I finally get to carry at work (new job).


PDA






B. Adams
May 14, 2007, 09:55 PM
For the last two years I've been working in Iowa, where carry permits are scarce. My South Dakota permit isn't valid in Iowa, and I couldn't get an Iowa permit even if I lived there, so I haven't been carrying in Iowa. I started a new job today just a few blocks from my house in South Dakota, where I can legally carry pretty much anywhere, and I carried an XD-40 in my laptop bag just in case they had a restrictive carry policy. They also have a business casual dress code, and all my dress pants are a little too small for me (I bought some new ones this evening), so it wasn't practical to try to conceal on my person. I didn't want to be made my first day of work, after all. But after today, I no longer feel comfortable carrying in my bag, since personal property can be subject to search (not common), to prevent theft and other abuse. In the future I will carry in my IWB tuckable holster, since I have pants that fit now. :)

Anyway, today I read through the employee handbook, and they do have a weapons policy (that I think I can ignore). At the beginning of the handbook, it states in bold, "...this manual is not intended nor should it be deemed to be a contract of employment between (the company) and it's employees. This manual is not a contract." Their weapons policy described later on is simply, "Unauthorized possession, display or use of a weapon" is regarded as "misconduct," which will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination." It's on a list of a few dozen other things, like excessive tardiness, theft, ignoring the dress code, sexual harassment, all the usual things. Just a standard list of stuff that employers dislike.

So, they have a policy that indicates that the corporation feels that "unauthorized posession of weapons" is a danger to employees, while the State of South Dakota has determined that my possession of a handgun concealed on my person is not dangerous to others. I had a background check done when I got my permit, I had a background check when I got my C&R, I have a background check done every time I buy a new gun (often ;)), and this company asked me for permission to do a background check, which I assume they followed through on, when I interviewed with them a few weeks ago.

I'm of the opinion that since the State of South Dakota authorizes me to carry, that it's been determined through multiple background checks that I am of sound character, and that the employee handbook is simply a list of guidelines and specifically "not a contract," that I am well within my rights to carry a concealed handgun as I see fit.

Obviously I don't ever want to test this policy, the last thing I want is for anyone to know I've got a gun. I'm of the opinion that "concealed means concealed." Open carry is legal here, but guns scare too many people to make it practical. The worst case scenario if my employer ever found out I was carrying would be that I'd get fired, which is something that wouldn't bother me all that much. It's not exactly a long-term career goal to be working here, although it is a pretty decent job for the time being.

I'm interested in seeing who agrees and disagrees with my interpretation of company policy, and how you feel about the decision to carry at my new job. Personally, I'm glad I can finally exercise my rights at work without restrictions from an oppressive State government. Let me know what you think.

If you enjoyed reading about "I finally get to carry at work (new job)." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Majic
May 14, 2007, 10:09 PM
Unauthorized most likely means not authorized by the company. As the handbook says it's not a contract it does say you could be disiplined for the offences listed. That door could swing both ways so don't think you are perfectly safe.

B. Adams
May 14, 2007, 10:13 PM
I don't think I'm perfectly safe either, but I think it's ambiguous enough that I don't need to worry about it too much. Hopefully I'll never have to find out. ;)

jeepmor
May 14, 2007, 10:16 PM
What a great excuse to buy pocket guns so you'll never be found out.

Glockman17366
May 14, 2007, 10:28 PM
"Unauthorized possession, display or use of a weapon" is regarded as "misconduct,"

My interpretation is authorization comes from the company...not the state. You do what you want, but if you get caught, you'll probably be disciplined in accordance with th ecompany manual.
If you tried to sue (if you were discharged) you'd lose.

Good luck in your decision!

mlandman
May 14, 2007, 10:37 PM
perhaps you could either check with HR, or have a "prospective job hunter" check for you. I am sure you will not be the first to ask for clarification. Is it worth finding a new job if you are caught violating company policy?

B. Adams
May 14, 2007, 10:38 PM
I'd have no recourse to sue them anyway, South Dakota is a right-to-work state. They can fire anyone at anytime, for any reason (or no reason). I'm sure you're correct about where the authorization comes from, but I think it's ambiguous enough that I could talk them out of not firing me. They'd probably make me leave my gun at home though.


I'll have to think about a pocket gun, that sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll keep an eye out for a decent one.

Hanzerik
May 14, 2007, 11:21 PM
"...this manual is not intended nor should it be deemed to be a contract of employment between (the company) and it's employees. This manual is not a contract."


Almost sounds like Wally Worlds (Wal-Mart) ending statement in their handbook.

Son of Sam
May 14, 2007, 11:32 PM
Open carry is legal here, but guns scare too many people to make it practical.

FWIW, who cares what people think. I'd open carry (while not at work) just to make the rest of us shy gun-lovers come out of the closet and do the same. A right not often exercised is often a right soon lost. Acclimate the masses to open carry.

You've got the CCW, so I'd carry at work and be sure not to print or advertise the fact that you're armed. Deal with the consequences when they arise, but in the mean time, you have time to allow your new bosses to see that you are an asset to the company in the ways for which the hired you. If they appreciate your work ethics (besides your being armed) then they'll likely take that into consideration if and when they find out you are regularly "defensively equipped", no?

That's just my two cents, BTW.

Logan5
May 15, 2007, 12:51 AM
If "unauthorized" meant "unauthorized by the company" then that would imply that the company had some kind of authorization process, no?

I read it to mean that if an employee gets arrested for packing without a permit, then the company can terminate for cause and not pay unemployment, etc. They also include unauthorized "display or use", which I read to mean that it should never come to your employer's or fellow employees' attention that you CCW, unless there is a maniac with a chainsaw in the office during business hours.

Obviously, the clause is there because the employer is concerned about their tort liability. If your employer were to authorize you to carry, then they would be a lot further towards being on the hook for civil damages if someone is injured.

What they're probably saying is that it's between you and your CCW licensing authority, and if you ever do anything that forces them to take notice, forget the comp claim if they can you.

Of course, forget all that if you work for Brinks or something, and carry a weapon within the scope of your employment.

Mauserguy
May 15, 2007, 12:54 AM
I think that your exposure will come down to your manager. If he is gun friendly, a good liklihood in the Dakotas, then he may simply tell you to lock it in your car while at work. If he is remotely anti, he will fire you without cause. That's the tough thing about at will states.
Mauserguy

JLStorm
May 15, 2007, 01:12 AM
Good for you! One of my jobs is with a fortune 100 company, mostly ex military types who have been converted into white collar and blue collar communication gurus, but you would not believe how many people have their carry permit and USE it. Our company probably does not advocate weapons, in fact Im sure somewhere in some book they prohibit them. On the flip side most people make it known how much they shoot and/or like guns, coincidentally even during many lay offs and states of emergency when we still have to work not once has their been any physical violence or shootings in any of our buildings...go figure...:rolleyes:

obxned
May 15, 2007, 01:44 AM
Concealled means just that - make it a non-issue by not getting 'outed'.

RocketMan
May 15, 2007, 02:51 AM
I hope you don't get too attached to your new job. I have a hunch you won't have it long.

helpless
May 15, 2007, 04:32 AM
Concealed concealed concealed

briney11
May 15, 2007, 07:27 AM
I have always found it kinda funny (although I understand thier point of view) that I can have a permit to carry (Iowa) but then I go to work and they all of the sudden ahve the right to revoke my right to carry while I am at work. I just started at a new company (underground utility locating) and have not seen any handbook yet. But I will be talking to my supervisor about me carrying today. I am hoping tha he will allow it as I have a country route and there are cougars here in Iowa.

SWMAN
May 15, 2007, 08:38 AM
Well, its like this: If you violate the company policy or other company employees find out your carrying at work and that makes them scared of you, the company can fire you for violating policy and contributing to a hostile work environment "harassment".

Notch
May 15, 2007, 08:55 AM
Good Luck! I am "lucky" at my job. A few months ago in an all company meeting, ( all seven of us ) the "building utilities coordinator" brought up our "need" to post the front and back doors. Before I could open my mouth and explain that something like that does absolutely nothing, the boss/ceo/owner said "fine, but it doesnt pertain to Mark of myself" !

RPCVYemen
May 15, 2007, 10:17 AM
If "unauthorized" meant "unauthorized by the company" then that would imply that the company had some kind of authorization process, no?

It probably means that they are reserving the right to have armed security guards on the premises when they think they are necessary. I am betting that there is no "authorization process" for non-security personnel.

Mike

If you enjoyed reading about "I finally get to carry at work (new job)." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!