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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 4:23 am 
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You have a license to carry. Your employer has no policy about any guns in the workplace.

You bring your gun to work. Fellow employees see it, and complain to management.

You are fired for creating a “hostile work environment”

You live in Mass. And you are an employee at will.

Can your employer do this to you?


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 2:49 pm 
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Location: Framingham, MA USA
Van, sensei:

An interesting post.

I will assume that the weapon was not part of the employees job description of duties.
I will further assume that he carries the weapon on his person not concealed, and the employer had not seen the weapon or had been told that the employee would carry on the job..

I will answer this off the top of my head without having researched the category.

You do note that the event took place in Massachusetts and the employee was at will (had no written employment or consultation agreement).

An employer which has no written employment manual covering dress codes and other areas or issues can fire an employee at will without further notice. Many people believe that the law requires a two week notice and severance pay. This is not true.

The only redress the employee would have is to show prejudice or discrimination, and that would be in the subject matters of age, race, color, handicap and other genuine violations of employment laws, etc..

Even if the employer were required to give a reason, the carrying of any displayed weapons, if the same genuinely affected employees in an adverse manner, would be ground for dismissal. Nothing would prevent the employer from formulating and publishing a work place policy effective the following week on prohibiting weapons in the work place as part of its employment policies.

He might have the right to collect unemployment if the employer files a negative report. The unemployment criteria differ from the employers power to fire.

An employer is not required to keep a person in its employ if doing so creates a deteriment to the business or production of the employer.

Alan K


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:12 am 
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The key phrase here is that Massachusetts is a 'right to work' state. And Alan is 100% correct: in such a jurisdiction the employer holds all the cards and can fire you for any reason or no reason, fair or unfair. The only hook upon which to hang a legal hat in such a firing would be the employee was a member of a protected class, a civil rights violation ...and , especially in Massachusetts, I just don't see it in your scenario.

YMMV - listen first to Alan; it's his ballpark, not mine.

From the Commonwealth of Kentucky,
to you in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

student


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:52 am 
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Student,

True enough.But there are suits for wrongful termination. I have investigated some of them in the past.

In the scenario I posed [ true by the way]_
the employer offered the employee a generous severance package in exchange for a release.

Obviously, the employer was afraid of being sued.

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:49 am 
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consider this:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Massachusetts had been a leader in recognizing exceptions to the harsh consequences that an "at will" employee could be terminated at any time and for any or even no reason.


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:05 am 
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What defines hostile work environment.

Hostile work environment is usually an EEO thing not a gun thing?

I don't think that employers have any right to control behaviors that do not impact directly on job performance. How about just knowledge of a ccw permit? Cause for concern?

How about knowledge of an employee’s high Dan rank in a martial art? Cause for concern as to his potential for violence, hence his creating a hostile work environment?

We have a basic right of self-protection. Management has no right to take that away. Or does it?


Consider that a licensed non-employee walking through the door at your workplace can carry a concealed weapon.


Who's going to defend us or co-workers when a criminal or other wacky employee decides to shoot us up?


Do people only kill with a gun? An unhappy employee across the desk from you can kill you with anything on that desk, or his bare hands and feet. So why allow a martial artist in your work force?

Is perception of reality that a law abiding person with a gun in his/her holster is more dangerous than a non-law abiding person committing a violent act?




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:38 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
This is ironic. American companies are in a rush to protect themselves from lawsuits stemming from creating or allowing a hostile work environment. In doing so, it seems to me they are doing the opposite. If the law allows a person to possess the means to protect oneself, and a company sets a policy that conflicts with the law (and common sense), isn't that negligent?


How about violation of public policy?

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:53 pm 
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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
I apologize for this personal post, but something in student's post caught my attention.

Student,

Where abouts in KY are you? I'm a native Kentuckian currently misplaced in Nebraska. Please e-mail me at sanchin@alltel.net if you prefer. Thanks.

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Glenn Humphress
Lincoln, NE


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:58 pm 
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http://www.whdh.com/news/articles/4014/


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2002 9:16 pm 
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Location: Framingham, MA USA
Van sensei & the group.

My understanding of the law does not mean that I agree with the concept of fire on the spot for even no reason. This is not true of Union Shops or businesses where there agreements and policies will prevail.

Wrongful termination suits can evolve out of contractual breaches such as employer & employee having an understanding that a written contract might be forthcoming after the employee demonstrates.

The employee, without a written contract, supplies the employer with written lists of the employees billable customers.

Employer gets this list, raids business customers as his own, and fires the employee.

Personally I don't believe the fire at will, without cause is a fair business practice.

I am pro-gun, having been a Korean Veteran, and was on the Fort Benning pistol team.

In the early sixties I joined Framingham Sportsman Association and drafted "Green Belt Areas" with the club and with Town Counsel to protect the environment and hostile take over by membership raiders out of New York who sought to buy out the club and develop the land.

I would not find a licensed carrier intimidating. I would be by an unlicensed one.

Then again I don't make the laws. Disgruntled employees can always file a complaint with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), but the complaint's would have to fit in with violations of published rules and regulations in the job or workplace.

Unsafe working environment would be reportable to OSHA. Discrimination was referenced in my first report.

Even with a permit to carry, weapons must be checked in at State office Builidings, Court Houses and Schools.

Can you picture a Postal worker who walks into his work place with a 44 Magnum holstered in plain view.

We have discussed the law relative to the right of police to use gestapo tactics relating to unpriveleged searches for firearms in the homes of licensed persons, and the case of a police chief looks quite bizarre. I don't agree with the structure of this law because if there were no ammunition in the entire house, there would still be the requirement of a trigger lock and encasing the weapon(s).

I do think, that in this violent world, where nice guys suddenly become serial killers, I might think twice about employee John Doe coming to work one day with an exposed weapon and no explanation. I could wonder if he had connections with Alqaeda.

An article in the Metrowest Dailey News yesterday stressed the need for firearms safety instructors and instruction caused by the large number of applicants for permits generated after 9/11. Maybe this will send a message to would be home invaders and other criminals that there B & E could be their last.

Alan K


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2002 10:21 pm 
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Posts: 11
Location: Ireland
wow!
when i read the first post about taking a firearm to work, i thought you were kidding!

i dont mean to be cause offense, put it down to culture shock. If i saw a co-worker habitually carrying a firearm, i'd be terrified, insulted, confused and intimidated.


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 3:59 pm 
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Location: Framingham, MA USA
Ribo

Van Canna, sensei's original post had stated the employer had no policy on carrying guns.

I assume that the employee carried his weapon in plain view for all to see; if it were concealed there would be no issue for fellow employees to complain of disruption.

The employer would claim that he had a license to carry his weapon and was not violating any law (making the assumption that the work place was not in a federal or state building).

The point is that absent any violation of discrimiation laws or regulations, and absent any published policy on the subject, the employer does not have to even give a reason for his action.

I know of no discrimination statutes or regulation in this state (or federal for that matter) which would require the employer to allow this subject to carry his weapon. This presupposes the fact that the employer was not involved in security as part of his job duties.

The opinion I give is based upon Massachusetts law. Perhaps it is different in Dodge City.

You express shock and would feel imtimidated and fearful if faced with that situation.

You are not alone. Even before the escalation of crazies in this country killing in anger over jobs or just plain nuts, people who were not exposed or educated in firearms safety and use are in dreaded fear at the sight of a gun.

I am not an expert in the area of employment law but I can say that this state is very policy conscious and even the small law firm I am with had to publish a manual covering employment policies, lack of discrimination as to age, sex and sexual harrassment and a host of other things.

In summary, I believe the employer could prohibit the employee from carrying concealed or in plain view.

Alan K


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 6:03 pm 
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Location: Yakima WA USA
I suggest that part of the problem is in an expanded definition of violence in the workplace. A mean look can now be considered violence. I work for a large Mental Health company in Washington that has rule prohibiting weapons (for obvious reasons). I recently attended the mandatory training on "Violence in the Workplace". The description of workplace violence was any behavior that made another employee feel unsafe. they even went as far as to include the use of profanity.

We are an at will employer as well. Even with the "at will" status, our agency is extremely careful about terminations as they are still very likely to be sued.

If the foundation of the termination was based on violence in the workplace, I would think the person should take the severance package and file it under lessons learned. In the current political climate, it could be a tough battle and will likely result in attention that could effect future employment.


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The good days are like the bad days.....only better.


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:47 am 
Because were not legal to carry in this country it's a bit of an alien concept.

However smacks of wrongful dismisal to my little brain.

I wonder if the manager/supervisor was carrying when the bad news was delivered Image.

I wouldn't have wanted to deliver the message without a little backup.

Laird


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 Post subject: You are fired
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:38 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
I assume that the employee carried his weapon in plain view for all to see; if it were concealed there would be no issue for fellow employees to complain of disruption.


No. He was observed by a fellow employee discretely take out his “holstered” gun and lock it in a drawer.

Especially in today’s climate and with all these layoffs and what have you__ it is easy to empathize with the feelings of uneasiness the presence of a firearm in the work place may bring. Although I would worry more about the guy in the workplace who has not been “screened” and found suitable to carry than the actual licensed employee.

In my business we must deal with volatile “claimants” who have made the lives of our employees miserable with threats and intimidating showing up at the office to harass our claims reps. Especially the females. We all knew that some insurance companies had been the subject of armed invasions and indiscriminate killings during business hours.

We have had some real tough people on the premises, which, by the time we were able to get police or security, had scared some of our employees so bad, they had to be sent home.

My company has no policy regarding firearms in the workplace. Some employees were licensed and known to carry on the work premises, and many people felt safe knowing that at least someone [theoretically] could deal immediately and effectively with a sudden emergency.

The licensed employees enjoyed lots of camaraderie and friendship.

Would the licensed employee have what it takes to engage an armed killer on a killing rampage in the workplace? Who knows…

But lots of employees felt safer in the knowledge there was the possibility of it.


.


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Van Canna


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