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Thread: OT: Utah Supreme Court favors self-defense over work policies

  1. #1
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    OT: Utah Supreme Court favors self-defense over work policies

    This is mostly off topic, but probably of interest to some.

    The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that self-defense is a strong enough public policy in Utah as to create an exception to the "employment at will" laws in certain cases.

    This was reported today on the KSL website. Some fair use excerpts (I note that much of what I copy below are direct quotes from the Utah Supreme Court decision and thus the property of the public):

    Quote Originally Posted by KSL report on Utah Supreme Court ruling

    Five former Wal-Mart employees who said they were wrongfully fired after defending themselves and disarming weapon-wielding shoplifters now have the backing of the state's highest court.

    In a 4-1 decision, the Utah Supreme Court on Friday sided with the employees, noting that they had a right to defend themselves. Wal-Mart terminated the employees, saying their actions violated company policy and put their fellow workers and shoppers at risk.

    "The right of self-defense is a public policy of sufficient clarity and weight to qualify as an exception to the at-will employment doctrine," the court opinion states. "But we limit the exception to situations where an employee reasonably believes that force is necessary to defend against an imminent threat of serious bodily harm and the employee has no opportunity to withdraw."

    ...

    "We conclude that there is a clear and substantial public policy in Utah favoring the right of self-defense," the Utah Supreme Court justices wrote.

    The court's said "the right of self-defense is enshrined in Utah statutes," and public policy supporting the right of self-defense outweighs an employer's own workplace regulations when the employee is faced with the imminent threat of serious bodily injury and does not have the opportunity to retreat.
    This ruling has no immediate effect on private employer gun bans in Utah. However, the "pubic policy" language used here is similar to the language one of our lower State judges used in the Lund V SLC case where the judge determined that the mere presence of an OC'd firearm did not create PC/RAS for a stop. See footnote 9 from that case:

    Quote Originally Posted by Footnote 9 Lund v SLC
    By itself, mere possession of a firearm in public is not unlawful and may well represent the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 6 of the Utah Constitution (recognizing the "individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes," subject to the power of the Legislature to define the "lawful use of arms."). See District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 2799 (2008) ("There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms."); see also Utah Code Ann. §§ 76-10-500 to 530 (2003 & Supp. 2008) (Utah Firearms Act). In Utah, the carrying of a concealed weapon on one's person in public is a matter of State licensing and regulation, and is routinely permitted pursuant to the applicable State statute. See Utah Code Ann. §§ 53-5-701 to 711 (Supp. 2008). The legislature has explicitly denied local governmental entities such as Salt Lake City the power to limit or restrict possession of a firearm on public property: "Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property." Utah Code Ann. § 53-5a-102 (Supp. 2008); see University of Utah v. Shurtleff, 2006 UT 51, 11, 144 P.3d 1109, 1113 (observing that the enactment of § 53-5a-102 in 2004 "dramatically altered the legal landscape, rendering it clear that Utah's firearms statutes are universally applicable"). The legislature has authorized municipalities only to "regulate and prevent the discharge of firearms, rockets, powder, fireworks or any other dangerous or combustible material." Utah Code Ann. § 10-8-47 (2007).
    Charles
    Last edited by utbagpiper; 09-22-2015 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Added reference to Lund decision, thanks to info from JoeSparky
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    How about a link, please.
    The link is that blue text that reads "KSL website" in both my original post and the material you quoted from me, but I just realized you may have legitimate difficultly seeing it. Here it is in plain text you can cut and paste.

    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=36583012&nid...s_cid=toppick2

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  3. #3
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    Charles, I think you're referring to the Lund case.
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
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    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    How about a link, please.
    KSL website.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  5. #5
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Affect on the carry (CC to keep the kiddies calm) of a handgun by parents/visitors in the buildings of K-12 skrools?
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Affect on the carry (CC to keep the kiddies calm) of a handgun by parents/visitors in the buildings of K-12 skrools?
    So far as I can tell, zero effect on carry (OC or CC) into K-12 schools in Utah.

    Under Utah law, anyone with a valid permit can legally carry into schools. Federal law requires the permit be issued by the State in which the school is located.

    Utah State preemption on RKBA related laws prevents school districts from having anti-gun employment policies. So in addition to parents and other visitors, teachers and other employees can also carry; and they can do so without risk of job loss. Most school districts impose a "concealed-only" and/or "don't ask, don't tell" policy on employees. These likely are a technical violation of our State preemption, but to date, no public school employee has pushed for the ability to OC on the job.

    Perfectly legal and generally socially accepted for visitors to OC to schools, at least so far as I'm aware. In addition to attending some school activities for my own children while I'm OCing, my usually polling place is in a public Middle School that my children don't attend. I make a point to OC when voting. Never had any issues at all. This is in the suburban SLC area, not in the heart of downtown liberalism.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    Charles, I think you're referring to the Lund case.
    Yes. Thank you, Joe. Exactly the Lund case. Major brain cramp on my part.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Yes. Thank you, Joe. Exactly the Lund case. Major brain cramp on my part.

    Charles
    DON'T call him JOE!
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” - John Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Experience? Experience means political success, which means (today) Democrat or Republican. And it is precisely these professional politicians who have become corrupt and unrepresentative of the American people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    DON'T call him JOE!
    He gets a pass THIS TIME as I referred to him by his first name and not his logon
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  10. #10
    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    He gets a pass THIS TIME as I referred to him by his first name and not his logon
    LOL, gotcha. I was just trying to inject a bit of humor, but I realize it may not be humorous to you. No slight intended.
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” - John Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Experience? Experience means political success, which means (today) Democrat or Republican. And it is precisely these professional politicians who have become corrupt and unrepresentative of the American people.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    LOL, gotcha. I was just trying to inject a bit of humor, but I realize it may not be humorous to you. No slight intended.
    None taken. Slight that us. Humor noted.
    Last edited by JoeSparky; 09-24-2015 at 07:15 PM.
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    He gets a pass THIS TIME as I referred to him by his first name and not his logon
    Apologies if I was too familiar, no disrespect or offense intended. Let me know your favored form of address. As a college professor told our class once, "I'll call you most anything you like short of 'sir'."

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Apologies if I was too familiar, no disrespect or offense intended. Let me know your favored form of address. As a college professor told our class once, "I'll call you most anything you like short of 'sir'."

    Charles
    My request is that all use my Logon of "JoeSparky" Caps as used optional!....

    As a result of some on the forum using certain shorted versions of the logons of some other posters in what I perceived to be attempting to show disrespect ect, I have made a few specific requests that I be referred to on the forum by my logon ONLY... Not "Joe" or even "Sparky".

    You, utbagpiper, got a pass without a complaint from me as your response to me using the "Joe" was not taken as an attempt to show disrespect ect AND most importantly, I had just used your name to reply to you instead of your logon name.


    And now, back to the op's original topic....
    I appreciate the decision made by the Utah Supreme Court at the request of the Federal District Court on this particular case. I wish they hadn't limited this "protection" to having "no retreat" options to be protected from negative employer actions for availing oneself of the right to defend self!
    Last edited by JoeSparky; 09-24-2015 at 09:04 PM.
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    My request is that all use my Logon of "JoeSparky" Caps as used optional!....

    As a result of some on the forum using certain shorted versions of the logons of some other posters in what I perceived to be attempting to show disrespect ect, I have made a few specific requests that I be referred to on the forum by my logon ONLY... Not "Joe" or even "Sparky".
    A perfectly reasonable request, JoeSparky.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    You, utbagpiper, got a pass without a complaint from me as your response to me using the "Joe" was not taken as an attempt to show disrespect ect AND most importantly, I had just used your name to reply to you instead of your logon name.
    Thank you.

    For the record, either "Charles" or "UtBagpiper" are perfectly acceptable to me. I don't even mind "Piper" as long as it isn't used in a demeaning fashion.


    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    I appreciate the decision made by the Utah Supreme Court at the request of the Federal District Court on this particular case. I wish they hadn't limited this "protection" to having "no retreat" options to be protected from negative employer actions for availing oneself of the right to defend self!
    I certainly understand your perspective. However, given that the legislature has not passed specific laws in this matter, I think the "no retreat" option was about the best course. It recognizes a fundamental right and clear State policy without presuming to write broad legislation from the bench. In other words, it serves justice in the case at hand, but keeps the decision narrow in the absence of specific laws addressing this aspect of employer/employee relations.

    And were the legislature to take up the matter, I think this is about where the line should be drawn on employer/employee relationships. On my own time, I should not be under any duty to retreat if confronted by violence. But my employer might well require me to retreat if reasonably possible before resorting to any use of force while I'm on his time and property...if I wish to remain in his employ. Of course, I'd frame "reasonable" such as to grant every benefit of the doubt to the employee.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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