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Thread: local unit of government creates new employee policy

  1. #1
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    local unit of government creates new employee policy

    I can't get into all the details right now, but i work part time for an ambulance service that is owned by a group of townships. They just created a new employee firearm policy that prohibits possession of firearms on any of their properties regardless of employees being on/off duty, including having a firearm stored in a vehicle or at company sponsored events.

    the 1990 premption law does apply in my opinion. The premption law does allow a local unit of government to prohibit possession of firearms for employees in the course of their employment.

    This is a phrase often used in workers compensation cases.

    “The key issue in determining whether an employee is in the course of employment is whether the employee is actually engaged in the furtherance of the employer's business or affairs”


    The phrase is also nearly synonymous with “Scope of employment” which is further defined as:
    “Activities of an employee that are in furtherance of duties that are owed to an employer and where the employer is, or could be, exercising some control, directly or indirectly, over the activities of the employee.”

    It is my opinion that storing a firearm in your personal vehicle that you only access before/after you punch the timecard in/out is outside of this scope and therefore covered by preemption.

    I sent the boss a letter. He is going to contact their attorney and we'll go from there.

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    Regular Member Taurus850CIA's Avatar
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    Regular Member TheGrabber's Avatar
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    My job policies (it also is a local unit of goverment)

    My employer (a local unit of government) was sure to make sure that weapons will never be near with this policy. I edited out my employers name, but the rest is right from the handbook.

    (Under Offenses: Subject to Discharge)

    Possession of or consumption of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, firearms (or other lethal weapon) concealed or otherwise, on (employers) premises, even if employees possess a concealed weapons permit. Please note: (employers) property includes (employers) parking lots. Concealing alcoholic beverages, narcotics, or firearms/weapons in your personal vehicles on (employers) property is a violation of these rules.
    Last edited by TheGrabber; 07-07-2010 at 11:21 PM.
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    The attorney for the service in question responded in an e-mail that he believes XXX County EMS Authority is a private employer and therefore not covered by preemption.

    However, the website for the ems service states:

    "The xxx County Emergency Medical Services Authority was established on July 1, 1997 by the merging of three local municipality owned ambulance services..."

    and goes on to say

    "The service is now governed seven member Board of Directors with representatives appointed by the fifteen municiplaities within xxx County."

    (all of them elected officials from the various municipalities)

    the vehicles also have X (municipal) plates



    (this plate came from the web, not from one of their ambulances)

    also, i know from past experience, that their payroll and other data is available through FIOA.

    They are also partially funded with tax payer money from the "general fund" from many of the municipalities that own the service.

    IT seems impossible for them to successfully argue that they are a "private company. "

    What is the next logical step?
    Last edited by lapeer20m; 07-08-2010 at 01:53 PM.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    You are correct that they can only limit the possession of firearms at your job or in the scope of employment... the law is very clear on this point. They clearly would be covered under the Preemption law... my opinion is the attorney just doesn't want you to carry at all.
    They probably won't want to tell you that they think behavior "off duty" is in your scope of employment because then their liability would be present for any mishaps. Workman's comp in Michigan and elsewhere have been pretty clear with this. I would either push them on the issue or assume that only when I am actually at work--not "off-duty", would firearms be prohibited. If the attorney says that "off-duty' is still in your scope of employment, inform him if you are injured 'off-duty', you will be sure to file workman's comp. Best course would be to contact an attorney.

    Are you required to drive your vehicle to an off-site location? (Like a volunteer firefighter)
    Last edited by DrTodd; 07-08-2010 at 05:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichRRConductor View Post
    My employer (a local unit of government) was sure to make sure that weapons will never be near with this policy. I edited out my employers name, but the rest is right from the handbook.

    (Under Offenses: Subject to Discharge)

    Possession of or consumption of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, firearms (or other lethal weapon) concealed or otherwise, on (employers) premises, even if employees possess a concealed weapons permit. Please note: (employers) property includes (employers) parking lots. Concealing alcoholic beverages, narcotics, or firearms/weapons in your personal vehicles on (employers) property is a violation of these rules.
    These type of rules really irrate me. Why can they limit the possesion of perfectly legal items at all? I don't drink at all but can't see any lawful reason that a person can't have alcohol in their vehicle. I can't believe they missed outlawing tobacco products.

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    Campaign Veteran Glock9mmOldStyle's Avatar
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    Lapeer20 - Do you think this has anything to do with the MSP incident that happened a while back? You know a form of "payback"? If you think it is then DO NOT respond, we'll get why not. If so get a good civil lawyer, you may need one to stop any further issues popping up.

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    i don't think this policy is in any way related to me personally. There are several policies that have been in the works for a long long time, and were finally put into place. The firearm policy is one of them.

    Not required to drive personal vehicles for work, or even have a vehicle for that matter. Just a regular job. You show up, punch in, drive an ambulance all day, maybe take a nap, then punch out and go home.

    I just work there part time. This particular policy is pretty much moot as they obviously do not have the authority to search peoples vehicles. I didn't go looking for the policy, they actually mailed out a copy of all the new policies with a form to sign and return stating we have read and understand. This literally fell right into my lap. I actually thought that just e-mailing the boss with the preemption law would get him to change the policy, but that's obviously not the case.

    I hate to spend a lot of money on a lawyer, especially since this is just a job i work at occasionally and the policy has almost zero effect on my everyday life.

  10. #10
    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    I also believe that the MI 1990 Preemption Law would be applicable here. With the McDonald SCOTUS Ruling, it is only a matter of time before the fundamental right to self-defense is established as everywhere we are lawfully allowed to be. A few cases of law will probably be required, unless we have more like the DA in WI.

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    Regular Member sprinklerguy28's Avatar
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    123.1102 does not apply to employees of a local unit of government as spelled out in 123.1103.

    123.1103 Permissible prohibitions or regulation.
    Sec. 3. This act does not prohibit a local unit of government from doing either of the following:
    (a) Prohibiting or regulating conduct with a pistol or other firearm that is a criminal offense under state law.
    (b) Prohibiting or regulating the transportation, carrying, or possession of pistols and other firearms by employees of that
    local unit of government in the course of their employment with that local unit of government.
    History: 1990, Act 319, Eff. Mar. 28, 1991.

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    Regular Member NHCGRPR45's Avatar
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    i worked for AMR and they had a nearly the exact same policy, no weapons on any AMR property to include parking lots. i was threatend with termination if i violated this policy. and i went the same way you are going right now, i wrote a letter to AMR corporate, there response was this. we follow MI law and state laws where we do business. i took that letter to AMR pontiac which was were there main office was for AMR MI. and walked out with a "well see about that" attitude. and general issue letter went out about 3 weeks later that there was a no weapons while operating or after clock in or inside AMR facillities, with the penalty of immediate dismissal. AMR has since pulled out of MI but this was back in 98, and we were union also. i am fairly certain i know of the company you refer to but i went into the army, were BTW there is a strict "no weapon policy" go figure, and i was infantry! WTF i digress,,, and i agree that they really can't stop you from carring onto their property, so long as no one see's it they really can't say anything at all and i am sure you would never consent to a vehicle search or a personal search then the only thing they have done is waste ink and paper. yes it does seem silly, but such are the times we live in. the only hazard i see is if somehow someone sees it on you when you take it off or put it on, and i assume you do that before you get in/out of your vehicle. but then it would be your word agaisnt him/her, and without a search no real proof can be had. but as long as no one see's it i agree its a non-issue. IMO anyway!

    shaun

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    to be perfectly honest, i don't usually have a pistol in my car when i go to work, but that is besides the point.

    The point is that preemption applies to local units of government, and this service is owned and operated by local municipalities. I feel the law is pretty clear that they lack the legal authority to govern firearm possession for off duty employees, employee vehicles, and at company sponsored events: ie voluntary company picnic's which is exactly what the policy states.

    To the above poster, i realize that the following exception exists:

    123.1103 Permissible prohibitions or regulation.
    Sec. 3. This act does not prohibit a local unit of government from doing either of the following:
    (a) Prohibiting or regulating conduct with a pistol or other firearm that is a criminal offense under state law.
    (b) Prohibiting or regulating the transportation, carrying, or possession of pistols and other firearms by employees of that
    local unit of government in the course of their employment with that local unit of government.

    But this exception only applies to employees "in the course of their employment" which is a legal term used often in workers compensation cases. Basically, a local unit of government can only regulate possession of firearms for it's employees when they are covered by workers comp. There are plenty of court decisions that narrowly define "course of employment." Basically, it involves and employee getting paid and is actually doing something related to their job. A firearm stored in a personal vehicle while at a voluntary company picnic, or when stopping by the station and not on duty would be outside of this scope.

    I thought just pointing out the law would fix the broken policy. Now i fear that the only way to fix the policy is litigation. It seems silly to have to spend money on both sides when the law seems so clear.
    Last edited by lapeer20m; 07-10-2010 at 11:01 PM.

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    Regular Member sprinklerguy28's Avatar
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    Lapeer20m

    I agree with you that they may only restrict your right in the course of your employment. I posted so those on here that feel preemption applied to government employers/employees would see it doesn't and no one would potentially lose their job thinking they could when in court. Voluntary employee events become tricky simply due to the fact they may argue you could only be there if you were an employee. No matter what in this state they most likely will fall back on at will employment.

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    Regular Member hopnpop's Avatar
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    Alright, I've obviously missed something somewhere. I thought it was SCOTUS that ruled that the prohibition of keeping your pistol in your locked vehicle at the workplace directly interfered with your right to self protection to and from the workplace and was therefore unconstitutional. I thought that whole ordeal started with Disney and its employees. Was it NOT SCOTUS, but instead, Florida state's SC? If that's the case, I've given a few people misinformation. I thought for certain that it was deemed unconstitutional to prohibit someone from carrying a firearm between their home and workplace by disallowing the storage of a pistol in one's vehicle at his or her place of employment. If I'm incorrect, that sucks, since, IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!
    No one has ever walked away from a gunfight complaining that he brought too much ammo.

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    I was reading some workers comp cases and it seemed like voluntary employee gatherings were definitely outside the course of employment as far as injuries are concerned. Voluntary events mentioned were company picnics as well as playing sports ie: company soft ball league.

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    I need a volunteer...or two.

    After much pondering on the best way to bring the issue before the board without bringing a lot of negative attention to myself as far as my employment is concerned, I would like to have a person other than me address the board.

    All you would have to do is read the statement i prepared...or we could collaborate and edit a few things, but it's basically just your regular pre-emption malfeasance letter with a few extra details like "course of employment" thrown in.

    I'll find the date of the next meeting for sure. Last meeting was tuesday the 13th of july, so i would assume next one is 2nd tuesday in august which would be the 10th. They meet at 3pm.

    any volunteers?

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