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Old December 30, 2010, 11:20 PM   #1
xMINORxTHREATx
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Firearms in parking lot (OHIO)

So at my job, I'm not allowed to have a gun in the building. I was told this on day one, and have complied. I go through a metal detector and security will randomly ask us to turn out pockets inside out.

But I noticed today that on a bulletin board there is a flyer saying something about weapons being banned from the property, including the warehouse, office building AND PARKING LOT.

Now in the employee handbook it doesn't mention the parking lot, there are gun buster signs on the door, but thats the ONLY time I have seen it mention the parking lot. I'm going to ask my supervisor about it next day I'm in, but it seems to me that if I have a CCW permit, I should be allowed to leave my weapon in my car while I'm at work.

Mind you, they don't have signs as you pull into the parking lot saying that you cant have a weapon in your car, it's not until I was inside that I saw the sign, so thats kinda like putting a "No guns allowed" sign in the bathroom stall of the gas station, not the front door, ya know?

So, legally, can they keep me from keeping the weapon in my car? That would effectively make it impossible for me to carry a weapon on my way to or from work, there fore they (the company I work for) should take responibility for my safety then, correct? I recall a story I heard, I can't find it online so I'm not sure if it's true, where there was shooting in a mall, in which a CCW permit holder's wife was killed, and he won a large lawsuit against the mall because they had a "no firearms" policy, and because of it, he couldn't defend himself or his wife.
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Last edited by xMINORxTHREATx; December 31, 2010 at 08:57 AM.
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Old December 30, 2010, 11:49 PM   #2
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In Florida, if you have a CCW permit, your gun can stay in your car while you go in to work (with a few exceptions, as the case against Disney proved).
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Old December 31, 2010, 09:07 AM   #3
xMINORxTHREATx
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Even if they have a sign posted INSIDE?

It just seems redundant that the sign is inside, and thats the only reference to parking lot I've ever seen as far as firearms go.
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Old December 31, 2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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Verify YOUR states laws. My state says it's ok. Your state is another issue entirely. If your state law says that firearms are permitted in parking lots of businesses, then with rare exceptions, the policy is probably invalid. If it comes down to brass tacks, don't consent to a search. If they have a legitimate need to search you vehicle, then a LEO with a search warrant should be involved as well as your lawyer.
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Old December 31, 2010, 12:55 PM   #5
xMINORxTHREATx
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Good point about consenting to a search. My state's laws say that I can have the weapon in my vehicle if properly stored, IE gun unloaded in trunk, ammo in glove box.

I just don't think that their policy is legal. Wondering if an anonymous phone call threatening a law suit could make them take the sign down? haha
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Old December 31, 2010, 07:10 PM   #6
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I'm thinking if you comply with state laws concerning guns in cars and adopt a don't ask don't tell policy at work you would be OK. It isn't a problem untill it is a problem ( like the pizza hut guy who was in the freezer and shot his attacker) but at that point following company rules evaporates in the face of life or death.

Is the employee parking lot secure or is it accessible to the public either by car or walking? If assessable to the public, I'd deem it a public place and you would have the same rights as anyone else.

From my experience in dealing with the HR and PR departments of corp America, they don't put a lot of thought into things and usually parrot news from the main office.
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Old December 31, 2010, 08:32 PM   #7
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The key word when dealing with no gun signs in Ohio, is KNOWINGLY !!
Even if the sign is not posted in the right spot, you saw it and now YOU KNOW !!
So don't rely on the law backing you up.
By the way if you are caught in a posted building, and refuse to leave, you can be charged with criminal trespassing.
If it is a posted private parking lot, and you refuse to leave, it is a civil issue.
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Old January 1, 2011, 02:39 AM   #8
xMINORxTHREATx
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Its open to the public, no gate or anything blocking your entrance.

One thing I should point out, this "sign" is just something some one typed out on a piece of paper. It doesn't look like an official sign or anything, which makes me wonder if its legit or not. Sense it's not in the handbook and all. Could be someone was told to post reminders and just ad-libbed it.
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Old January 1, 2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
I'm thinking if you comply with state laws concerning guns in cars and adopt a don't ask don't tell policy at work you would be OK. It isn't a problem untill it is a problem ( like the pizza hut guy who was in the freezer and shot his attacker) but at that point following company rules evaporates in the face of life or death.

Is the employee parking lot secure or is it accessible to the public either by car or walking? If assessable to the public, I'd deem it a public place and you would have the same rights as anyone else.
+1. It's a public lot and if you meet storage laws you should be okay. Don't ask, don't tell applies here.

With that said, I'm not sure what the laws are concering an employeers ability to ban guns in their lot. Kentucky as an example, bans employeers from banning handguns in their parking lots. It's illegal for an employeer to take any action against a person that does keep a handgun in their vehicle. With that said, Kentucky is also an "at will" employment state so if they can't get rid of you for your handgun, they can certainly do so for something else.

Here's a link to a good handgun law site.

www.handgunlaw.us

As a side note, move to over the river to Kentucky, they are much more gun friendly.
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:07 AM   #10
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At the end of the day, if you are in compliance with all the local, state & federal laws, it's nobody's business what's in your trunk.
Could be worse. You could work on a federal installation...
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:48 AM   #11
WANT A LCR 22LR
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"" Its open to the public, no gate or anything blocking your entrance. ""

Given the public has access you should have the same rights as them.

""One thing I should point out, this "sign" is just something someone typed out on a piece of paper. It doesn't look like an official sign or anything, which makes me wonder if its legit or not. Sense it's not in the handbook and all. Could be someone was told to post reminders and just ad-libbed it. ""

It is no doubt a response to your challenging HR on policy. Follow state rules and keep things quiet.

Where I work the parking lot has no gates or security, the employee handbook states you must tell the company if you are keeping a firearm or weapon on company property. However there is a " Respect life " bill board out front that is literally 3X the size of the company name. Do you really think one would not get fired if someone told the company they have a gun in their car? Besides, why does the company need to know someone has a weapon in their car other than to hassle them at a future date?

Don't think this is too far fetched, the hand book also states one can be reprimanded or fired for "immoral conduct", given morals are different for different people and the bill board out front shows a definite leaning of the company, it's slippery slope.

Given the TSA bans all sorts of day to day items, will Aunt Mini get fired because she has a couple of knitting needles in her car?

Now, if the policy was limited strictly to weapons / firearms _in_ the building, I'd be more accepting to the company needing to know ( though still squeamish about the ramifications ) as they need to be sure the gun is kept secure.

It all comes down to the need to know, some people need and others don't need to know.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:11 AM   #12
brickeyee
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Given the public has access you should have the same rights as them.
Is this a joke?

While the company may NOT be able to control the public they most likely CAN control their employees.

Absent a state law prohibiting the employer from restricting employee firearms, it is still THEIR property.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:28 AM   #13
langenc
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yea-you know.

Take the 'sign' (or is it a memo?) down and see if it is reposted. Maybe some secretary has it in for guns.
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Old January 1, 2011, 12:41 PM   #14
xMINORxTHREATx
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Like I said. More of a memo. Really informal, just a piece of printer paper that has bold letters printed on is saying---

IT IS AGAINST (INSERT COMPANY HERE)'S POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES TO KNOWINGLY BE IN POSSESSION OF WEAPONS ON THIS PROPERTY. THIS INCLUDE THE WAREHOUSE, OFFICE BUILDING AND THE PARKING LOT.


It's extremely informal, looks like it took about 30 seconds to type and print. I honestly think that some one just started typing and went with it. Again, I'm going to ask my supervisor when I'm in again.
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Old January 2, 2011, 08:08 PM   #15
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I'm with the don't ask don't tell crowd, and I wouldn't say anything to the forman or anyone else. I also would not take it down, just treat it as another memo that nobody reads anyway.
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Old January 3, 2011, 12:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor threat
So, legally, can they keep me from keeping the weapon in my car?
Are you an "at-will" employee, or do you have a contract?

In Ohio, at will employment can be terminated by the employer for any reason or no reason so long as the basis for termination is not contrary to public policy.

So, you can't fire an employee for being a racial minority, a woman or old (a person in the protected age group).

You can be fired for a stupid hair cut, the boss not liking your wife's choice of conversation at the Christmas party, the kind of car you drive or your attitude about arms.
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Old January 3, 2011, 09:56 PM   #17
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It is at-will, which is why I want to be cautious. I know that if they fired me for ASKING about the policy, I would win a case, but if I break the policy, termination is justified. I understand this.
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Old January 4, 2011, 10:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xminorxthreatx
It is at-will, which is why I want to be cautious. I know that if they fired me for ASKING about the policy, I would win a case...
Why? The central trait of at-will employment is that an employer doesn't need to justify termination.

Also, as a practical matter, the fellow asking all the questions about the company's gun policies is bound to attract extra attention. FWIW, I've seen employers keep this sort of thing for use later. Specifically, a member of a security detail for a credit card company was fired for cause after his patron passed away. They searched his locker, found the firearm, which is prohibited by company policy, and escorted him off premises.
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Old January 4, 2011, 10:22 AM   #19
xMINORxTHREATx
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I don't think asking one question would be cause for raising eyebrows.


In my state, even though it's at-will, termination must have a solid reason or I am entitled to up to three months of separation pay, equal to 40 hours at my normal pay rate.
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Old January 4, 2011, 10:32 AM   #20
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minor threat
I don't think asking one question would be cause for raising eyebrows.
You know the people and I do not. I just note that Ohio law does not require an employer to be fair or reasonable in these things, so the caution you show is appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minor threat
In my state, even though it's at-will, termination must have a solid reason or I am entitled to up to three months of separation pay, equal to 40 hours at my normal pay rate.
If your state is Ohio, you should check with an attorney before you rely on that position.

If your Ohio employment is terminated without cause but not contrary to public policy exceptions, then you are entitled to unemployment and perhaps Cobra, and that's it. If it is terminated for cause, you are not entitled to unemployment chargeable to the terminating employer.

...Or, it could be that you've some sort of contract that imposes additional obligations on your employer, but that would not be at-will.

Last edited by zukiphile; January 4, 2011 at 10:57 AM.
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Old January 4, 2011, 06:26 PM   #21
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I would also not ask. If you don't mention it, neither will they most likely. If they do decide that they want to search your car, they need a police officer with a warrant (as was mentioned before) at which point you probably have done something worse than lock a gun in the trunk. Judges usually don't issue warrants to uphold corporate policies.


Perhaps you should keep an eye out for a more 2A friendly job in the meantime.
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Old January 4, 2011, 08:44 PM   #22
xMINORxTHREATx
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Oh, Im looking for a better job. Trust me, but right now a warehouse is about all I can find. I'm about to start a criminal justice program and go through the academy, so I'm not wanting to risk losing this job to violation of company policy involving firearms, and have that go against me when I apply for a department job.

Zukiphile, I had a job a few years back (things might have changed since then) where a co-worker got fired because he was dating the managers daughter and they broke up. Nothing happened at work or anything, but he came in after they broke up and was told he was fired. His lawyer called the manager about an hour later and informed the manager that OSHA would make him pay three months pay for an unjust termination, plus a hefty fine, so they settled for just the three months pay.
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:15 PM   #23
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I don't think OSHA handles wrongful termination nor do they have the power to make someone pay anything. They are pretty much just involved in safety issues and such.
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:28 PM   #24
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In TX employers have the right to dictate behavior on their property (and then some). My employer has implemented a policy banning weapons (and explicitly listing several different kinds including handguns). When I address new employees I explain the policy and how their car could be searched with reasonable suspicion or no suspicion at all given their status in a right to work state; then I advise them to park off property if this concerns them.
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:30 PM   #25
xMINORxTHREATx
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I meant ODJFS. My bad.
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