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Old January 5, 2012, 10:15 PM   #1
Washington Doc
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Employer Policies the new gun control.

Hello internet,
This is my first posting in any forum and hopefully I'm posting in the correct one as I don't want to get my posting privilages booted for posting incorrectly. Here’s some background for why I’m here and the title of my thread (yes it’s a long read).

The week before Thanksgiving 2011, I was suspended from my work (Safeway Food and Drug, a.k.a; Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak’n Save, Pavillions, Randall’s, Simon David, Tom Thumb, and Vons) for a week without pay. I was suspended because I had a firearm with me, as it was MY DAY OFF, while I attended a voluntary company function on their property. The company’s policies state no employee can have firearms with them, which is a no brainer for any large company, but they do not seem to understand when a person is their employee and not. Everybody I know says that you’re an employee when you’re being paid to be one. As it was my day off and I was not being paid to be there, I was not acting as an employee and the policies should not apply to me. Legally carrying a firearm is my right as a civilian.

Safeway’s Legal Division advised the Human Resources Division to suspend me for a week without pay because “. . .one paycheck wouldn’t be worth the court fees.” Sadly this has been true as no lawyer wants to pursue such a case as there is nothing in it for them. Also, I make too much money to qualify for pro-bono organizations.

Now, we all know that 2nd amendment rights only protect civilians from government infringement and that companies can do whatever they want. If I were a business owner I might want the same policy, but I would also know that an employee would have the right to carry a pistol and so I wouldn’t have that policy in the first place. I would expect that an American founded company that has its headquarters in America would at least respect the U.S. Constitution, not make a mockery of it. Then again, I also expect them to pay their taxes properly, but when has a giant corporation last done that?

As I see it; the United States Government wanted to control people back in the day (and yes, still today) but we were protected by a thing called the Constitution. Well, the people in charge got tired of not being able to control people, so they made corporations do the dirty work for them. Company Policies and Procedure manuals allow the few people in charge to control the rights of the many beneath them. It’s hard to simply ignore your employer and risk being fired as we all need to shelter and feed ourselves and families. Still, if it’s happened to me, it’s probably happened to many other people by many other corporations. Simply swept under the rug.

Seeing as I can get no legal help I’ve had to start contacting the media, internet, and of course the NRA. Will my story ever be published in a newspaper or aired on local news? Probably not, since Safeway’s lawyers will attack any news company for defamation or some kind of legal B.S. To the NRA, I’ve simply asked for a way to contact as many people as I can (such as a forum on the internet . . . the last place to speak freely) to organize a boycott of Safeway and its subsidiaries.

And before I get a bunch of replies about boycotting going nowhere because we might as well boycott every big corporation and we’ll all live in caves or starve to death, let me just say I was only talking about a single grocery cycle boycott. Anytime anybody would shop for grogeries (weither their cycles be monthly, weekly, or daily) just shop anywhere else. A small locally owned business would be preferable.

I am an NRA member along with 4.3 million other people and I think that boycotting a store chain is the only peaceful way of defending our rights. Lawyers have already said it’s out of their hands and it’s not a federal thing, so what can we do? I think that 4.3 million people NOT shopping somewhere would hamper their profits enough to make them think twice about their policies. If they don’t want to change them, then the company can collapse and new businesses can move in, isn’t that what America is about anyways?

One united mass of people can sway multi-billion dollar industries if it wants to. Do you think Ford would exist if they sold ZERO cars year after year? Or any big store selling Chinese made goods? Any company that outsources its personnel overseas? If the future holds no small businesses, no entrepreneurs, and only giant corporations that face us with a “no guns or you’re fired” mentality, then we as civilians might as well throw our guns in the trash. Your gun does you no good if it’s at home and you’re getting mugged in your employer’s parking lot. Heck I’m a pharmacist and can get robbed on the job at any time by some junkie wanting pain pills. You’d think I’d be allowed to carry a firearm, but not with my employer.

So how about it, any other views on how to peacefully change Corporate-America to accept the 2nd amendment? It’s no longer the United States of America, it’s Corporate-America and I want to change it back.

-Washington Doc.
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Old January 5, 2012, 10:52 PM   #2
C0untZer0
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I believe there is quite a bit of case law - mostly pertaining to Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 that holds that employees attending company events - ie, picnics, outings, Christmas parties and the like - are still employees.

Maybe no lawyer wants to take your case because you don't have a case?

This anti-Safeway thing has been going on since 2009, can we let it drop?
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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Hate to say it, man, but I'm not sure you'll have an easy time getting anything changed in this regard.

T'were I you, I'd chalk it up to a learning experience and do my shopping elsewhere if that's how they're going to be.
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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You attended a company function as an employee of the company. You violated company policy. Your company probably has a alcohol & drug policy also. Just because you are there voluntary doesn't give you the right to roll up a big fatty and light it up.
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Old January 6, 2012, 12:04 AM   #5
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OK. First, you were on private property.
The owner of the property or their designated agent or caretaker sets the rules.
If your employer states that there are no firearms allowed on the property, then you violated the rules. You may not like it, but it is PRIVATE property.

What could have happened? Well, be thankful you still have a job. You could have been fired.

Or, you could have been excluded (trespassed) from the property. If you stayed or refused to leave, you open yourself to arrest for Criminal Trespass.

Sorry, bud--but the owner of the property sets the rules. If you don't like the rules, find another job that will allow you to carry on the property.
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Old January 6, 2012, 12:10 AM   #6
MLeake
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SVO, companies often have alcohol at parties, despite active alcohol bans during working hours, so that part of your argument is weak; rolling a doobie would be illegal, so is not a good parallel.

OP, how did your employer know you had a firearm? Was it poorly concealed (in which case, your error) or did you make a point of letting them know (in which case, your choice)?
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Old January 6, 2012, 12:39 AM   #7
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Here are the key elements from your statement as I see them.

Quote:
I had a firearm with me, as it was MY DAY OFF, while I attended a voluntary company function on their property.
You admit to having the firearm with you so that's a no brainer.
Company function - which I interpret to be a function open only to employees, not the general public.
On their property - A Safeway facility or property owned, leased or rented by Safeway over which they have control.

A "corporate event" that is limited to employees only (and/or their families) is not open to the public. That means you're still classified as an employee even during your off time. As it was on "company property" they can, at their discretion, enforce their own rules on who may be present or who must leave.

Even if it were open to the public, the event being held on company property might note exempt you. Most companies would consider it to be the same as you entering their property on your day off say, to pick up a paycheck or pick something up from your office. Bringing a gun then would still be a no-no.

This does, however, bring up a critical legal question. If you are a Safeway employee with a valid CCW, does Safeway's policy apply to you during your off-work hours should you also do your shopping at one of Safeway's stores? If so, does this form an unlawful restraint of your rights?

We'd need a lawyer to help interpret that question.

A follow-up (hair splitting) question to that would be if the corporation could apply the "violation" to you IF... you were in the store on your personal time as a customer when you intervene in some event on behalf of Safeway's interests -- i.e. stopping a brazen shoplifter or helping settle an argument with an irate customer. (For the sake of argument, presume that for any violent crime --assault, robbery, etc.-- against another employee your statement is that you were defending another person, not specifically Safeway's interests.)
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:17 AM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCA
...This does, however, bring up a critical legal question. If you are a Safeway employee with a valid CCW, does Safeway's policy apply to you during your off-work hours should you also do your shopping at one of Safeway's stores? If so, does this form an unlawful restraint of your rights?

We'd need a lawyer to help interpret that question.

A follow-up (hair splitting) question to that would be if the corporation could apply the "violation" to you IF... you were in the store on your personal time as a customer when you intervene in some event on behalf of Safeway's interests -- i.e. stopping a brazen shoplifter or helping settle an argument with an irate customer...
These are very good and interesting questions. A lot would depend on Washington State law, especially court decisions. Coming up with any sort of meaningful opinion would require a good deal of research -- which candidly I'm not very interested in doing.

The thing is that the OP's issue doesn't involve these questions. And I agree with what seems to be the consensus thus far: the OP is most likely out of luck.

[1] First, he's off base with regard to being an employee. An employee is always an employee -- whether at work on the job or not. Certain obligations imposed by law and/or company policy apply whether or not one is on the clock, e. g., keeping company confidential information confidential, an employee's common law duty of loyalty to his employer (yes, that actually exists), the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, the duty to not misuse company property, etc.

[2] Often there will be local law limiting an employer's power to impose restrictions on employee conduct when the employee is engaged in personal activities not work related. But that would help the OP here.

[3] The OP was engaged in a work related activity -- an employee social function on company property. The employer could reasonably enforce company weapons policy.

[4] What we have here is another example of a situation where conflicting rights rub together. Resolving those sort of conflicts is something within the province of a legislature.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:18 AM   #9
thallub
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1. You violated company policy.
2. Abide by company policy or find another job.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:52 AM   #10
mehavey
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Quote:
I was suspended because I had a firearm with me,...
a critical question:

How did they determine you had a weapon w/ you?

.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:52 AM   #11
Don P
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Quote:
OP, how did your employer know you had a firearm? Was it poorly concealed (in which case, your error) or did you make a point of letting them know (in which case, your choice)?
In a well stated nut shell. Maybe the OP was testing the waters so to speak.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Company function, private property, their policy is probably known to employees(?), not sure you really have a case.
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Old January 6, 2012, 08:45 AM   #13
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No case. Clear violation of company policy by an emplyee. No doubts.
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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This stinks of a drive by to me, the guy only has 1 post.
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Old January 6, 2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Washington Doc
. . . . on their property . . . .
This right here is really all you need to know. Their property, their rules.
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Old January 6, 2012, 11:30 AM   #16
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Another thread with 16 replies and the OP has not checked back in to answer any questions. Makes you wonder.
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Old January 6, 2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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Could have been a drive-by from the outset, but could also be he realized the audience may not be that sympathetic.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:00 PM   #18
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Employer policies are not the new gun control. In many cases, these policies have been around for years and decades, so hardly new.

Quote:
Seeing as I can get no legal help I’ve had to start contacting the media, internet, and of course the NRA. Will my story ever be published in a newspaper or aired on local news? Probably not, since Safeway’s lawyers will attack any news company for defamation or some kind of legal B.S. To the NRA, I’ve simply asked for a way to contact as many people as I can (such as a forum on the internet . . . the last place to speak freely) to organize a boycott of Safeway and its subsidiaries.
Let me see if I have this right. Until you got busted by your employer, you were not advocating a boycott of your employer. You were not crusading agains the "new gun control." Now that you got busted for letting it be known you were carrying a gun on company property and against company employee rules, you want us to boycott your employer to change the rules of employment? Sorry, but I doubt your motivation as truly being a rights issue. You seem to be motivated by revenge because you got caught breaking the rules.

You should consider yourself lucky you were fired outright.

Quote:
Another thread with 16 replies and the OP has not checked back in to answer any questions. Makes you wonder.
He just joined yesterday and posted last evening. Not everyone checks their threads multiple times per day. He may only get on the internet in the evenings. Of course based on his post, he appears to be canvasing the internet and other outlets to gain momentum for his cause. He very well may not be checking back again, ever. Sort of like his cause, he wasn't a member here before he got busted and wanted revenge on his employer.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:15 PM   #19
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Did the OP no CC? How did they know?
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:35 PM   #20
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Well obviously he either told somebody or failed to conceal and got spotted. Obviously, he didn't save the day with his gun and hence ended up in a position where he had to display it. So basically, he screwed up, got caught, and wants revenge.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:54 PM   #21
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OK - folks. Legit questions and reasonable comments have been posted.

Let's lay back and see if the OP comes and adds anything for a bit.

Otherwise, we are just going in circles.

To the OP - please read the thread and answer the concerns.

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Old January 6, 2012, 03:23 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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"SVO, companies often have alcohol at parties, despite active alcohol bans during working hours, so that part of your argument is weak; rolling a doobie would be illegal, so is not a good parallel."

No, it's still a good analogy.

Company policy against alcohol may very well include a provision for company provided alcohol at company sponsored events.

I worked for NRA for a number of years - they had a strict alcohol policy, and also had written exceptions to that policy. Anything that happened outside of that policy was a violation and was dealt with as such.

Same with my current employer.
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Old January 6, 2012, 06:09 PM   #23
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Without access to Safeway's policy, I don't know if they have written exceptions (though they probably do given our litigious society), or if they have tacit gentleman's agreements.

Rolling the doobie would still be illegal.

So that analogy remains poor, IMO.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:10 PM   #24
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
You attended a company function as an employee of the company. You violated company policy.
+1.

Like it or not, you violated the policy by carrying on their property at an employee function even if you were not on the clock.

I don't believe you have a legal case which might explain your lack of lawyer interest.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
Could have been a drive-by from the outset, but could also be he realized the audience may not be that sympathetic.
Except that when I checked his profile I saw that he had not been on-line since making the original post. That was (as I write) at 10:15 p.m. yesterday, and it's now 7:35 p.m. So, not quite 24 hours -- but he's certainly not lurking in the wings, avidly reading every response (unless he's doing so without logging in).
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