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Thread: Carrying at work!

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    I work for a company that sends me to do various types of medical work for people around the NW Ohio area. I mentioned to my boss when they sent me to an area of town that I was going to carry. She immediatley inquired "what do you mean carry."
    I responded with 'carry a gun.' She told me I am not permitted to carry while traveling for the company or on company time. Is this legal? I am thinking that it is not legal. Truck drivers carry guns all the time. They frequently send me to parts of town that are notorious for people being killed in broad daylight, and like I am not going to take some sort of self protection with me.

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    Well, "unconscionable" terms of a contract are not enforceable, but I doubt that a gun prohibition at the workplace (or while acting as an agent of the company wherever) rises to that level, legally speaking. That said, it's probably not a crime to ignore therule, but it is also probably sufficient cause for termination. Weigh the cost of getting fired vs. getting attacked and go from there. They presumably wouldn't know you had one if you are working off-site, unless you actually had to use the thing, in which case you'd have demonstrated the need for one. Dunno - hard call either way.

    In short, as I understand it, such a prohibition is legal cause to fire you if they have a policy about it. If there's nothing written out or if it isn't made clear to everyone, you might complain of arbitrary treatment, but I don't think any court would sympathize. And would you really want to be reinstated at a place that canned you over defending yourself, and maybe even protecting their other assets at the same time?

    I'm not admitted to the bar, and I'm sure you could find some lawyer who would say otherwise, but that's my understanding of such arrangements.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    In short, as I understand it, such a prohibition is legal cause to fire you if they have a policy about it. If there's nothing written out or if it isn't made clear to everyone, you might complain of arbitrary treatment, but I don't think any court would sympathize. -ljp

    In OH, an employer does not need any reason, or a policy violation to fire you. They say leave, you go.



    http://www.eeoattorney.com/custom3.html

    In general, Ohio law provides that all employees are at-will and can be fired for almost any reason. Employers are not required to give any warnings or notice. But employers cannot fire an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, or national origin. In some locations like the city of Cleveland, Ohio, employers are also prohibited from firing an employee based on sexual orientation. Employers also are not allowed to fire an at-will employee for reasons that would violate Ohio public policy. Some examples of recognized public policies are:



    [*]giving truthful testimony under oath



    [*]contacting an attorney to discuss employment rights



    [*]reporting crimes



    [*]refusing to participate in insurance fraud



    [*]taking almost any action protected by statute

    An at-will employee fired for any of these reasons, may have a case.

    So, is carrying protected by statute here in OH? Could one argue that Article one, Section 4 of the OH Constitution says that you "have a right to keep and bear arms for your defense and security", and is therefore, combined with the CCW laws of 2923 and 9.68 of the Ohio Revised Code, protected by statute? I'm no lawyer, but I have heard of flimsier lawsuits than that.

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    Well, there are any number of things that employers are and aren't supposed to do. Try organizing a union at a Wal-Mart sometime for a little practical civics lesson. You have a right to do it, and yet it is more certain than death or taxes that you will be terminated in some form for it. I had a place tell me that they paid overtime after 40 hours when I asked about benefits. I reminded them - if they ever knew it - that it was a crime not to (at least for non-exempt hourly classified people), and not a "benefit" at all. I did not get hired.

    Pretty much all employment is "at will" in any case, yes. I just meant that you might have cause for complaint about partial treatment, and not necessarily a legal cause of action. Gun owners are not a protected caste, alas.

    -ljp

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    I fully understand that employers and employees are protected in OH by a thing called "at will employment." I can quit for any reason or lack thereof, they can fire me for any reason or lack thereof. We all get this by now - it has been around for quite some time.
    I just don't understand how they can have a policy on carrying a gun in my vehicle during work hours if I am not on company property, or carrying a gun on my person during those hours if again not on company property. I don't even see how it would apply to workplace safety since I am not in the office but once a week, and if my gun is in my car, what right to they have to tell me that I can't have it there? I have a serious problem with this. I have not voiced any opinion on it though, and I am doing my best to go about my business stealthly. I will consult an attorney this week.

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    I've recently been inquiring at work about this very topic. I am awaiting my permit to conceal and asked one of the owners what he would think if he knew I was carrying on the job. He said he personally wouldn't mind as long as it was concealed well but there are 3 other partners that he didn't think would share his opinion. (we get a lot of customer traffic through the production department) He said after I have received my permit to meet with him again and he would discuss the matter further. He would also 'go to bat' for me with the other partners if I requested. He didn't seem too optimistic about it but at least it is something. So, for now I just bring the gun in and lock it in my tool box. Nobody knows it is there but me and as long as I don't need it nobody needs to know. (we have no signs on our doors.)

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    You have a slightly different situation, you are on your companies property for the duration of your work day. I only drive to my employers office once a week to turn in my mileage and my hours for the week, and collect a paycheck. This takes all of about 30 minutes so I don't mind leaving my gun in my car if that is required - but there are no signs at the office either. I am still going to consult an attorney. I don't think they can legally tell me that I can not carry while I am not on the property - regardless if I am on the clock or not.

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    Are you in your car or their's? I don't know if this makes a difference but it may be worth bringing up to the attorney. Personally, I would carry and keep my mouth shut about it. If there is no sign and no WRITTEN policy about it then as long as they don't know you should be good. If you ever need to use the gun in self-defense the last thing you'll be worrying about is whether or not your boss will be pissed. You will have other pending legal matters to attend to. I wouldn't push the issue too much myself. I'd just carry the gun and keep it on the D.L.

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    In various parts of the country employers have fired employees for having unloaded guns (hunting rifles at that) locked in the trunk of their cars in the company parking lot. So anti gun policies are alive and well and often protected by the courts.

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    irfner wrote:
    In various parts of the country employers have fired employees for having unloaded guns (hunting rifles at that) locked in the trunk of their cars in the company parking lot. So anti gun policies are alive and well and often protected by the courts.
    Disney in Florida is the classic case of that. A couple who worked there for many years, (and met at their interview) mentioned durring lunch that they had recently been victems of crime, and the police recomended they carry a gun for protection durring their commute to work (they recently moved to a rural location). When it was discoved they were practicing this, not only were they fired, they are BANNED from Disney property. Anyone have a link handy?



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    I have a family member who is waiting on his CCW license. He works at Honda and they are not allowed to have a firearm on the property. ie in his vehicle. I read where a company in OK is being taking to task for this same policy.:?

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    Unfotunately this is one area where most of us don't realy have a choice to OC. Just CC,don't ask,don't tell,and never consent to a search.

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    Pauly wrote:
    Are you in your car or their's? I don't know if this makes a difference but it may be worth bringing up to the attorney. Personally, I would carry and keep my mouth shut about it. If there is no sign and no WRITTEN policy about it then as long as they don't know you should be good. If you ever need to use the gun in self-defense the last thing you'll be worrying about is whether or not your boss will be pissed. You will have other pending legal matters to attend to. I wouldn't push the issue too much myself. I'd just carry the gun and keep it on the D.L.
    I drive my own car. I have thought about keeping it on the D.L.
    I thought my direct boss and me were good friends and seen eye to eye for the most part. I made the mistake of jokingly mentioning that I carry a gun when she told me she was sending me to a dangerous part of town late at night to deliver some supplies - then holy hell broke loose. I just ignored it and acted like nothing was going on, and let it go for my jobs sake. But I am really upset with idea that they think its okay to tell me when and where it is appropriate to defend myself.

    1. Would me getting a CCW override any of their policies?
    2. Is this legal? - thier policy - there is no written policy in my employee hankbook - I checked it last night.
    3. Could I sue if I were fired for it?

    I think these are the questions I need to ask the attorney. I am waiting for his call back later today.

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    IANAL

    but i would imagine even though you are not on their property you are still taveling for business and as a employee you represent them in the field.

    if it is never noticed (very good concealment) then nothing will probably ever come of it but if someone noticed you was packing and you're there for medical stuff they might report back or get upset.. they could fire you imo.

    you have to weight is it worth carying? of course if you're attacked then the answer is yes.

    but if you get fired before you're attacked you might regret it.. have to weight these options..

    most office jobs are'nt gonna let you carry into work so every one has to make these choices.. we know officers are sometimes a target of shooters.

    anyway if you do decide to carry make sure it's something small.. i might even go with a little .22lr because concealing it is gonna be priority 1, a .22lr is'nt much stopping power but it's better then a pointy stick.

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    cilcannonvryce wrote:
    Pauly wrote:
    Are you in your car or their's? I don't know if this makes a difference but it may be worth bringing up to the attorney. Personally, I would carry and keep my mouth shut about it. If there is no sign and no WRITTEN policy about it then as long as they don't know you should be good. If you ever need to use the gun in self-defense the last thing you'll be worrying about is whether or not your boss will be pissed. You will have other pending legal matters to attend to. I wouldn't push the issue too much myself. I'd just carry the gun and keep it on the D.L.
    I drive my own car. I have thought about keeping it on the D.L.
    I thought my direct boss and me were good friends and seen eye to eye for the most part. I made the mistake of jokingly mentioning that I carry a gun when she told me she was sending me to a dangerous part of town late at night to deliver some supplies - then holy hell broke loose. I just ignored it and acted like nothing was going on, and let it go for my jobs sake. But I am really upset with idea that they think its okay to tell me when and where it is appropriate to defend myself.

    1. Would me getting a CCW override any of their policies?
    2. Is this legal? - thier policy - there is no written policy in my employee hankbook - I checked it last night.
    3. Could I sue if I were fired for it?

    I think these are the questions I need to ask the attorney. I am waiting for his call back later today.

    Keep us posted. I think you would have a good court case if you were fired since they don't have a standing written policy and the building is sign free. But, I ain't no lawyer. I would keep it to myself and not push the issue because this will only cause signs to go up all over the building and parking lot. Basically, you have the right to carry unless they say otherwise. So don't go asking for permission. I may be completely wrong on this one but that is what I would do. (and actually do) Maybe one of the older and wiser gents on this board will chime in and offer a better suggestion.

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    This may not help you but, when I worked for time warner as a sub contractor installing cable we were always in bad parts of town. I wish I could have carried MANY times, but when I signed my contract with the Contracting company, it stated in the agreement that I would not keep a deadly weapon in my truck. Now, that was before the CCW was available even in Ohio, and now that I have my CCW, if I went back to work for them I would carry anyway. I drove my own truck as well.

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    Well I did talk to the attorney this morning. For some reason he never called me last week. Something tells me I should check with another attorney - but this guy didn't seem to far off base from how I feel about the issue overall. Here is the advice he gave me:

    1. Get a CCW - he said it would ensure my right to carry in a legal fashion O/C and CC regardless of my location in the state, and it is only about $120.
    2. If I am going to an end of town at any time of day where I feel the need to carry a gun as a means of self-protection - don't tell my boss - EVER!! I am not obligated to do so. He also said if my work was to persue this matter and keep asking about it, to dodge them, not necessarily lie, but don't offer to answer any questions about it, even if it is written company policy - I am not legally obligated to do so. He said it would most concretely yeild the best results, because they would likely forget about it with there attention to work load factors and I could keep doing what I am going to do. Everyone wins. He reminded me several times that I am not obligated to offer them any honest information about the possessions on my person or in my vehicle unless under sworn deposition. This seemed a little strange. I think he what he was trying to say, is that it is not legal, but not illegal for them to make a policy on this.
    3. He said that if by some chance they do find out I am carrying a firearm in MY, and he emphasized MY vehicle, my employer would have to go to some pretty elaborate lengths to uncover this information without me offering it to them - which could be extremely illegal, regardless if my vehicle is on there property. He also reminded me, that regardless of any written company policy, I do not have to consent to any type of search - be that on my person, or my vehicle - regardless if it is on their property, at any time, it is a strict violation of my rights.
    4. If they fire me for carrying, possessing, owning a firearm, there are in violation of several statutes of the ORC in which he proceded to name. This also could land a battery of lawsuits against them.

    What he explained to me is - most employers will never interfere with an individuals right to carry when the employee does a lot of traveling for the business and its clients, and is also licensed to carry in a legal way. He says he knows for a fact that a many Pizza delivery drivers he knows carry, so why can't I? He told me he has never heard of such a lawsuit like the terms this situation could impend, although he admitted he could be very wrong. He said the best thing for me might just be a don't ask/don't tell policy. He even repremanded me if you will - for joking about it with my boss. Which he was 100% correct. You never know someones feeling about guns until you either offended them, or you know the are pro-gun. Thus, I should have known better than to joke about it with my seemingly liberal female boss.

    Any other advice??


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