Guns in the Workplace
March 14, 2018 - Does your company have a policy on guns in the workplace or at your events? These days, almost every company allows guns to be kept in cars in the parking lot, but do they let them in the office? And how do you handle requests from employees who want to bring concealed weapons to work? Every company has a right to allow or prohibit guns at work. Take a look at these articles and see if you need to develop or revise your guns-at-work policy.
Gun-control advocates say permitting firearms at the workplace gives disgruntled, possibly unhinged employees easy access to a deadly weapon. Gun-rights supporters say the provision protects workers who could be carjacked on a long commute. Business groups say the laws infringe on businesses' right to decide if they want a gun-free workplace. HR experts point out that the presence of guns, even if they're out in the parking lot and not next to the copier or coffee machine, create a liability and workplace security headache.
Most states now allow employees to carry concealed firearms or to store guns in cars on company property. Corporations have the right to deny all weapons on their property, but this may not be realistic in today's environment. Instead, companies should focus on employees who want to carry concealed guns in the workplace and ensure that they are responsible and capable enough to bear the responsibility. All employees will have a better sense of security if they believe that management has done their due diligence by ensuring the people who carry guns are not a threat to the company.
Currently, there is no federal law that regulates weapons at private workplaces. Beginning with Oklahoma, many states have recently enacted so-called "guns-at-work" laws. These laws, which are typically designed to protect employees' individual rights to possess concealed firearms, vary in terms of their restrictions, making it tough for employers with operations in multiple states to implement one policy across every state in which they conduct business. This article briefly examines state guns-at-work laws, and, in particular, it describes: legal risks, restrictions and requirements, and best practices for employers.
Having clearly documented guidelines for how to handle a situation in which an employee requests to bring a gun to work, in addition to how to handle a situation when an employee arrives at the workplace with a gun, is extremely vital for keeping everyone calm and promoting the safety of the workplace overall as well as the individual employees working there.
In the state where you are meeting, can firearms be carried---openly or concealed? What about at specific venues, especially when alcohol is served or a famous person is a keynoter? As an event organizer, what is your liability? What are the insurance issues? The security issues? And what about attendees who aren't armed---how do you reassure them they are safe?
In every workplace, managers and Human Resources staff need to spend time thinking about how they want to deal with concealed weapons in the workplace. Concealed weapon permit laws differ from state to state and country to country, so you need to be aware of the laws at the location in which employees want to carry a gun or knife.
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