Managers and the Legal Environment: Strategies for the 21st Century
The Mopak Corporation lawsuit for the wrongful termination that was sued by employees and contract workers is a very challenging case. This is an occasion, where an unalienable right of every US citizen for self-defense conflicts with the company policy.
The right to keep and to bear arms was assured long ago in 1791 in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution; this is one of the fundamental rights that the US citizens were provided with. If one looks up at the statistics, it proves the necessity of this law. According to the research, 77% of homicides at work involved the usage of firearms. This growing crisis contributes towards arising of several dilemmas if an employer is authorized to forbid carrying a concealed weapon at workplace, and whether this ban increases the liability of the company.
Nowadays, every state except for Illinois has a concealed carry law, and it varies with the states. In terms of a precise verdict, a lawman, who decides the case, must be governed by the legislature of the particular state.
Regarding the legality of carrying a concealed weapon, an employer may establish a company policy that bars keeping and bearing weapons at workplace. Furthermore, the enforcement of such a policy is not restricted by the Constitution. The Constitutional protection in the Second Amendment does not apply to disputes or controversies between private citizens. If an employer considers that keeping weapons can influence the image of the company or inflict any harm, the company may bar weapons at work, prevent the weapon possession on company vehicles and so on. If the worker does not agree with the provisions of company policy, he or she may find another place of work.
In the lawsuit of Mopak Corporation, it was discovered by security officers that some employees kept guns in their personal vehicles in the parking lot of the company. Sixteen states have worked out various parking lot gun laws. For instance, in April, 2012, the Kentucky Supreme Court ordained that an employee may sue for the wrongful termination if an employer fires a worker, violating the Kentucky parking lot gun law. A new Texas law (Labor Code Section 52.06) also permits CCL-holders to possess firearms inside their locked vehicles parked on the employers property. These are examples of the states, which vigorously support the personal defense, regardless of the company policy; in this case, the law is in favor of an employee.
In terms of a lawsuit of an Indianapolis man, Tomas Jordan, who lodged a lawsuit against Camby-based ADM Enforcement Inc., he accuses the company of the wrongful termination, breaking the right for a weapon possession. The worker was fired on September 1, 2012. This lawsuit is quite different from the case that occurred in Mopak Corporation, but it illustrates brightly the attitude of all parties concerned towards the lawsuit and also the usage of all the statutes and provisions that were mentioned above.
Tomas Jordan kept AR-15 rifle in his truck while off-duty and not on the companys territory. He decided to show it to his coworkers, and the weapon accidentally discharged, but Jordan did not inflict any injuries, though he got an email warning, which said that AR-15 was not authorized by the company. The next day, the security company owner informed all employees that the possession of firearms in their personal vehicle was inconsistent with the company policy, and the violation of those regulations would lead to the risk of dismissal. In several days, Mr. Jordan was asked if he had a weapon in his car, but he failed to give a comprehensive reply, saying that this right is granted by the Constitution and employers have no authority to restrict it. Tomas Jordan was fired.
On the one hand, the company violated the provision of the take your gun to work law, which was adopted in 2011, asking the worker about weapon. However, on the other hand, the worker was properly informed about the bar of weapon possession, and he actually failed to perform one of the companys standards to support the company policy. Mark Ford, an attorney specializing in the labor and employment law, asserts that there is a vague room among the statutes concerning keeping weapons in workers personal vehicles on the companys parking lots. This particular lawsuit is complicated by the fact that the rifle discharged, state Rep. Mike Speedy said: "The right to possess is not the right to discharge."
As for the Mopak Corporation lawsuit, it is essential to take into account a lot of factors such as a state, where the case is decided, the level of information provided to workers, the labor agreement and others. Judging by the information that is provided, it can be assumed that the law will be in favor of the employees, because almost all the states have a concealed weapon carry right, and this is one of the basic rights for self-protection that cannot be violated; meanwhile, there are a lot of legislative provisions that will help to prove it.
- Lawsuit tests Indiana's 'take your gun to work' law - Indianapolis Business Journal
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