Prof. Stephen Bainbridge makes a great argument against state laws that permit employees to store guns in their cars. In his post, Guns vs. At-Will Employment, Prof. Bainbridge discusses a recent decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court interpreting that state's gun laws. In its opinion, the Court found that an employee who was fired for having a handgun in his car (for which he had proper license), could bring a wrongful-termination suit against his employer, the University of Kentucky. Prof. Bainbridge concludes that these state laws constitute a significant and problematic exception to the employment-at-will doctrine.
On McAfee & Taft's EmployerLinc blog, Charlie Plumb recently wrote about a new law in Oklahoma that raises similar issues. "Concealed-carry laws" also took effect last year in Wisconsin and Texas.
Read more Labor and Employment Law insights from Margaret (Molly) DiBianca in the Delaware Employment Law Blog.
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The argument that "state laws constitute a significant and problematic exception to the "employment-at-will doctrine" is absurd. The the "employment-at-will doctrine" has always been subject to the public policy of each state. States enact laws to protect workers from employer abuse, hazards, discrimination, etc. Eancting a public policy that permits employees to possess guns inside their own private automobiles while parked in a company parking lot is no different. It is entirely reasonable for a state to establish a public policy that workers should not be allowed to force their employees to commute to and form work disarmed.