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The Employee vs Employer rights debate...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Green Lantern, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Well-Known Member

    As I'm sure most of you all know, the NRA has been trying (with no success) to get state laws passed to forbid employers from banning legally owned and carried firearms from being stored in employee vehicles.

    Besides the usual enemy, the Brady Bunch, NRA has had to face off against "big-business" interests. But I think one of the main obstacles is the lack of a unified front among gun owners.

    Based on my experiences on other boards, a DEPRESSING number of gun owners think that the current situation, which honors the rights of property owners with NO protection for the employees, is acceptable and fair. I'm sure some of them are probably 'the boss,' meaning THEY can carry where they want and to heck with the peons. But I don't think ALL of them can be!

    Let's say the tables were turned and state law said a property owner could NOT ban CCW. Then it would be our rights winning the day...but with no protection of the property owner's rights! ALSO unfair.

    The perfect compromise to me is to ban CCW IN the workplace if the boss chooses, but to protect your legal property inside YOUR private property, your vehicle! Otherwise, they strip you of your right to self-defense not only on their property, but on every mile of your commute as well!

    Those that talk of a slippery slope of eroding property rights - under the current situation, since a boss has the say of what you can and can't keep in your car, then I could easily see:
    -A Christian boss firing you for your 'sinful' CD's, or forcing you to hang a cross from your mirror
    -An athiest boss firing you for having a Bible in your car
    -A Democrat boss making you slap a "Hillary 08" sticker on your car
    -A Republican boss making you place a "support Bush" sticker on your car.

    Why NOT?
  2. Bubbles

    Bubbles Well-Known Member

    I think it would depend on whether or not the property owner "owns" the parking lot. For instance, I work in an office complex with four separate buildings, each rented by 2-4 different large companies. So, employees of almost a dozen employers share a communal parking lot. The building management company "owns" the buildings and the parking lot while the employers simply rent office space. Under that scenario I could see where leaving your gun in your car is ok, and in fact in my employee handbook is says I may not carry "into the facility/building" but parking areas are not addressed.

    Now, there are places where the company owns the building and the land/parking lot around it. In that case then yes, the property owner has the ultimate say in what can/can't happen on that property. I used to work at a site like that, and I parked next door and walked the extra 30 yards or so to my building. Interestingly enough, a few other folks did as well...
  3. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Most of the time when this is talked about, people aren't precise, and lump everything into a one size fits all approach that treats all property as if it were private property.

    Discussion of this issue is usually clarified by understanding that for all practical purposes, there are different classes of property that exist in a continuum:

    -truly private property, such as your ranch or dwelling
    -private property open to select folks (such as offices, factories)
    -property that is NOT private (ie: property of public accommodation: restaurants, shops, etc)
    -truly public property, such as the sidewalk

    The rights of the property owner and the visitor vary, based on the scenario.

    The bottom line is that the owner and the visitor BOTH have rights, and how they interact and intersect in these 4 main scenes is what to discuss.

    In NO scenario are the owner's rights absolute. You may not post up a sign in your yard stating that by entering your property, the visitor enters into a binding contract whereing their life continues at your whim, or that they "voluntarilly" enslave themselves to you.

    I've got a 2/3 baked essay on the topic that I'll have to post up when I have time.
  4. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    In the absence of nationwide Vermont carry . . .

    What I WOULD like to see is a law that says if an employee, licensed by the Government to carry a concealed handgun for lawful self protection, is disarmed while on the job due to company policy, then the company is 100% responsible for the employee's safety and assumes 100% liability should the employee be mugged, assaulted, raped, or otherwise harmed.

    The company should bear the same liability as if they prohibited the use of safety glasses in the company machine shop, removed safety belts from company vehicles used on company roads, or took handrails off of catwalks and stairwells.
  5. knoxx45

    knoxx45 Well-Known Member

    Keep in your car?

    Why would you keep it in your car. When I work in our nj office, which is a bout 25% of my schedule, I carry (and so do alot of other people) even though my company forbids it. I was "made" once. I sitting and to be a little more comfortable, I slid it around so that it was more infront. One of my co-workers said "hey , what's that in your pants?" Havint to be quick on my feet i looked him right in the eye an said "my D*ck! You want to see it?" Ever since then I've never had another problem, although the receptionist smiles at me a little more that she used to.:D
  6. mons meg

    mons meg Well-Known Member

    In such cases as we have currently in Oklahoma, where ConocoPhillips got an injunction against the "parking lot" clause in our carry law, gun owners seem to fall into two camps, the "it's my private vehicle" and the "property rights" crowd.

    What people forget is ConocoPhllips is a CORPORATION, and as such do NOT enjoy the same "rights" as an individual living breathing person. Each state defines what rights/privilieges a corporation enjoys, and it's usually very limited.
  7. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Well-Known Member

    I work in one of those evil corporate plots that forbids guns on site. Unlike bubbles, I have a 1.5 mile hike to get to me building if I were to park out side the gate.

    My wife has standing orders to litigate the pants off HP should anything happen to me here.

    Some say, find somwhere else to work, well, I need to put a roof over my families head and food on the table.

    I am of the ilk that I would like to keep my CCW in the car but being a "rule follower" I play by thier rules.
  8. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

    If an employer can deny an employee their right to arms on company property, can the employer not also deny the employee's right to refuse to perform sexual services for his/her supervisor and all company superiors while on company property?

    As long as the employer is given the power to deny employee's rights, what's the difference?
  9. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

    Historically, one of the reasons European peasants were denied the right to own or carry around weaponry was because other people owned the land upon which they lived and worked. Peasants owning weapons would violate the property rights of the landowning nobility.

    Seems to me that America has been headed that direction for awhile now. Poor people rent their dwellings from one company, ride to work on buses or trains owned by another company (or drive on toll roads owned by another company), and work inside office buildings owned by yet a third company.

    We are slowly drifting toward a situation in which we agree with the royalty and nobility of a bygone era: the lower classes should never be allowed to exercise any human rights that their betters don't want them to have.

  10. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    I think this is the best analogy. Firing an employee for having a Bible (or Quran) in his / her car would be a clear infringement of his / her 1st amendment rights. Why is firing an employee for having a firearm in his / her car not an infringement of his / her 2nd amendment rights?

    Also, as another person has mentioned, corporations are legal (not natural) "persons" created under state law. Perhaps a sole proprietor should be allowed a bit more discretion than a corporation, but I don't think we want to see a return to indentured servitude.
  11. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    Heck I heard of companies that do not allow smoking in their parking lots, even in your car:eek: . I'm not a smoker, and I don't like the stuff, but even that is a little over the line. Granted if your in some sort of ultra secure area, where cars are searched (if you worked in the White House or the pentagon for example) or if your parking your vehicle in an area that already has a firearm restriction (schools, Federal parks, NYC, etc) I would have to agree with the employer, your sneaking in a weapon into a restricted area. However if your company is making widgets and you have a permit to carry, why shouldn't you leave your weapon in your car. The Weapon should not be in plan sight and possibly locked. If your car is your private property, then anything inside it should be private.
  12. Check Your State's Corporate Laws

    Corporations are constructs made possible by state and federal law. Corporations only have the powers granted to them by state and federal law. If your state laws are anything like Oklahoma's corporate law, infringing or violating employee's rights might be forbidden. Oklahoma law grants corporations power to write their own bylaws, but in the same section, Oklahoma's corporate law specifically forbids a corporation to adopt a bylaw that would violate any rights of its shareholders, officers, or employees.

    I brought this to the attention of Oklahoma's AG, Drew Edmondson, and he has forwarded it to the team fighting the lawsuit against Oklahoma's recent law forbidding employers from restricting employees from keeping arms locked in their vehicles in parking lots for those vehicles. Clearly, those corporation bylaws violate their employee's right to keep and bear arms - even beyond the parking lots because the ride to and from work is adversely affected.

    Even though the law does sometimes treat corporations as individuals, those instances are specific and not general - specifically in the realm of taxes. Corporations do not have rights like people do. They only have powers.

    Follow up on this in your own state's corporate law. You may find the cause to take them to court for violating the law - and the rights of its employees - rather than them suing the state for infringing upon a "right" the corporation thinks it has to forbid carrying or storing arms locked in employee's vehicles.


    "The Right of the People to move about freely in a secure manner shall not be infringed. Any manner of self defense shall not be restricted, regardless of the mode of travel or where you stop along the way, as it is the right so enumerated at both the beginning and end of any journey." B.E.Wood
  13. Mons Meg

    I didn't mean to step on your thunder here. I should have read all the posts before I commented. But, you are right on track. Tonight I'll post the title and verse of that specific Oklahoma law.


    :evil: Yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater should only result in a profusion of bullet holes in the screen where the villain last appeared! B.E.Wood :evil:
  14. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Well-Known Member


    Does that mean that in OK, McDonalds can't discipline a counter employee for wearing a button that says "McDonalds Sucks, Go Burger King"?
  15. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    The corporate perspective

    I may have a bit of insight here. You see, I happen to be the in-house attorney for one of those dreaded corporations.

    Corporations are amoral (not "immoral"). Corporate managers have a duty to maximize the return to their shareholders. All they really care about, and all they are really allowed to carry about, is what actions will best maximize the value of the company. That means they also have to evaluate potential liability risks to the company, and find the best means of mitigating those risks.

    Regardless of what corporate boards or managers may think or feel about the "rights" of employees, they can only take whatever actions they reasonably believe will best protect the company from liability. It doesn't matter whether the entire board of directors and executive team are diehard supports of the 2nd Amendment and believers in liberty and libertarianism, or are bed-wetting liberals who worship Hillary Clinton and Sarah Brady and tremble at the mere thought of a gun -- their decisions about whether to permit firearms on their property and under what circumstances are going to be driven entirely by a cold cost/benefit analysis. They will ask what it costs them to ban guns, including in vehicles parked in the lot, vs. the benefits. The will ask what it costs NOT to ban guns, vs. the benefits.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that it is very easy to foresee potential liability on the part of the employer if an employee brings a gun onto company property with the employer's consent, and that gun is misused. When a customer or employee gets shot by another employee, the employer will get sued for negligence. At that point, the employer wants to be able to say that they TOLD the employee he wasn't allowed to bring a gun, and that because he defied the company instructions the employer cannot be held responsible.

    One could argue that an employer might also be held liable if it bans guns, and the lack of a firearm prevents an employee from defending himself or herself against attack. Unfortunately, you would almost certainly NEVER be able to prove that without the employer ban that employee WOULD have had a firearm on that particular day and in those circumstances, and that the presence of the firearm WOULD have prevented the attack. In other words, you will almost certainly NEVER be able to prove that the employer's ban on firearms actually caused injury, but it is at least plausible that a jury might blame an employer who does NOT ban firearms when someone is shot with an employee's gun.

    I'm not saying that's the right result, mind you, I'm just telling it like it is.

    Given that analysis, it is only reasonable for corporations to try to minimize their liability by banning guns. Does it make anyone safer? No. The companies don't care, though. All they care about is liability, and by banning employees from having any firearms on your property, you are probably reducing the likelihood you will be held liable in the event a firearm is misused.

    There is a solution to this perverse incentive -- liability protection for employers. The Ohio concealed carry law contains the best one I've seen. It provides that businesses cannot be held liable to third parties for their decision to ban or not ban weapons on their premises. That means you can't argue that a company is liable in negligence merely because it failed to post its premises, or because it failed to ban employees from having firearms on company property. That provision goes a long way toward undercutting the main reason that most companies choose to adopt policies banning firearms on company property.

    I'm proud to say that my current employer has adopted what I think is a fairly reasonable policy, especially considering we're in liberal Minnesota. Our policy prohibits employees from carrying on company business, or in company buildings. It specifically permits firearms in employee vehicles on company property, provided they are properly secured and out of sight, and also provides that employees may expose their firearms briefly for the purpose of securing them in the vehicle when arriving, or retreiving them (say, from the trunk) when departing. Our buildings are not "posted" as banning firearms.

    My former employer, by contrast, has posted all of its buildings and has a "no exceptions" ban on all firearms on company property, including in cars parked on company property. That's one of many reasons I don't work there, anymore.
  16. another okie

    another okie Well-Known Member

    "When a customer or employee gets shot by another employee, the employer will get sued for negligence."

    This statement is only half right. Check the workers' compensation laws.

    Generally a good post.
  17. Father Knows Best

    You've brought up some interesting points:

    Quite true, but they must still act within the law and only as the law allows.

    An employer does not have to give an employee permission to bring a gun on corporate property. And, unless the employee shoots someone as a function of the corporation, the corporation is no more liable than the shooter's neighbors, or me for that matter. Remember, a corporation can only act in accordance with the powers granted to it. Any act it wishes to prohibit in its bylaws to its employees must be spelled out.

    Here the opposite is true in the liability of the corporation. The corporation IS sticking its neck out by banning employees to keep arms locked in their cars, or quite possibly on their person. And again, the corporation can not be held liable for an illegal act committed by one of its employees. It would be no different than a stranger coming on to the corporate property and committing a crime. Corporate bylaws are more for spelling out corporate functions, delegating who does what as a function of the business. Those bylaws governing the employees' behavior while not engaged in a function of the corporation are more like any other law. Those laws prohibit certain activities, not grant permission for any certain activity. An example: You don't need permission from the corporation to breathe on the job. The corporation can forbid you to smoke on the job.

    Oklahoma law, like the law in Ohio, prevents lawsuits against corporations for any crimes an employee might commit as a result of employees having arms locked in their vehicles on company property. Personally, I believe it is not necessary. Suing a company because an employee goes berserk is frivolous. It's a third party thing. I can't sue my neighbor to the North when my neighbor to the South throws his trash over the fence into my yard. I can't sue the homeowners association, either.

    Your new employer has it right. Good move!

  18. As Promised - The Pertinent Oklahoma Corporate Law

    ยง18-1013. Bylaws.


    A. The original or other bylaws of a corporation may be adopted, amended or repealed by the incorporators, by the initial directors if they were named in the certificate of incorporation, or, before a corporation has received any payment for any of its stock, by its board of directors. After a corporation has received any payment for any of its stock, except as otherwise provided in its certificate of incorporation, the power to adopt, amend or repeal bylaws shall be in the board of directors, or, in the case of a nonstock corporation, in its governing body.

    B. The bylaws may contain any provision, not inconsistent with law or with the certificate of incorporation, relating to the business of the corporation, the conduct of its affairs, and its rights or powers or the rights or powers of its shareholders, directors, officers or employees.


    Look at your rights and freedoms as what would be required to survive and be free as if there were no government. If that doesn't convince you to take a stand and protect your inalienable rights and freedoms, nothing will. If that doesn't convince you to maintain your personal sovereignty, you are already someone else's subject. If you don't secure your rights and freedoms to maintain your personal sovereignty now, it'll be too late to come to me for help when they come for you. I will already be dead because I had to stand alone. B.E.Wood
  19. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Well-Known Member

    This section of law discusses corporate bylaws. However, employees policy is not set in bylaws but in policy manuals that are not even referred to in bylaws. I don't see that this applies to employees bringing guns onto property or exercising First Amendment rights, or, in fact, any Constitutional issues outside of the bylaws themselves.
  20. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam


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