be unusual for a big corporation like Weyhauser to not inform employees of what behavior is acceptable. It often happens in a new employee orientation - and might have been missed, but I'm going to assume they were told. Anyway, they know the rules now.

FWIW, Weyerhaeuser is nothing but a big crook. They feloniously steal timber, and I can prove it. Unfortunately, the law in MS has a very short statute of limitation, and they know that so they keep right on stealing. Don't trust them, period.:cuss:

carpettbaggerr
February 17, 2006, 01:12 PM
Constitutional rights in this case don't override their private property rights. Constitutional rights are protections against the government, not private actors like a company. The BoR provides no protections against anyone but the government or a state actor.Hmmmm, so prohibiting blacks is ok at a diner? Or only hiring whites? Or not hiring women? Or not promoting women past a certain level? Etc.


You have no rights on private property other then what the property owner wants to let you have.If that is the case I'm going to be very careful where I go. I would rather not be sold into slavery when I walk into a movie theater.........

MGshaggy
February 17, 2006, 02:22 PM
Hmmmm, so prohibiting blacks is ok at a diner? Or only hiring whites? Or not hiring women? Or not promoting women past a certain level? Etc.

If that is the case I'm going to be very careful where I go. I would rather not be sold into slavery when I walk into a movie theater.........

First off, that kind of discrimination is regulated by statute - see 18 USC Chapter 13, 21 USC 2000e-2, etc. Minorities and have a constitutional right not to be discriminated against by the government (read the US Constitution, Amendments 13, 14, 15), but the BoR and the Constitution do not directly address discriminatory action by private actors.

Second, show me a constitutional right enumerated in the BoR that is applicable against a non-governmental entity. If there is no right applicable or enforceable against a private actor, please explain how it can override another person's private property rights. Please do so in light of the fact that the employee wishing to assert the 'constitutional right' to carry a gun onto another's private property has already bargained away that right (or privilege) via private contract with the employer.

griz
February 17, 2006, 06:04 PM
From the article:
In support of its conclusion that employers have the right to regulate weapons on company property, the appeals court cited the same constitutional passage that the eight terminated employees cited in their argument that their right to bear arms had been violated Article 2, Section 26 of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Article 2, Section 26 says: "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

The appeals court also pointed to a 1998 opinion of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that held "there is no absolute, common-law or constitutional right to carry loaded weapons at all times and in all circumstances."



Since their constitution says "shall never be prohibited", it seems impossibe for the court to decide that an outright prohibition against weapons is mere "regulation". Would someone with legal training please explain this?

1911 guy
February 18, 2006, 12:33 AM
Since the first ten ammemndments were seen by the authors as merely a written list of natural rights, why are we so willing to have those violated by someone who gives us money? Unless, of course those are rights granted by the government and can therefore be revoked by it.

MGshaggy
February 18, 2006, 12:59 PM
From the article:

Quote:
In support of its conclusion that employers have the right to regulate weapons on company property, the appeals court cited the same constitutional passage that the eight terminated employees cited in their argument that their right to bear arms had been violated Article 2, Section 26 of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Article 2, Section 26 says: "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person or property shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."

The appeals court also pointed to a 1998 opinion of the Oklahoma Supreme Court that held "there is no absolute, common-law or constitutional right to carry loaded weapons at all times and in all circumstances."




Since their constitution says "shall never be prohibited", it seems impossibe for the court to decide that an outright prohibition against weapons is mere "regulation". Would someone with legal training please explain this?

While I don't have the OK state constitution in front of me, most constitutions are basically a pact or contract between the people and their government. They are not contracts or pacts to govern private contracts and dealings between individuals in society. The cite from the OK constitution refers to a limit on the ability of the OK state government to prohibit the right of a citizen to keep & bear arms. It does not limit or prohibit what people can do among themselves or what kind of policies an employer can implement. Since Weyerhaeuser is not an OK governmental entity the OK constitution doesn't apply to it's dealings with its employees. In fact its Weyerhaeuser's company policy that is at issue here, not a public law or regulation. It would be the laws and statutes passed by the OK state government that would govern dealings between private parties, not the OK constitution. In this case the OK state government had passed a law to prevent an employer like Weyerhaeuser from prohibiting the carry of weapons in vehicles on their property, but at the time of this case, that law was in effect suspended due to an injunction (in another case) preventing the state from enforcing it.

An analogy may be helpful here. Consider the right to free speech guaranteed under the US Constitution. Thats a prohibition against the government limiting your speech. It does not govern what you and another private party may agree to. For example, many employers have their employees sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent their employees from telling the competition whats the company is doing or developing. A NDA would limit your ability to talk or speak freely, but its nonetheless legal and enforceable because you and your employer came to an agreement *a private contract* to restrict your ability to talk about certain things.

The Freeholder
February 18, 2006, 01:12 PM
Company property is, by definition, private property. You go by their rules.

What I'd like to see is a company get their nether region sued off by an employee who was mugged etc. on company property after being told that they were denied the ability to defend themselves. My position is that if I, as Mr. Business Owner, deny the the right to self-defense to my employees, then I must assume the burden of defending them on my property.

I developed this position after going to work for an organization where, by state law, I am legally not allowed to have a weapon on the property.

(And yes, I do know I made the choice to work there. I'm tied to this area for a number of reasons unlikely to change, and jobs in my line of work are few and far between these days.)

MinMAN
February 18, 2006, 01:41 PM
The inside of one's car is the same as the inside of one's home, except it can travel from place to place. The law should recognize this. So long as the firearm does not leave the locked car, the inside of the car should be sacrosanct.

This would be true, only if one's car is parked on one's property. When a vehicle is parked on state or city property, that vehicle is subject to what ever firearms laws that may currently apply. On the other hand, one's car parked on the employer's or private property. The rule of the land owner has say, no, or yes to firearms possession. Unless an employer explicitly rules "No firearms on company property" via employee handbook, or other signed document to that regard. The business owner could be placed in a position where he/she can be held liable in the event of a shooting. Postal?

The world we live in today.

HerrWolfe
February 18, 2006, 06:37 PM
As having worked on federal property where possession of firearms is a crime, and having been subjected to random drug and alcohol tests, and periodic weapons searches and sniffers for contraband, and having had a very high level security clearance, I had absolutely no problem with the foregoing, because upon entering or exiting my vehicle, security guards with M16s were close by. So I had absolutely no concern with personal safety. I could be assured that I could go to and from my residence feeling completely safe, unless I stopped outside that zone of protection.

That level of security should continue, through the constitution of my country, by my carrying a firearm when I feel I have the need, because I already have the right to do so. I cannot be assured of the necessary level of protection, as afforded above, because too frequently the protection is not provided; read the newspapers. There are too few LEOs to provide adequate protection, thus the citizens must sometimes take care of themselves. Thomas Payne's Self Reliance comes to mind.

If companies can control what is in my vehicle then watch out, they already monitor e-mail since they own the computers [but they don't own they cars....maybe they think they do because they pay your salary and you own the car!], and perhaps they are also listening in on telephone calls (can they legally do that only as a company without governments or courts or judges involvement for national security...which I don't challenge?). I do challenge the company controlling what I can have in my car.
The folks writing the law for Oklahoma's Self Defense are at the level of thinking as those folks back the the 1700s, when they were concerned with the rights of man. More power to them.

MinMAN
February 18, 2006, 07:28 PM
I don't understand why someone would have a problem with an employer who has the right to say who comes on his land with a gun, and who does not. If one would think theres enough eminent danger at one's parking lot, to need a gun where one works, than why would one want to leave a firearm in a vehicle at the alleged dangerous location. Chances are a million to one said gun would be needed for self defense, than a vehicle with the gun stowed in it is more likely to be stolen. The thief now has a car, and one or more nice pieces. Or Postal?

Carry responsibly,

MinMAN

bg
February 18, 2006, 08:23 PM
There are too few LEOs to provide adequate protection
Ya know I could of sworn I read somewhere on this forum or
the general gun forum, that LEO's are NOT here to protect.
It's been a long time back, and I'm probably mistaken, but I
thought I remembered reading a thread about this.
I'm getting off topic on my own thread, so I better pipe down.

I can understand how an employer can use certain powers to control
the environment at it's place of business. I'm just having a problem
with extended search and seizure. Security was looking for contraband.
The article states the company was concerned about this. As this
was the main reason for searching, why were the weapons seized ?
Even though illegal to have on company property, that wasn't the main reason
for the search. One member above seems to be familiar with this. He
states the search was done on the opening day of hunting season,
and according to him, the vehicles were not completely on the companys
property, but on public property as well.

I guess I'm beating a dead horse over this. But it's not that much different
that the Cal CHP taking weapons away from those in NO, is it ?
[Well in a WAY off base kind of way..]

GruntII
February 19, 2006, 01:08 AM
I think the worst thing they can do is fire you, then ask you to move your vehicle.


NAw due process kicks in I work in a heavily unionized situation and there are safe guards. Even if they weren't merely refusing to allow the search but offering to move the car isn't grounds for dismissal in most places.

antsi
February 19, 2006, 09:17 AM
So are all other rights allowed to be violated while on someone else's private property, then?

Just curious.

Scenario: You own a restaraunt. You hire me as a waiter. Turns out, I am a white supremacist, and whenever I am interacting with your customers, I try to convince them of my white supremacist views. You tell me to stop talking crazy racist crap to the customers, because it's upsetting them and you're losing business. I tell you that I am merely exercising my right to free speech, and that just because I'm working for you, you have no right to limit my freedom of speech.

Hey, I don't like it either in this case. But basically, whenever you agree to work for someone else you are giving up some of your autonomy and agreeing to do as they ask. I have the right to travel to Hawaii any time I want. However, if I do so at a time when I'm supposed to be at work, they're going to fire me. I have a right to abstain from making widgets, but if I exercise that right as an employee of Acme Widgets Inc., they're going to fire me. I have a right to express racist viewpoints, but if I do that on company time, they're going to fire me. I have a right to dye my hair pink and get 45 piercings all over my face, get pronographic tatoos all over my chest and back, and go around without a shirt on. But if I do all that, I'm probably going to lose my job as a bank teller.

There's nothing unusual about employers placing restrictions on employee's exercise of freedoms while they are on company time and on company property.

In this case, I think they're wrong: they shouldn't have fired the dude for having a gun locked in the trunk of his car. But it's their business, their parking lot, and their book of employee rules.

If, as suggested above, they did not make this policy known before hand, then they should not have simply informed the dude of the policy this time and fired him on any future violation.

mack
February 19, 2006, 10:51 AM
1. Corporations are legal constructs and do not have natural individual property rights. Governments do not have rights and their powers are limited to protecting , by the consent of the governed, individuals inalienable rights.

2. Inalienable God given rights exist and cannot be contracted or negotiated away. Any contract that requires an individual to give up any of those rights as a requirement of employment violates those rights - the laws of our land currently allow that - but they are wrong. ( If someone were strarving and freezing and they came to a property owner and begged them to take them in and employ them and the property owner said sure, but you must be my slave, if you leave without my permission I may kill you, and at the end of the year I may kill you if I am not satisfied with your service. Now if the property owner killed the person on their property for trying to leave or for performing unsatifactorily at the end of the year - they would still be wrong - for the person could never be their slave or property - just because they were on anothers land.)

3. An individual property owner can ask someone to leave his/her property - but they cannot deprive someone of their inalienable rights - owning property doesn't make you God - it merely means you can allow someone on your property or not. Why do some insist on confusing the choice to allow someone on your property or to employ them, with the right to deprive them of their freedom. Yes, an employer has a right to hire you or not, to ask you to dress or speak a certain way in the direct performance of your job, or to perform specific duties and if you do not, to ask you to leave their employment and property. However that does not give them any right to violate your rights - they invited you on their property to work for them, and when they invited you to work for them they also invited your inalienable God given rights that are always, inalienably, with you. An employer can say, I'll hire you but as a condition I get your first born child or your life, if you take the job, that still doesn't give them the right to your first born child or your life.

4. Laws do exist that allow individual rights to be violated - that doesn't mean they are right.

5. I get a kick out of people who get so hung up on "property rights" that they feel they trump all other individual inalienable rights, when the clear truth is that our government really doesn't recognize or honor private property rights. There are a myriad of restrictions, taxes, emminent domain, zoning and other exceptions that make private property an empty fiction.

6. Just because the courts or a government entity has not legally recognized or incorporated recognition of specific inalienable rights into law, precedent, or statute - doesn't mean that those rights don't exist or that they don't apply. Governments are created by individuals, choosing to act in concert, and they derive their powers/moral basis foundation for existing from those indivduals in order to protect and preserve those individual's God given inalienable rights/those rights that cannot be seperated from an individual by virtue to their mere existance as a human being. :)

Thus individuals, corporations, governments have no right or legitimate power to indescriminately deprive any individual of their God given inalienable rights - including the right to self-defense. As an individual you are therefore under no moral obligation to obey any law, statute, regulation, contract, or requirement that violates your inalienable rights.

MLH
February 19, 2006, 01:39 PM
I live in Kentucky!

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 01:52 PM
It's not the employees property their cars are parked on - if they don't like the rules their employer (who owns the property) makes, they should start their own business where they can make their own rules. If that doesn't work for them they should find someplace else to park their cars.

All of a sudden, when guns get involved, the powers that be become defenders s of private propoerty rights. Everything that goes on in that company is under the thumb, increasingly, of .gov. If you breathe, it's a Federal issue.

coylh
February 19, 2006, 11:45 PM
f you breathe, it's a Federal issue.

Air can cross state lines.

unixguy
February 20, 2006, 01:07 AM
Scenario: You own a restaraunt. You hire me as a waiter. Turns out, I am a white supremacist, and whenever I am interacting with your customers, I try to convince them of my white supremacist views. You tell me to stop talking crazy racist crap to the customers, because it's upsetting them and you're losing business. I tell you that I am merely exercising my right to free speech, and that just because I'm working for you, you have no right to limit my freedom of speech.

Actually, I think I'd put it just a bit differently. It turns out that you aren't talking to my customers while on the job, but you've got leaflets in your car that you will be handing out after work at a rally that you're planning on attending. I've made it known through company policy that white supremacy materials are not to be on my property or in your vehicle. Sound a little bit rediculous?

Replace white supremacy pamphlets with:
pro-abortion materials;
anti-abortion materials
anti-religion pamphlets
pro-religion pamphlets
Democrat party
Republican party
Blood Drive pamphlets
etc.

How bad does it sound now?

1911 guy
February 20, 2006, 07:36 AM
I get the gist of what you are trying to say, but you're comparing apples and oranges. CCW'ing and pestering customers with white supremacist talk are not comparable. Brandishing or open carry can be comparable because it is open behavior that may or may not be offensive to paying customers.

In my opinion, Mack got it right. Rights are God given and should not be surrendered. Anything else is an allowance made to a citizen and can be revoked at the whim of government.

k_dawg
February 20, 2006, 07:55 AM
IMHO: if the property owner has no ability to ban LEO's from bringing firearms onto their property [ when not actively serving a warrant ].. then why should it be ANY different for employees?

Camp David
February 20, 2006, 08:55 AM
I understand they were searching cars using tracking dogs...
Tracking dogs to sniff for firearms? Is that even possible? What do they sniff for ....Hopes powder solvent??? ;)

ARperson
February 20, 2006, 02:39 PM
One thing we're all forgetting here is that the Bill of Rights was an iteration of our rights specifically written for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT so that said entity would not tramp all over them. If our government operated as it should, we wouldn't even need the BoR (several of the founding fathers argued this and related ideas). It was not written to restrict the actions of the population.

As for the rental property theoretical question: FAIR HOUSING LAWS prevent discrimination based on 7 protected classes (the examples used in the post), not the BoR or Civil Rights legislation.

And aside from any local ordinances/laws to the contrary, you CAN deny housing to anyone for any reason as long as it is NOT based on one of the 7 protected classes.

Private property is private property and the owner is subject to very little in the way of legislation when determining what activity can and cannot take place there (illegal activity not withstanding).

antsi
February 20, 2006, 04:50 PM
I get the gist of what you are trying to say, but you're comparing apples and oranges. CCW'ing and pestering customers with white supremacist talk are not comparable. Brandishing or open carry can be comparable because it is open behavior that may or may not be offensive to paying customers.

In my opinion, Mack got it right. Rights are God given and should not be surrendered. Anything else is an allowance made to a citizen and can be revoked at the whim of government.

The question was, "Can a business owner restrict the constitutional rights of an employee when the employee is on company property, or make such a restriction a condition of employment?"

I have a constitutional right to free speech. I have a constitutional right to spout off white supremacist views. However, it is reasonable for a business owner to require me restricting that right on company time as a condition of employment.

Therefore, this is an example where a business owner can reasonably ask me to restrict my engagement of constitutional rights as a condition of employment.

If I'm going to work for the business owner, I have to voluntarily restrict my free speech, even though free speech is a constitutional right.

Brandishing is not a constitutional right. Not relevant to this discussion.

HerrWolfe
February 20, 2006, 05:49 PM
One cannot sell one's constitutional rights nor relinquish them via contract!

MGshaggy
February 20, 2006, 06:12 PM
One cannot sell one's constitutional rights nor relinquish them via contract!

But you can (as is the case of these employees) consent to limit the free exercise of your rights with a private party.

Ever sign a non-disclosure agreement?

unixguy
February 20, 2006, 11:15 PM
Brandishing is not a constitutional right. Not relevant to this discussion.
Are we following the same discussion? The original case was not about brandishing, and NOBODY has suggesting that brandishing is a right that is enumerated in the BoR. "Bearing arms" does not equal "brandishing".

The original case was about folks being fired for having firearms in their vehicles. What you keep bringing up is more along the lines of "Can my employer fire me for not keeping my end of a contract when I've committed to perform my work duties but instead choose to allow the exercising of my rights to interfere with my job duties", which is a straw man.

As an extension of the original discussion (about searching cars), we've talked a bit about possible conflicts between exercising our rights while at work.
I don't believe that anybody is suggesting that the exercising of rights that do not interfere with work duties should be protected, but I think they ARE saying that the exercising of rights that don't interfere with work duties should be beyond the purview of our employers to limit.

antsi
February 20, 2006, 11:41 PM
Are we following the same discussion? The original case was not about brandishing, and NOBODY has suggesting that brandishing is a right that is enumerated in the BoR. "Bearing arms" does not equal "brandishing".

I wasn't the one who brought up brandishing - that was 1911guy. My response was that brandishing is not relevant to this discussion. Now you're attacking me on the basis that brandishing is not relevant to this discussion? Maybe you're the one who's not following the same discussion.

As an employee, I would like to be able to carry and/or keep guns in my car if I so chose. But the place of business is private property. As a private property owner, they have the right to restrict what I do on their property. As a private individual, I also have the right to tell them I'm not willing to work under their restrictions.

Similarly, I can enter into an agreement with you saying "You can park in my driveway so long as you don't have any Libertarian Party bumper stickers on your car." If I tried to enforce such a restriction on you in a public place, or on your own property, I'd be violating your constitutional rights. But if you want to come on my property, you have to play by my rules. You don't like my rules, stay off my property.

If "interference with work duties" is the crux of the matter for you, I'll change my example. Say the waiter goes about his waiter duties normally, but he has white supremacist propaganda printed on his shirt. Or he continually tries to recruit other employees to join his white supremacist group during break times. Again, these are actions that would normally be constitutionally protected freedoms, but if he insists on exercising them in the workplace, the employer has the right to fire him.

The principle is the same. Your constitutional rights end at my property line. You have freedom of assembly, but not in my living room. You have the freedom to keep and bear arms, but not in my basement. You have freedom of the press, but not using my Xerox machine.

unixguy
February 21, 2006, 02:46 AM
I wasn't the one who brought up brandishing - that was 1911guy. My response was that brandishing is not relevant to this discussion. Now you're attacking me on the basis that brandishing is not relevant to this discussion? Maybe you're the one who's not following the same discussion.
Ah, mea culpa. Despite the fact that you quoted his comment, I somehow missed it. I think what he was saying is that the example you gave was closer to what we'd be talking about if the employees were fired for open carry or brandishing, rather than having had the guns locked in their vehicles.


If "interference with work duties" is the crux of the matter for you, I'll change my example. Say the waiter goes about his waiter duties normally, but he has white supremacist propaganda printed on his shirt. Or he continually tries to recruit other employees to join his white supremacist group during break times. Again, these are actions that would normally be constitutionally protected freedoms, but if he insists on exercising them in the workplace, the employer has the right to fire him.
And I would agree with you only if there is some form of standard stating that the waiter has a uniform that is expected to be worn or if there's some understanding that the waiter's job is to make the customers comfortable and welcome. Since both of these are quite commonly expected of waiters, I think that there would be a job performance issue to be addressed (assuming of course that the customers aren't all white supremists who love the shirt).

I think that the "recruiting during break time" issue is another straw man. Take an example from the other extreme-- people having a discussion about something completely benign and being fired because it's on the non-approved list of things to talk about.

The principle is the same. Your constitutional rights end at my property line. You have freedom of assembly, but not in my living room. You have the freedom to keep and bear arms, but not in my basement. You have freedom of the press, but not using my Xerox machine.

And each of these examples shifts the "cost" of exercising that right onto you (or the employer), which I maintain is not comparable to the original issue of weapons that were in the vehicles. The right that these individuals were exercising (IMO) really wasn't being exercised at that moment-- they just had stored their weapons in their vehicles so that they could exercise their right at a place and time that was appropriate.

I think for me the real question is does current labor law allow employers to place contractual restrictions on employees that don't have a definite impact on the performance of the job? For example, my employees work at computers and occasionally have to be able to lift computers or UPSes. I'm allowed to require that they be able to do this physical work. I'm not allowed to require that employees be able to bench 125 pounds, because it's not required in order to do the job. (This is because it's considered discriminatory to a protected class of employee, however.)

Maybe the solution is to start "The Church of the Self-Sufficient", with one of the main tenets of the faith being that you must hunt and provide sustenance to your family and friends. (Landing you in a protected class category.)

I am normally on the side of the employer to hire and fire at will, but it makes me pause and reconsider when an employer can (IMO) get it so wrong that they are firing folks for legal items that are in their vehicles.

Meplat
February 21, 2006, 05:33 AM
Scenario:

There's nothing unusual about employers placing restrictions on employee's exercise of freedoms while they are on company time and on company property.

No, there's not. In this particular case, however, Weyerhaeuser did NOT own the lot in question. It was a lot shared by the general public. And yes, they do make their policies quite clear to their employees. I know, because I've signed off on them. What they have apparently done is to use the part of the clause that forbids employees from having "weapons" (this can be anything from a knive - in a box plant??) - to a firearm, or even a couple of loose rounds of .22's rolling around in your glove box, while on company property or engaged in company business. This last part of the clause is aimed primarily at employees who are not issued company vehicles, but who might be required to use their own vehicles in the pursuit of company business. Sales Reps are normally provided company vehicles, as are plant managers, Sales Managers, General Managers, Regional Managers, etc. However, there are many professional slots within the company hierarchy that do not provide company vehicles, and that do require the use of personal vehicles for company business. What appears to have happened here is some overzealous Weyerhaeuser executive did indeed take the Brady Bunch's advice re: opening day of hunting season, and then stretch this "while on company business" part of the clause to the breaking point. Sending an employee to a customer's place of business is clearly employer business...having hourly employees with parked cars on public lots is a long reach. I don't argue that Weyerhaeuser (or any other company) has the right to set conditions for employment while on their property or while doing business under their banner, but this whole thing does stink. If the employees are concerned enough about transporting firearms, then they should be able to arrange for off-company parking, and rest assured that they have obeyed the letter, if not the intended spirit, of company policy. I can't see these employees having done anything otherwise. For Weyerhaeuser to have over reached with it's "while on company business" policy shows a definate political agenda, and not any concern over possible legal ramifications of not having a firearms policy in effect.

Weyerhaeuser is far from the only pulp and paper industry that has these requirements (I also signed virtually the same agreement with Stone Container - now Smurfitt/Stone) and am sure that most of the others have the same conditions of employment too. It's just that I have not heard of any of the others being so blatant in hanging hourly employees with loopholes.


In this case, I think they're wrong: they shouldn't have fired the dude for having a gun locked in the trunk of his car. But it's their business, their parking lot, and their book of employee rules.

Actually, dude(s). Also of interesting note was the fact that some of the fired were reinstated, while others were left to hang in the breeze. Any manufacturing plant has key employees who have taken years to become adept at whatever their particular function is, and employees who can be easily replaced. I'd be willing to bet that those reinstated were experienced machine operators, while the others were gopher help. Not sure about this, as I no longer work for them, and so no longer have access to their company computer system.

If, as suggested above, they did not make this policy known before hand, then they should not have simply informed the dude of the policy this time and fired him on any future violation.

As I said, I don't know of a single Weyerhaeuser employee who isn't fully aware of its policies re: weapons possession. And policy does state catagorically that violation of these rules, or refusal to submit to a search for any or no reason at all WILL result in immediate termination.

I do know that some of its policies that don't necessarily relate to 2A issues are downright communistic in their approach, and to see some exec stretch the "while on company business" part of the policy really doesn't surprise me greatly.

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 08:43 AM
Wow. So every piece of private property is a Constitution-free zone. Oh, well, I'll just exercise my rights on public land then. Oh, wait, my rights aren't protected thare either (gov buildings, military bases, National Parks).
This Constitution thing sure is great, isn't it?

1911 guy
February 21, 2006, 08:56 AM
We all here claim to love our country and it's Constitution, yet are in a hurry to prostitute our rights away because someone offers us a check every payday.
An employer can tell me not to bring my weapon into his building, but cannot tell me to be defenseless on my way to and from work. An employer can tell me not to pass leaflets or recruit at work, but cannot tell me what to believe. An employer can tell me not to be rude to customers, but cannot stop me from being a jerk on my own time.

In my opinion, some of you need to learn the difference between "right" and "legal". Remember the emminent domain thread a while back? It's legal, so quite your whining. Oh, wait, now you want to say it's not "right" or "fair"? We are NOT a "nation of laws". We are a nation with a Constitution and a people who have rights. Any law that impinges on your expression of those rights, providing no violation of anothers rights, is wrong. Actually, unconstitutional. But we've gotten so used to rolling over and giving up that it's become second nature and somehow admirable to be a victim "for the common good".

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 09:40 AM
We all here claim to love our country and it's Constitution, yet are in a hurry to prostitute our rights away because someone offers us a check every payday.


So is the prostitute is more virtuous than the John?



(assuming you live in Vegas where that sort of thing is legal)

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 11:08 AM
You know, for a gun related BB, I'm astounded by the number of folks here who either haven't read/ don't understand/ choose to disregard the Constitution as it suits their wishes.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Tell me, do you see any asterisks, footnotes or small print in there? Does it say anything about private property?
No, it doesn't.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" PERIOD. FULL STOP.

Let's get on the same page here, folks. Or we shall surely hang seperately.

1911 guy
February 21, 2006, 11:21 AM
Employers are violating the Constitution and are wrong, we let them do it and are wrong. Garyk/nm hit it. Read the Constitution. Realize that your rights as an American are being erroded and that you have been conditioned to say "Thank you Sir, may I have another" all the while.

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 12:06 PM
You know, for a gun related BB, I'm astounded by the number of folks here who either haven't read/ don't understand/ choose to disregard the Constitution as it suits their wishes.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Tell me, do you see any asterisks, footnotes or small print in there? Does it say anything about private property?
No, it doesn't.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" PERIOD. FULL STOP.

Let's get on the same page here, folks. Or we shall surely hang seperately.

Thats all well and good, but in your myopic vision of the 2nd Amendment, you've completely missed the point of the entire BoR. It creates restrictions on the government only, not on private actors. It limits the power of government, not of two private parties to enter into a contract where they willingly and knowingly concede those rights as part of that contract.

I defy you to show me any case or common law that stands for the assertion that any of the rights enumerated in the BoR are applicable against private, non-governmental actors. Show me one case. Show me a case where a private individual was charged with violating any constitutional provision. Just one case. In fact, as it stands now the 2nd Amendment is only applicable against the federal government, not even to state or local governments.

I (as a private citizen) cannot violate your right to free speech. Even if I put you in handcuffs and duct-tape your mouth shut I would not be violating your right to free speech. I'd be guilty of several other crimes identified in statutes, but its not a constitutional violation. If an agent of the government did that you might have a constitutional violation though.

If I get a band of armed friends together and we come to your house and put ourselves up in your house for a few days, its not a constitutional problem. Its a crime, but our actions would not be unconstitutional under the 3rd Amendment since we're not the government.

If I burn down the church you attend, its a crime, but its not unconstitutional as a violation of your right to religion.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" does not specify by whom they would be infringed, but the entire document pertains to the federal government, so why would you think in this one part of the constitution, this one phrase is the only place the BoR creates a protection on the rights of private citizens against other private citizens? And really, its not an infringement by the government, but its an infringement by the very people claiming to have their rights infringed. By working at Weyerhaeuser and accepting that paycheck, they consented to the terms of a contract which includes Weyerhaeuser's rules about guns.

Once again I'll bring up the example no one on your side of this argument has yet addressed: a non-disclosure agreement. You have a right to free speech, but if you sign a non-disclosure agreement, you can be held liable for damages if you blab about the matter to which the NDA applies. For example, if you work for Amgen and blab to your friend at Merck about the new drug you're developing, you can be fired and sued for damages.

To argue otherwise, you would have to support the assertion that the likes of PETA, Greenpeace, the Nazi party, and NAMBLA could all congregate on your lawn to protest anytime they want, and you (as the property owner) could do nothing to stop them - they're just exercising their right to free speech, right? So tell me, would you be ok with a PETA protest on your front lawn? How about a bunch of Nazis?

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 12:27 PM
Employers are violating the Constitution and are wrong, we let them do it and are wrong. Garyk/nm hit it. Read the Constitution. Realize that your rights as an American are being erroded and that you have been conditioned to say "Thank you Sir, may I have another" all the while.


I've read the constitution...several times. And I've sat through more than my share of classes & discussions with constitutional scholars.

The employers are not violating the US constitution. In fact, even a state can't directly violate the 2nd Amendment as it doesn't (yet) apply to individual states. A constitution is basically a pact betwen the people and their government; it does not apply to the actions of private individuals in society relating to other private individuals. Thats the purpose of statutes and regulations. You can repeat the same old line that the employer is violating the constitution, but there is no private right of action for a "constitutional violation" by another individual. Again I defy you to show me any case where a private party was adjudicated to have directly violated the constitutional rights of another private party.

One of Many
February 21, 2006, 12:44 PM
The 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was intended to incorporate the restrictions on the Federal Government, to the states as well. That means that the BoR in the U.S. Constitution, is now applicable to the states.

The point most people fail to understand (and the NRA is deliberately confusing the issue) is that these restrictions apply ONLY to government actions that violate these rights.

That being said, however, the government has passed laws that specify Civil Rights that apply to all citizens, and prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain factors (race, gender, etc.), and these laws do pre-empt the property rights of citizens. We are not allowed to commit murder or rape on our property, because the government (and the society it represents) has a right to pass laws that transcend the right of the individual to do as he pleases on his own property. Human Rights take precedence over Civil Rights, and Civil Rights take precedence over property rights. Civil Rights and Property Rights are all constructs of the Law. They can be changed at any time by following the appropriate methods.

If we wish to be allowed to possess our own property within our vehicles while they are parked on someone else's property, the legislatures must pass laws that specify the terms that allow that. That will likely result in court cases (like the one that was lost) where we will win some and lose others.

The other option is to amend the constitutions of the states, to specify that individual Human Rights and Civil Rights take precedence over the property rights of legal constructs (corporations); then specify that the means of self defense is an implied right (self defense is impossible without an effective means to accomplish it - and self defense is a Human Right).

1911 guy
February 21, 2006, 01:34 PM
MGshaggy, I'd like to say that I'm enjoying this. A running discussion that hasn't turned nasty. Unusual for the web and I like it. Thank you.

Our current legal structure seeks to find any and all ways to subvert the Constitution, sometimes even using the letter of the document to contravene the intent of it. The fourteenth ammendment is evidence of this, even years ago. It had to be added so states could not restrict citizens more than federal law allowed. This goes directly to the idea of private entities restricting rights. If you are my employer, you have the right to tell me to behave in a certain way when I am "on the clock". You do not have that right when I am not performing duties for you. You can tell me I cannot carry a firearm when I am doing my job, you cannot tell me to leave my home unarmed and travel unarmed. This is essentially what this case (weyerhauser) is about. It happened to be hunting rifles, but the point remains the same. They did not carry the weapons into the building, and not having them available after work would have been an inconvenience the employer did not compensate them for. At what point does the employers influence end? The employees even went so far as to park in a lot not owned by Weyerhauser. So now the employers influence extends to anothers private property because one happens to be an employee? Should your employer be able to dictate what goes on in your home? After all, they provide the income to pay for it and there aparently is no geographic limit to their influence.

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 02:27 PM
MGshaggy, I'd like to say that I'm enjoying this. A running discussion that hasn't turned nasty. Unusual for the web and I like it. Thank you.

Thanks to you as well. I enjoy a good argument when the participants can all be mature enough to keep it on an intellectual level and not resort to name calling and infantile tantrums you see on a lot of other websites. I can't say I never sink to that level, but I try not to. Sometimes I don't even believe in what I'm saying, but I'll argue a point just to play Devil's Advocate. Its all in fun, and ultimately, we're all on the same (pro-gun) team; we just have different ideas and opinions on how some rights square with other rights. If we were to phrase the question differently to "is it right for an employer to preclude his employees thr RKBA on company property?" I'd have to agree 100% with you that its wrong. But I still feel strongly about the rights of a property owner and the right to freely contract for the voluntary withholding of certain rights.

The way I see it, if a party wants to voluntarily agree to withhold on the free exercise of their rights for a check, that's their business. It would be illegal for me to walk up and punch you in the nose, but if we both agreed and we each strapped on a pair of boxing gloves, we could bash each other in the nose all day long without any criminal or civil liability.

Our current legal structure seeks to find any and all ways to subvert the Constitution, sometimes even using the letter of the document to contravene the intent of it. The fourteenth ammendment is evidence of this, even years ago. It had to be added so states could not restrict citizens more than federal law allowed. This goes directly to the idea of private entities restricting rights. If you are my employer, you have the right to tell me to behave in a certain way when I am "on the clock". You do not have that right when I am not performing duties for you. You can tell me I cannot carry a firearm when I am doing my job, you cannot tell me to leave my home unarmed and travel unarmed. This is essentially what this case (weyerhauser) is about. It happened to be hunting rifles, but the point remains the same. They did not carry the weapons into the building, and not having them available after work would have been an inconvenience the employer did not compensate them for. At what point does the employers influence end? The employees even went so far as to park in a lot not owned by Weyerhauser. So now the employers influence extends to anothers private property because one happens to be an employee? Should your employer be able to dictate what goes on in your home? After all, they provide the income to pay for it and there aparently is no geographic limit to their influence.

While I can agree with you about the logic for the 14th Amendment, it unfortunately hasn't been held to incorporate the 2nd Amendment to the states...yet. Maybe that will happen with the new members of the SCOTUS, but I'm not holding my breath. And until that time, the 2nd remains unincorporated and not applicable to the states.

But as we return to what an employer can and cannot ask you to do on or off the clock, I say its all in how the contract is framed. I'm all for the right of two private parties to contract away certain rights. Again, I return to my example of a non-disclosure agreement. I think a NDA should be a perfectly valid and enforceable instrument; if the two parties are willing to engage in the terms therein, why should one party be able to walk away at their convenience and say "Thanks for the big paycheck, but now I've decided I don't want to give up my right to free speech, so I'm going to tell your competition about your trade secrets." Is that a result you would think just and fair? What if they only talked to the competition during their free time (when they are not at work and on the clock).

And while I hear the point that the company has no business telling an employee what they can and cannot possess in their vehicle when on company property, no one here seems to think of the possibility that it may be more than just a politically motivated policy. An insurer could charge increased rates for a company that allows guns on the premises so it may have a very real and tangible effect on the company (cost savings). Or consider the case where there has been a shooting on company property. In the ensuing civil litigation it comes out that the compny did not have a policy restricting guns on their property so they face liability for not making the workplace safe for the slain employee. That doesn't mean a workplace shooting can't happen where there the rule is 'no guns on company property', but it makes the job of the plaintiff's attorney much more difficult when he's trying to show the company was negligent in allowing dangerous instruments like guns, which are wholly unrelated to the normal conduct of business, to be allowed on company property.

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 04:24 PM
MGshaggy, since you seem to like to use the 1st amendment as a supporting point, please tell the class what the first 5 words are in the 1st. And how does that differ from the wording of the 2nd?
Seems like the writers of that document had two different things in mind in constructing those amendments?

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 04:56 PM
MGshaggy, since you seem to like to use the 1st amendment as a supporting point, please tell the class what the first 5 words are in the 1st. And how does that differ from the wording of the 2nd?
Seems like the writers of that document had two different things in mind in constructing those amendments?

It is true, the 1st Amendment starts with "Congress shall make no law...". So then you'd support the right of NAMBLA or the Nazi party to come onto your front lawn and hold a protest without your consent or permission? Afterall, as you pointed out Congress (and the states via the 14thAmendment) couldn't make a law to prevent that since NAMBLA and the Nazis would be exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

Now once again, I ask you to show me a single case where a private individual was held liable for a direct violation of the constitutional rights of another individual. C'mon, in the 215 years since ratification of the BoR you can surely find one single case to support your contention, can't you?

ARperson
February 21, 2006, 05:55 PM
For those arguing that the Constitution applies equally to both government and private parties in their inability to prohibit certain actions or otherwise run crosswise to the BoR, consider this.

Your argument means that parents can never dictate what their children say.

Your argument means that a cross-burning Neo-Nazi white supremist can stand on your front lawn and rant and rave and burn to his heart's content.

Your argument means that your neighbor can toss his garbage all over your yard (what they are calling art these days :neener: ) and you can do nothing about it.

Your argument means you can never, ever kindly (or not so kindly, depending) ask the Jehova's Witnesses to remove themselves from your property for the umpteenth time.

Is that what you really think the Constitution guarantees?

antsi
February 21, 2006, 06:54 PM
You know, for a gun related BB, I'm astounded by the number of folks here who either haven't read/ don't understand/ choose to disregard the Constitution as it suits their wishes.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Tell me, do you see any asterisks, footnotes or small print in there? Does it say anything about private property?
No, it doesn't.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" PERIOD. FULL STOP.

Let's get on the same page here, folks. Or we shall surely hang seperately.

So, as I take it, you are saying that I have the right to keep and bear arms on your property?

Please PM me your address so I can come by your house at 0330 am every day for the next month to exercise my constitutional rights.

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 07:43 PM
So, as I take it, you are saying that I have the right to keep and bear arms on your property?

Please PM me your address so I can come by your house at 0330 am every day for the next month to exercise my constitutional rights.
Only if you're invited; otherwise you're trespassing. Please note that this is entirely different from the employee/ employer relationship that started this discussion.

MGshaggy
February 21, 2006, 07:51 PM
Only if you're invited; otherwise you're trespassing. Please note that this is entirely different from the employee/ employer relationship that started this discussion.


Is it?

The employee is an invitee of the owner of the property. He is there at the request of, and permission of the owner. That permission to be on the owner's property is premised upon certain conditions, one of which may be to not carry or possess weapons while on the owner's property. If the employee carries a weapon in spite of the permission given by the owner it is tresspassing.

antsi
February 21, 2006, 07:58 PM
Only if you're invited; otherwise you're trespassing. Please note that this is entirely different from the employee/ employer relationship that started this discussion.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize the second ammendment had asterisks, fine print, etc. I thought it was an absolute right that can never be infringed, period, full stop.

Now, I understand: I have the right to keep and bear arms, so long as I'm invited.

Just curious: do you have the right to revoke your invitation? Or, once it's granted, is it a lifetime invitation in perpetuity no matter what?

Do I have to be invited specifically to bear arms on your property? Or can I construe any invitation onto your property as a right to bear arms there?

deanf
February 21, 2006, 08:04 PM
You know, for a gun related BB, I'm astounded by the number of folks here who either haven't read/ don't understand/ choose to disregard the Constitution as it suits their wishes.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

Tell me, do you see any asterisks, footnotes or small print in there? Does it say anything about private property?
No, it doesn't.

Yes. It is astounding, isn't it?

As everyone knows, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights only regulate the authority of government, they do not apply to private land owners or private businesses. These documents do not regulate the authority of private property owners to make rules for the visitors on their property as they see fit.

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 08:47 PM
Did my THR bookmark somehow get redirected to DU? I didn't realize we had so many gun haters here. If you don't like the constitution, or if you think your definition of your rights supercede the constitution, you are welcome to go live elsewhere.
I'm done with this one. :banghead:

Meplat
February 21, 2006, 10:01 PM
We all here claim to love our country and it's Constitution, yet are in a hurry to prostitute our rights away because someone offers us a check every payday.
An employer can tell me not to bring my weapon into his building, but cannot tell me to be defenseless on my way to and from work. An employer can tell me not to pass leaflets or recruit at work, but cannot tell me what to believe. An employer can tell me not to be rude to customers, but cannot stop me from being a jerk on my own time.

1911, I only said I read and signed the policy. I never said I abided by it. :evil:

Meplat
February 21, 2006, 10:05 PM
Your argument means you can never, ever kindly (or not so kindly, depending) ask the Jehova's Witnesses to remove themselves from your property for the umpteenth time.


I never ask them to leave. Somehow never comes up. Dunno if it's got anything to do with the chalk outline of a body I drew in my sidewalk and the copies of "Watchtower" I scattered around or not.

Herself
February 21, 2006, 10:11 PM
...A number of comentators from across the political spectrum have suggested that since corporations -- as "artifical persons" -- are creations of government, they should be bound by the same restrictions that bind government -- for instance, the Second Amendment.

What's next, will employers demand the right to police the novels employees carry with them and read during lunch? Drat, there go those steamy romance novels and space operas!

Sure, they can search my car. Just let me light it first! Woooo, lookit that gas burn! It's the equivalent of a formal letter of resignation, isn't it?

--Herself

1911 guy
February 22, 2006, 07:55 AM
The example of a Non-Disclosure Agreement isn't a very good example or exercising rights or having rights infringed upon. The reason is that violation of an NDA amounts to theft. Intellectual theft, but theft. So you have violated the right of the issuing party (employer) to be secure in their holdings (intellectual property). Violating an NDA is similar to shouting "fire" in a theater. Sure, your speech is protected, but causing deliberate harm by it removes it from the realm of lawful behavior. Not a constitutional example, but one that fits, is drunk driving. Being over 21 and having an Ohio drivers license, I can both drink and drive, but not at the same time. This creates an unsafe condition that deprives another of their right to be unmolested carrying out their own business.

Returning to the original example of Weyerhauser, they can indeed tell employees to be unarmed in the work place. However, the prohibition of weapons in a vehicle OFF COMPANY PROPERTY violates those employees rights to self defense.

scbair
February 22, 2006, 08:40 AM
So then you'd support the right of NAMBLA or the Nazi party to come onto your front lawn and hold a protest without your consent or permission? Afterall, as you pointed out Congress (and the states via the 14thAmendment) couldn't make a law to prevent that since NAMBLA and the Nazis would be exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

Absolutely! As long as they understood and accepted that they were standing right where I planned to exercise my rights under the Second Amendment! :D

antsi
February 22, 2006, 08:47 AM
Absolutely! As long as they understood and accepted that they were standing right where I planned to exercise my rights under the Second Amendment! :D

If there are any lawyers on the forum, answer this please: If I shoot someone who is exercising their freedom of assembly or freedom of speech, is that a legitimate exercise of my Second Ammendment rights? Or is it a violation of their constitutional rights of speech and assembly? :D :neener:

antsi
February 22, 2006, 08:52 AM
Returning to the original example of Weyerhauser, they can indeed tell employees to be unarmed in the work place. However, the prohibition of weapons in a vehicle OFF COMPANY PROPERTY violates those employees rights to self defense.

I didn't know that it was off company property in the Weyerhauser case until someone posted it here. For me, that tips the case over to an unwarranted intrusion.

RE: NDA's. What about noncompetition clauses? I have worked in some medical practices where we were asked to sign an agreement not to open up shop and compete with the employer within a certain radius of proximity for a certain amount of time. Of course, this does not involve a constitutional right, but it is an example of giving up a freedom one would normally be free to exercise as a condition of employment.

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 09:44 AM
If there are any lawyers on the forum, answer this please: If I shoot someone who is exercising their freedom of assembly or freedom of speech, is that a legitimate exercise of my Second Ammendment rights? Or is it a violation of their constitutional rights of speech and assembly? :D :neener:

its not a legitimate exercise of your 2nd Amendment rights, but its not a violation of their 1st Amendment rights either.




MGshaggy (Esq.)

Meplat
February 22, 2006, 09:46 AM
MGshaggy, I'd like to say that I'm enjoying this. A running discussion that hasn't turned nasty. Unusual for the web and I like it. Thank you.

Our current legal structure seeks to find any and all ways to subvert the Constitution, sometimes even using the letter of the document to contravene the intent of it. The fourteenth ammendment is evidence of this, even years ago. It had to be added so states could not restrict citizens more than federal law allowed. This goes directly to the idea of private entities restricting rights. If you are my employer, you have the right to tell me to behave in a certain way when I am "on the clock". You do not have that right when I am not performing duties for you. You can tell me I cannot carry a firearm when I am doing my job, you cannot tell me to leave my home unarmed and travel unarmed. This is essentially what this case (weyerhauser) is about. It happened to be hunting rifles, but the point remains the same. They did not carry the weapons into the building, and not having them available after work would have been an inconvenience the employer did not compensate them for. At what point does the employers influence end? The employees even went so far as to park in a lot not owned by Weyerhauser. So now the employers influence extends to anothers private property because one happens to be an employee? Should your employer be able to dictate what goes on in your home? After all, they provide the income to pay for it and there aparently is no geographic limit to their influence.

If you want to know where this is all heading, 1911, all you have to do is look to Michigan at Weyco (odd how that "wey" thing keeps coming up - even though they are in no way associated with Weyerhaeuser) and their new company policy for employees. It reads simply "smokers, you are not just prohibited from smoking at work, on our property. You are prohibited from smoking anywhere - even your own homes. If you now smoke - quit. If you don't quit -be fired." And their rules are being upheld as "legal".

We are giving up more and more control over our own lives to both government and employers. Is smoking bad? Sure it is. I no longer do it. By MY choice. It is a legal activity. If it is enough of a health concern to make it illegal, then by all means prohibit it. Start yet another generation of prohibition. It might be interesting to see who the new Al Capone would be.

Yet in our headlong rush to be able to tell everyone else how to live their lives, we are throwing our own rights to live the way we want to live away. The next step, of course, is weight control. With the above precedent established, there is nothing to say that a company can't require it's employees to maintain a certain body mass index because it is healthier and would thus save the company money. From there, what?

I find it interesting that there are those in this thread who are arguing that the BoR does not apply to individual actors - only governmental agents. I seriously doubt that an employer would be allowed under our Constitutional constraints to tell employees that they were prohibited from same sex relationships on the grounds that HIV and AIDS are still spread PRIMARILY through homosexual contact. Just the opposite is the case now. Employers are being herded towards paying health care, survivor's benefits, etc. to same sex partners.

There are numerous cases where individuals have been held liable for violation of other individual's civil liberties, and I would imagine that there will be many more in the future. The claim of the BoR's only protecting us from the government just doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. We are only protected from individuals for certain politically acceptable civil rights though, and even rights that are only "implied" (in the mind's eye of some leftist) in the Constitution.

If this were not so, there would be no records of decisions against private parties for civil rights violations, and this is clearly not borne out by case law. Does Weyerhaeuser and Weyco Medical have the right to tell employees they may not participate in legal (even Constitutionally protected) activities while on their property and on their dime? Certainly. Do they have the right to do so when not on company property, or not on company time? Hardly, but it doesn't seem to deter the courts from coming down on their side, particularly when the right is one that is deemed "politically incorrect".

The fact is, Weyerhaeuser stretched way out on this one. As I said, I read their policy statement, and signed it thus acknowleging that I had read it. I never swore an oath of fealty to uphold it. I worked on salary, and office hours were from eight to five. Many days I left my house at four am to head into some backwoods regions of Louisiana, or into some seedy areas of New Orleans or Baton Rouge, or into the desolate areas of the Mississippi Delta region in my own vehicle in order to perform the required tasks of my job. After doing those duties, I often found myself on those same roads back home at midnight. Really stretching the concept of "company time".

As far as I can tell, you and I are in full agreement on the company's right to tell you not to carry a firearm on it's property, but way of base on telling you that you cannot carry one to and from work. In my opinion, if a company is going to make this a condition of employment, they should be required by law to have a secure check in, with reciepts issued, for employee weapons at the gate. Should an employee have one of these weapons come up missing, the company should then be held liable for it's replacement value. This alone would stop a lot of this kind of thing. Alas, living in a society that thinks it perfectly acceptable for an employer to limit or eleminate totally partcipation in perfectly legal activities, I don't see this happening.

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 10:13 AM
I didn't know that it was off company property in the Weyerhauser case until someone posted it here. For me, that tips the case over to an unwarranted intrusion.

RE: NDA's. What about noncompetition clauses? I have worked in some medical practices where we were asked to sign an agreement not to open up shop and compete with the employer within a certain radius of proximity for a certain amount of time. Of course, this does not involve a constitutional right, but it is an example of giving up a freedom one would normally be free to exercise as a condition of employment.

I didn't know it was off company property either, but if so I'd agree with you. However, I'd like to read the case to see if thats truly the case. My guess is that this is one of those close calls - for example where the employer doesn't own the parking lot, but pays for spaces there for the use of the employees. If thats the case, I would still have to support the position of the employer as the leaseholder on the space.

Meanwhile back in NDA land...:)

1911Guy - I think the NDA a perfectly apt example. An NDA is often used to silence people in an effort to protect an otherwise unprotectable intellectual property interest. For example, if I'm working on a new drug, but its not to the stage where I could file for a patent, what work I've done is unprotectable. If I hire you to come in and help me develop this new drug I want to be sure that if you leave you don't go blab to Merck about what I'm working on so Merck can devote a billion dollars to research to get a patentable product before I do and beat me to the market. An NDA protects me from you talking to Merck. Since I don't have an otherwise protectable interest, if we didn't have an NDA in place and you talked to Merck, I'd be SOL. There could be no theft of ideas, since there was no patentable product and no intellectual property interest. But Merck simply knowing what I was working towards could be enough to damage my chances of being the first to eventually get that patent.

Additionally, even if it would be a "theft" of ideas that theft could be remedied by civil law. They would have the right to speak in violation of the NDA, but they would suffer the consequences for breaking the NDA/contract (ie. they could be sued for damages). And thats all I'm saying is appropriate for employers. If the employee carries a weapon on the employer's property in violation of the employer's rules, the employee has the right to do so, but he can suffer the consequences of violating the employers rules and the terms of employment (ie. getting fired).

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 10:33 AM
I find it interesting that there are those in this thread who are arguing that the BoR does not apply to individual actors - only governmental agents. I seriously doubt that an employer would be allowed under our Constitutional constraints to tell employees that they were prohibited from same sex relationships on the grounds that HIV and AIDS are still spread PRIMARILY through homosexual contact. Just the opposite is the case now. Employers are being herded towards paying health care, survivor's benefits, etc. to same sex partners.

There are numerous cases where individuals have been held liable for violation of other individual's civil liberties, and I would imagine that there will be many more in the future. The claim of the BoR's only protecting us from the government just doesn't hold up to close scrutiny. We are only protected from individuals for certain politically acceptable civil rights though, and even rights that are only "implied" (in the mind's eye of some leftist) in the Constitution.


Meplat; the examples you reference above *people being held liable for violations of another person's civil liberties* is based in statutes and laws, not the Constitution. Those laws may be enacted to further the goals and ideals embodied within the Constitution, but the Constitution is not the legal instrument those claims are based upon. If you look at the complaints for those cases, you'll see an allegation of a violation of a statute, not an allegation of a violation of the Constitution. You may think thats just legalistic semantics, but its a damned important distinction in the context of this discussion. In stark contrast to the legal protections codified into federal law for race, religion, sex, etc. in housing and employment, there are no similar protections in federal law for the 2nd Amendment. Again, while it may seem tht I'm arguing semantics, I hope you can see that its not; the Constitution only protects the people against the government and defines that relationship. It does not regulate or control the actions between non-government actors in society. That is the province of laws and statutes.

1911 guy
February 22, 2006, 10:41 AM
Were parked in a lot open to the public. Weyerhauser did not pay for any rental rights nor do they own it.

While the NDA does carry legal weight and provides for penalty beyond firing, it's purpose remains nothing more than to protect what the company owns, intellectual property. A paper security system. They do not violate your rights, as you are using company time and resources to acquire information or data which then belongs to the company. There is no right to steal, you have no right to give to competition what does not belong to you. So, the intent of both cases remains fundamentally different. NDA's protect a company's right to retain property while a company policy effectively disarming employees violates employees rights and protects nothing for the company. There's not even a conflict of interest here, just outright violation.

In fact, very similar to what Meplat mentions, the smoking ban. If property rights are absolute, you as a resturaunt or bar owner should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking in your establishment, right? Wrong. In several states and even more cities, it is a crime to smoke in ANY public place. A resuraunt is no more than a factory, a place of business. So not even the gooberment supports property law. Only when it suits them.

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 11:41 AM
Were parked in a lot open to the public. Weyerhauser did not pay for any rental rights nor do they own it.

IF thats the case, then I'd probably agree with you 100% that the employer had no business investigating the employees cars. That said, I'd still like to see the terms of the employee's contract or the employee manual. I still believe in freedom of contract, and if someone wants to agree to do something stupid, thats their business. People still have the right to be stupid and enter into valid and enforceable contracts which are contrary to their best interest. We don't need any more of a nanny state than we already have, if people make bad decisions, they need to learn to live with it. Someone here has the sig line "Stupid should hurt." I fully agree.

While the NDA does carry legal weight and provides for penalty beyond firing, it's purpose remains nothing more than to protect what the company owns, intellectual property. A paper security system. They do not violate your rights, as you are using company time and resources to acquire information or data which then belongs to the company. There is no right to steal, you have no right to give to competition what does not belong to you. So, the intent of both cases remains fundamentally different. NDA's protect a company's right to retain property while a company policy effectively disarming employees violates employees rights and protects nothing for the company. There's not even a conflict of interest here, just outright violation.

Ahh...but if there's no protectable interest, it can't be theft. If you don't own something, I can't steal it from you. IOW if the intellectual property in question insn't protected by copyright, trademark, or patent, it isn't really intellectual "property". Its public domain or just an idea which isn't developed enough or in a form to be protected. I can't take a deep breath and steal your air. A NDA merely creates a private right of action and a remedy for speaking about a specific area of knowledge.

This NDA example is getting way off track, but try and think of this in terms of corporate espionage. If I sent a fake reporter to your plant as a ruse to secretly take some pictures and see what was going on in the R&D department, you couldn't do anything about it. If I paid your janitor $10,000 to tell me what chemicals you had laying on a table in plain sight, you couldn't do anything to the janitor (assuming no NDA), because its not steling and there's no legal instrument creating a private right of action and a remedy. Similarly if you didn't have an NDA in place with an employee in the R&D department and he quit and told me everything you were doing, you couldn't do anything to the employee because its not theft and he had a right to speak. The entire remedy (suit for damages) is created only because of the existance of a NDA and not because of any statutory or common law protection. Similarly, the terms of employment (which might include a provision for no weapons on comapny property) create a right for the employer to fire the employee. It doesn't extinguish any right the employee may have had to carry a weapon, but if the employee violates that term of the contract, the employer can fire him for the contractual breach.

In fact, very similar to what Meplat mentions, the smoking ban. If property rights are absolute, you as a resturaunt or bar owner should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking in your establishment, right? Wrong. In several states and even more cities, it is a crime to smoke in ANY public place. A resuraunt is no more than a factory, a place of business. So not even the gooberment supports property law. Only when it suits them.

Oh I know....

I spend most of my time in NYC, and until Bloomberg instituted the smoking ban, I could often be found in the evenings in various dive bars in the EVil smoking and listening to bands. When the ban was instituted I quit ...almost (well I still have the occasional cig). But a private property owner can still have smoking on their property, even here in NYC. There is a cigar bar near my old place on 22nd street in Chelsea and there a number of hooka bars in the EVil now. Nevertheless, I never said private property rights were absolute; Kelo is proof enough of that (you may recall Kelo was the most recent SCOTUS case on the takings clause). No right is absolute - and thats sort of my point here. Not even the 1st or 2nd Amendment is absolute - other rights and laws can supercede them. My contention is that in the case of an employer banning firearms in the workplace, the employee has no right to supercede the employer's property rights (since the Constitution doesn't apply to dealings between private parties). In the case of a citywide smoking ban like in NYC, the statutes override the private property rights.

1911 guy
February 22, 2006, 12:18 PM
I agree all the way with you that we do not need more of the nanny state. however, I think we're seeing it from different angles. I see unnecessary intrusion into people's lives as the furtherance of the nanny state. Smoking bans, no-carry zones, etc. all add to this. We have long ago crossed a line in this country where laws have gone from preventing or punishing criminal behavior to legislating everyday activity and inhibiting freedom.

The American ideal, what the Constitution lays down as a framework, is minimal intrusion upon the individual and each individual respecting the other. We have strayed from this long ago and are now reaping the "rewards" of several generations past. Personally, I'd rather be part of the solution to getting back to original intent than trying to legislate further "corrections". Current law is so flawed because it exploits the letter of the foundation, rather than conforming to the spirit of it. Not even Thomas Jefferson could have forseen legal wrangling over the definition of "is"!

bg
February 22, 2006, 01:46 PM
This has definitely caught the attention of other states..>
http://www.normantranscript.com/opinion/local_story_052002325?keyword=secondarystory
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/18/AR2006021801435.html

Henry Bowman
February 22, 2006, 01:55 PM
IOW if the intellectual property in question insn't protected by copyright, trademark, or patent, it isn't really intellectual "property". No, trade secrets are valid intellectual property as well.

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 02:30 PM
No, trade secrets are valid intellectual property as well.

True, but state law provisions notwithstanding, I'm not aware of any federal protection on trade secrets. IOW, the trade secret is only a valuable intellectual property as long as its kept a secret and not publicly known. The formula for Coke, for example, is not protectable by either patent or copyright so once that secret gets out anyone would be free to use it. That formula is still a valuable property as long as its kept a secret, although absent a NDA or other contractual device, there's no remedy I know of for public disclosure of such a trade secret.

Of course I could be wrong on the protections afforded trade secrets, so please feel free to show me statutes or caselaw to the contrary. Its not my area of expertise so quite possibly I'm mistaken WRT trade secrets.

Meplat
February 22, 2006, 03:57 PM
IF thats the case, then I'd probably agree with you 100% that the employer had no business investigating the employees cars. That said, I'd still like to see the terms of the employee's contract or the employee manual. I still believe in freedom of contract, and if someone wants to agree to do something stupid, thats their business. People still have the right to be stupid and enter into valid and enforceable contracts which are contrary to their best interest. We don't need any more of a nanny state than we already have, if people make bad decisions, they need to learn to live with it. Someone here has the sig line "Stupid should hurt." I fully agree.

MGshaggy, the wording of the policy is quite plain and simple. It states that possession of firearms or weapons of any type, or any kind of ammunition while on company property or while engaged in company business, is strictly forbidden, and that any employee violating that policy will be summarily dismissed. It further states that if Weyerhaeuser, through its designates asks to search any personal possesions of employees and they refuse, they will likewise be summarily fired. These employees were following the full intent of that policy. They were on a lot shared with the general public, so there's no way Weyerhaeuser can claim fear of liability for them having the firearms there. I honestly don't know if Weyerhaeuser was paying rental fees on this lot or not, but that is irrelevant, since they were not renting it exclusively. The only stretch they could have made was to the "while on company business" portion of the policy. And that IS a stretch.

What is not mentioned is the fact that the edict was handed down only about two years before the Oklahoma incident. This means that something that had been perfectly acceptable for employees of twenty, thirty, or even some cases forty years was now verbotten. It's pretty darn easy to sit back and say "let them get another job" when you are not the one looking at throwing a working man's lifetime of built up retirement benefits away and starting over when you are near retirement age. It's also pretty darn easy to say "get another job" when your home isn't in a place where the only major employer is where you have your current job now, and there is a scarcity of jobs available in the place where your home has been all of your life. The place where your family most probably is, and the place where you've put down your roots and raised your children. It's EXTREMELY easy to say something like that if the employees in question fully believed that by having those arms in a lot NOT owned by Weyerhaeuser they were violating no company policy.

There were also thousands of cases people with my job situation. Weyerhaeuser is a giant conglomerate, with around seventy thousand employees. It did not get that way by building from the ground up, but by swallowing up smaller competition. The pulp and paper and building materials world is shrinking exponentially. If you are not Weyerhaeuser, Smurffit/Stone or International Paper, you most likely WILL be soon. I worked for a company that had a little field in the back where they allowed us to go outside during lunch hours and shoot archery. I moved here from a big city to go to work for them, and on my first week on the job, I looked up to see one of my co-workers walking down the hall with a Smith and Wesson dangling from his hand (cylinder open) to show me the competition rig he'd 'smithed up. Then Weyerhaeuser moved in, and took over the smaller company I worked for. No one there "signed on". We were swallowed up. Once swallowed, it was either take what they offered, or hit the trail. Way too many had way too much of their life invested to be able to do that. That's the reason I find this whole "get another job" attitude to be so cavalier.

I spend most of my time in NYC, and until Bloomberg instituted the smoking ban, I could often be found in the evenings in various dive bars in the EVil smoking and listening to bands. When the ban was instituted I quit ...almost (well I still have the occasional cig). But a private property owner can still have smoking on their property, even here in NYC.

NOT if you work for Weyco Medical in Michigan, you can't. They test them (cigartette smokers) like they would for junkies on heroin. And the courts have upheld this foolishness. It's not farfetched at all to fear that you might very well find the company you work for today in your kitchen, in your bedroom, or in any other part of your life they care to stick their noses into in the very near future. I think that is what most of us here who think that Weyerhaeuser is off base on with this thing are the most afraid of.

My contention is that in the case of an employer banning firearms in the workplace, the employee has no right to supercede the employer's property rights (since the Constitution doesn't apply to dealings between private parties). In the case of a citywide smoking ban like in NYC, the statutes override the private property rights.

And our skewed and screwed court system has in its usual wisdomous fashion determined that employers may indeed superceed the individual's rights to do things that are perfectly legal while not on company property or while representing the company. See Weyco Medical smoking ban.

MGshaggy
February 22, 2006, 05:35 PM
I'm not going to copy the relevant sections of your post above; our posts are already getting too long and I think I can address your points without making it needlessly longer and taking up additional board space. If I miss something, let me know and I'll try to address it.

The Weyerhaeuser parking lot - since I haven't read the case and you are there, I'll have to take your word on the parking situation, but it does seem relevant to me as to whether Weyerhaeuser was renting spaces on the lot or not. A parking space they rent for the use of their employees is no less their 'property' as the apartment I rent for my use. Neither is owned by the lessee, but the lessee nevertheless has the right to exercise some control over that space while they hold a valid lease. If its just a public lot where everybody shoves a few quarters into a meter for the day, that would be a different story in my opinion.

And while I know its easy for me to sit here and say "let them get another job", perhaps its evidence the larger issue here is that of the feeling of entitlement to that job. Would it suck to be working at Weyerhaeuser for thirty years and have them change the rules one day? Absolutely. But still, no one is forcing them to work there or holding a gun to their head. Those employees voluntarily go to work everyday. And if they can't do anything other than the job they did for Weyerhaeuser, thats not Weyerhaeuser's fault. There's absolutely no guarantees of a job or of continued employment with any corporation. If Weyerhaeuser went out of business tomorrow, what would those same people do? Find another job...only there'd be a lot more looking at the same time. What wuld they do if the state changed their gun laws? Move and find another job? Job security is almost a thing of the past, so why should Weyerhaeuser employees expect job security and the rules and policies they like? Who guaranteed them that?

What about the thousands GM let go a few weeks ago? What about the thousands who were cut out in the MBNA merger? I could go on and on, but we're not even talking about something so serious as cutting their jobs - we're only talking about a change in workplace rules that makes things uncomfortable and inconvenient for them. If the policy is that unbearable, they can keep their job while they look for another with an employer who doesn't have those same anti-gun rules. I'd also imagine that many of these guys are union members, so they can even use their union to force change at the plant. I'm sorry if I sound like a cruel, heartless corporate cheerleader, but I can't embrace the sense of entitlement to a job with good benefits and the rules you like when thousands of people are being laid-off and let go all around you. Do the rules suck? Yes, but either get over it because you still have a job, or find another job that has rules that suit you better.

Of course theres blame here to lay both ways; if other like-minded workers at a company like Weyerhaeuser grew a set and made the decision they wouldn't stand for those rules and walked out over it, Weyerhaeuser would likely capitulate to get the plant back up and running again.

As to Weyco Medical; if a company demanded no smoking or similarly such intrusive practices as a requiremnt of employment, would you really want to work there? I wouldn't and I wouldn't take a job with a company like that. But maybe thats why I work for myself - so I don't have to put up with such idiotic rules and policies. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate Weyco's position; they're trying to do whats best for their business (in their judgement) and no one is forcing anyone to agree to their terms or work for them. As I said in a response to 1911guy, people have the right to be stupid and enter into valid and enforceable contracts which are contrary to their best interest. I'm sorry if stupid people do stupid things like go to work for companies like Weyco, but if they consent to those terms voluntarily they should have to accept the consequences.

griz
February 23, 2006, 01:13 PM
Now once again, I ask you to show me a single case where a private individual was held liable for a direct violation of the constitutional rights of another individual.

When they were found not guilty by the state of California, the fed.gov charged the officers who arrested Rodney King with violating Mr. King's civil rights. Other individuals have been charged as well. It seems to be a catch all charge when they can not find something more official with which to charge someone.

MGshaggy
February 23, 2006, 02:08 PM
When they were found not guilty by the state of California, the fed.gov charged the officers who arrested Rodney King with violating Mr. King's civil rights. Other individuals have been charged as well. It seems to be a catch all charge when they can not find something more official with which to charge someone.



You are flat wrong.

The officers in Koon v. United States were convicted under 18 USC 242 for violating the victim's constitutional rights under color of law. The charges were not based upon any provision in the US Constitution; they were based upon a federal statute.

If the significance of that distinction isn't clear, re-read what I posted above to Meplat:

You may think thats just legalistic semantics, but its a damned important distinction in the context of this discussion. In stark contrast to the legal protections codified into federal law for race, religion, sex, etc. in housing and employment, there are no similar protections in federal law for the 2nd Amendment. Again, while it may seem tht I'm arguing semantics, I hope you can see that its not; the Constitution only protects the people against the government and defines that relationship. It does not regulate or control the actions between non-government actors in society. That is the province of laws and statutes.

bg
February 23, 2006, 04:04 PM
Follow up on Fla's bill to allow weapons at work..Not good news.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-guns23a06feb23,0,747455.story?coll=orl-news-headlines-state


"I'm sorry that we have to come to this crossroad where I have to make a decision between what I think are two fundamental rights," said Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland. "And while I believe that my Second Amendment rights are very important to me, as a business owner, my private-property rights are tantamount."

Meplat
February 23, 2006, 09:17 PM
The Weyerhaeuser parking lot - since I haven't read the case and you are there, I'll have to take your word on the parking situation, but it does seem relevant to me as to whether Weyerhaeuser was renting spaces on the lot or not. A parking space they rent for the use of their employees is no less their 'property' as the apartment I rent for my use. Neither is owned by the lessee, but the lessee nevertheless has the right to exercise some control over that space while they hold a valid lease. If its just a public lot where everybody shoves a few quarters into a meter for the day, that would be a different story in my opinion.

A parking lot that they block book spaces in is no different than the parking garage that you use when you visit someone in the hospital. You are "renting" that space, certainly. You do NOT have the authority because of your temporary agreement to dictate what the policies governing the usage of that lot are.

As to Weyco Medical; if a company demanded no smoking or similarly such intrusive practices as a requiremnt of employment, would you really want to work there? I wouldn't and I wouldn't take a job with a company like that.

No, I wouldn't. But these people didn't TAKE a job with that company...they were told (some after many years of working there) that their private lives were no longer theirs to pusue perfectly legal activities in. Following your logic, it should be perfectly okay to coerce a single mother who has no other means of support into unwanted sexual relations with an employer - after all, if she doesn't want to "put out" she can always "find another job". We have a strong philosophical difference here. If it takes "statutes" and laws to eleminate these practices, so be it, we need to get cracking. From what I've seen thus far, your stance has been that whatever rules an employer wishes to set up, the workers who "voluntarily" work there should have to deal with or go elsewhere. I just don't buy into that. If what Weyerhaeuser is doing re: guns in an adjoining parking lot that is shared by the general public or Weyco Medical re: smoking while not on the clock or on company time policies are perfectly acceptable, then so is discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin or any other grounds in which the company might think by discriminating that it could increase revenues or decrease costs.

But maybe thats why I work for myself - so I don't have to put up with such idiotic rules and policies.

And should everyone decide to take your route, we would never have a fine affordable firearm, automobile, television, computer, or any other of a million things that a one man shop just cannot produce at affordable prices. And you would have no employees...they'd all be self employed. I personally don't know of any system that would utilize the methods of "work only for yourself" that would have advanced much further than the stone age (perhaps the broze age).

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate Weyco's position; they're trying to do whats best for their business (in their judgement) and no one is forcing anyone to agree to their terms or work for them.

I'm certainly glad you can "appreciate their position", since in some localities sending a representative of a foreign origin or different race, or even a different sex might effect the sales of that person because of regional discrimination. It's not like purchasing agents are immune to the tendency to buy from people who "look like them". By following your appreciation of Weyco's trying to do what's best for its business, then you should be able to appreciate that they might want to terminate employment to people who might not, due to demographic bigotry, meet sales goals or represent the company in a light they would like to be represented in.

As I said in a response to 1911guy, people have the right to be stupid and enter into valid and enforceable contracts which are contrary to their best interest. I'm sorry if stupid people do stupid things like go to work for companies like Weyco, but if they consent to those terms voluntarily they should have to accept the consequences.

So you do agree with the idea that people who work for a company for twenty, thirty, forty years are coerced into signing away their personal freedoms and becoming in effect chattel property? As long as they disregard the fact that they have hungry mouths to feed and needs to meet, if a company sees any way of cutting it's bottom line costs, and that person is coerced into signing that agreement that it should be held blameless? These are honest questions, not trying to cast you in a bad light. I just don't see much of a leap from "you are not allowed to do (fill in the blank with a legal activity) while on your own time" to "you are not allowed to work here if you're not of (fill in the blank with your favorite ethnicity)" or "you are not allowed to work here unless you are willing to provide your supervisor with (fill in the blank with your favorite sexual favor)".

And setting a precedent that allows such to happen is only begging for the downfall of society as we know it. Yeah, I do think it's that important. If Weyco Medical gets away with it, then others are sure to follow, and the rules they are going to toss out are not going to end at legal carry and smoking.

As stated before, we have no differences in regards to Weyerhaeuser's rights to ban possession of firearms from their company's property. The whole thing extends further than that, though, since the parking lot in question was one shared by other members of the general public, and thus was not under the control of Weyerhaeuser. It goes to the stretching to the breaking point of the clause "while on company time". Weyco Medical goes way beyond that point. If allowed to continue, then people who are genetically predisposed to certain illnesses are going to be denied jobs. People who are overweight are going to be denied jobs or lose jobs they have worked in for years. After all, smoking is alleged to kill 400,000 people a year in this country, and obesity 300,000. Where does "acceptable" discrimination go from there? ANYWHERE. And it is not the right of business owners to "go anywhere". That road is perdition...straight back to the sweat shops of the turn of the century.

NineseveN
February 24, 2006, 01:37 AM
And setting a precedent that allows such to happen is only begging for the downfall of society as we know it. Yeah, I do think it's that important. If Weyco Medical gets away with it, then others are sure to follow, and the rules they are going to toss out are not going to end at legal carry and smoking.

Next it will be employers banning employees from looking at porn or going to strip clubs because they say it has a tendency to promote or spawn sexual harassment at the work place. :rolleyes:

I'm with you, this is a very dangerous precedent we're setting and a fine line to walk.

eastwood44mag
February 24, 2006, 01:47 AM
Times like this I'm glad I didn't get that job with Weyerhauser.

My vehicle is not inspected except by a uniformed officer with a warrant. Not even my mechanic is allowed to look around the trunk, so there's no way I'd let my employer poke around looking for trouble.

End of rant.

griz
February 24, 2006, 06:57 AM
The officers in Koon v. United States were convicted under 18 USC 242 for violating the victim's constitutional rights under color of law.

I would like to blame my ignorance on the media reporting of the charges, but I was still wrong. Thanks for the correction.

1911 guy
February 24, 2006, 07:49 AM
I don't want this to be taken as a personal slam on MGshaggy, he's obviously an intelligent and educated person. However, I read in his responses a knowledge of the current law, but a lack of actual understanding of the foundation for that law. Much of the current legal code, federal and state, goes against what the founding fathers and the several generations following them were trying to acheive by deliberately limiting the reach of government. I mentioned this is passing in an earlier post, using the letter of the law to circumvent the spirit of the law and Constitution.

MGshaggy is absolutely correct in his interpretation of the law, unfortunately. What is at issue here, though, is the law itself versus the Constitution it must be contained by. It steps out of those bounds by a long way, but many see it as acceptable because it's been a long slide, not a quick crippling of our freedom. Also unfortunately, unless we do something now, make a ruckus with our legislators and community leaders, there is more of the same to follow.

Meplat
February 24, 2006, 10:50 AM
I don't want this to be taken as a personal slam on MGshaggy, he's obviously an intelligent and educated person. However, I read in his responses a knowledge of the current law, but a lack of actual understanding of the foundation for that law.

I don't fault MGshaggy's ability to read the laws and statutes as written either. And I certainly don't think he has any misunderstanding that all laws and statutes are supposed to conform and be subserviant to the Supreme Law of the Land: i.e. The Constitution. As you said, a well educated man who makes you think long and hard about what you say, but one who I have deep fundamental differences of opinon with on the subject of how our nation's Founding Fathers and the Constitution they wrote intended to limit not only how federal government interacted with individuals, but how individuals and corporate entities should deal with each other.

Much of the current legal code, federal and state, goes against what the founding fathers and the several generations following them were trying to acheive by deliberately limiting the reach of government.

My point exactly, just expressed better. All laws must conform to the Constitution. If not, they are (or are supposed to be) overturned. To state that the Constitution only applies restrictions on the dealings of the Federal government with individuals flies in the face of all of the laws that states and localities have enacted that have been overturned on a Constitutional basis. The whole 2A thing has been the silent 800 lb. gorilla in the corner everyone has been trying to ignore for far too long. And with today's politically correct environment, these 800 lb. gorillas have been multiplying. It is my sincerest hope that the latest two additions to the Supreme Court are indeed people who are there to make certain that laws conform to the Constitution (as their job descriptions demand of them) and not the activist judges that have ruled a land of a "living Constitution" for much too long.

I mentioned this is passing in an earlier post, using the letter of the law to circumvent the spirit of the law and Constitution.

MGshaggy is absolutely correct in his interpretation of the law, unfortunately. What is at issue here, though, is the law itself versus the Constitution it must be contained by. It steps out of those bounds by a long way, but many see it as acceptable because it's been a long slide, not a quick crippling of our freedom. Also unfortunately, unless we do something now, make a ruckus with our legislators and community leaders, there is more of the same to follow.

Well said, and my contention exactly. Thanks.

MGshaggy
February 24, 2006, 07:37 PM
First off, I'd like to thank you guys (Meplat & 1911guy) for keeping this civil. Maybe we do have a fundamental differences of opinion but let me give this one last shot...

The way I look at this issue is that an employer should be free to do anything or to negotiate for the most harsh terms he can without violating the law. Similarly, an employee should endeavor to do the same. Pay, working conditions, benefits, parking, whatever...its all on the table and subject to negotiation for dollars or other concessions if thats the will of the two parties at the table. They can ask for the moon, but you can too...as long as the law allows for it. Where the law doesn't suit you, work to change it.

So why don't I think the constitution should govern these types of dealings and look to apply the intent of the founding fathers to govern private parties? Well first there's the issue of private property rights. Its nonsensical to me to think the right to keep and bear arms can trump the private property rights of another person. If that were the case, whats to stop you from walking into the local gun store and walking out with anything you wanted without paying? After all, your right to keep and bear arms would then trump the gun store owner's private property rights in his own inventory. In fact, because "arms" are private property (you own your guns, don't you?), the right to keep and bear arms would be meaningless without private property rights, or with property rights subject to 1st or 2nd amendment rights. I still haven't heard from anyone who wants to have to put up with NAMBLA holding a protest on their front lawn.

Second is the idea that the 2nd Amendment is subject to much debate as it even applies to the government. Some people think the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism that only applies to a long passed idea of a 'militia' armed with muskets and those funny three point hats. We obviously think otherwise (though differing on the issue of to whom it applies). So then we're going to court to determine what the 2nd amendment really means...and to whom it applies. Personally, I think I know how that would work out and I'm not anxious for that day. Nevertheless, do you really want or expect the SCOTUS would ever hold the RKBA more sacrosanct than private property rights and overturn our entire cultural understanding of property rights and property ownership?

Sure, it would be nice if we could get some laws passed to be able to carry anything we want, anywhere, anytime. But I think thats dreaming and if I'm going to dream, its going to have much more to do with Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, and Jessica Alba.:D

Meplat
February 24, 2006, 09:40 PM
First off, I'd like to thank you guys (Meplat & 1911guy) for keeping this civil.

It hasn't been difficult to do. Wish all debates could be framed in this style.

The way I look at this issue is that an employer should be free to do anything or to negotiate for the most harsh terms he can without violating the law. Similarly, an employee should endeavor to do the same. Pay, working conditions, benefits, parking, whatever...its all on the table and subject to negotiation for dollars or other concessions if thats the will of the two parties at the table. They can ask for the moon, but you can too...as long as the law allows for it. Where the law doesn't suit you, work to change it.

I have no problem with that on a new hire deal or when the employer does not try to cross the threshold of their own property. What I do have problems with, and will continue to have problems with, are when employees have been playing poker for many years, and the employer suddenly changes the game to cribbage, and then insists that the game be continued on the worker's own time and/or in their own homes. It just doesn't seem too illogical to me to expect employers to NOT be able to dictate otherwise legal behaviors outside of the office and off the clock. A dangerous precedent at best. I do understand your position, and I respect the way you've put it forth, but alas, I don't share it.

So why don't I think the constitution should govern these types of dealings and look to apply the intent of the founding fathers to govern private parties? Well first there's the issue of private property rights. Its nonsensical to me to think the right to keep and bear arms can trump the private property rights of another person. If that were the case, whats to stop you from walking into the local gun store and walking out with anything you wanted without paying? After all, your right to keep and bear arms would then trump the gun store owner's private property rights in his own inventory. In fact, because "arms" are private property (you own your guns, don't you?), the right to keep and bear arms would be meaningless without private property rights, or with property rights subject to 1st or 2nd amendment rights. I still haven't heard from anyone who wants to have to put up with NAMBLA holding a protest on their front lawn.

But none of what I have said implies that I think the above is not true. What I have said is that the company's (let's simplify this even further by removing the the impersonal corporate label "company" and insert "business owner's") rights end (or very well should) at the line of the property they own. Slavery is illegal in this country, as far as I know, and it doesn't matter whether you have been sold into it by another agent, or coerced into in in order to be able to keep feeding your family. Indentured servitude is dead. We don't need THAT one resurected.

Second is the idea that the 2nd Amendment is subject to much debate as it even applies to the government. Some people think the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism that only applies to a long passed idea of a 'militia' armed with muskets and those funny three point hats. We obviously think otherwise (though differing on the issue of to whom it applies). So then we're going to court to determine what the 2nd amendment really means...and to whom it applies. Personally, I think I know how that would work out and I'm not anxious for that day. Nevertheless, do you really want or expect the SCOTUS would ever hold the RKBA more sacrosanct than private property rights and overturn our entire cultural understanding of property rights and property ownership?

Under the way I see things, it would not be a requirement for them to place property owner's rights as subservient to individual liberties in order to retain both. Once you cross the property lines, legal activities you participate in are your concern, not those of a business owner who you happen to work for. Pretty simple.

As far as whatever interpretation of the Second might come from a decision at this time, I think now is about the best chance we'll ever have, with the appointment of two justices who seem to be willing to interpret the document by letter and intent. They need to get off the dime one way or another and rule already. If they choose to ignore the clear wording of the amendment as written as well as all of the literature penned by the ones who wrote that amendment, then we will either have a firestorm the likes of which has never been seen before, or we can be done with worrying about it. This death by a thousand cuts is going to get us completely stripped of any and all rights recognized by the Second, and the rest will soon follow suit.

Sure, it would be nice if we could get some laws passed to be able to carry anything we want, anywhere, anytime. But I think thats dreaming and if I'm going to dream, its going to have much more to do with Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst, and Jessica Alba.

Being more from the Old Farts' School, I'll keep daydreaming first and foremost of being a free man, raising free children, and hoping for free grandchildren. Aside from that, Cindy Crawford will do nicely, thank you. I'm much too old and decrepit to run with the crowd you dream of. :D

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