Tampa woman sues employer over gun rules

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by Doc3402, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    A quick summary. This woman was a branch manager at a bank. She took her gun to work. She got fired because policy states she can't take her gun to work. She's suing.


    This happened in Florida, like we really need more of this crap floating around. Anyway, in Florida it is illegal for an employer to ask employees or customers if they have a firearm in their car unless it is one of the commonly banned industries that you all should know. This really doesn't apply, but it would have provided a legal, if less effective, alternative to what she did.

    So, what do you think? From a present day legal standpoint, does she have a case? Did she deserve to be fired?
  2. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    I have the same rule where I work. I can not carry. I wish I could afford to quit and get a job in the firearms industry. But I make a lot of money. And my expenses have come up to meet my income. I have two car payments and a mortgage. My boss owns the business. He has the right to fire me if I choose not to obey the rules. Therefore I do not carry at work. The bank teller had the same choices I do. It is not my property. The owner has asked me not to carry. Therefore I do not carry.

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Have to agree with Rick. MY car, MY choice. YOUR business, YOUR choice.
  4. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    Before this thread climbs into the hand-basket for that trip to you-know-where, I also agree with the employer's right to do what they did. Whether this woman knew the policy or not is immaterial. She should have known it, and if she really wanted that job, she should have followed it. Life is full of choices. She made hers and it bit her.

    I do have a question, and if anybody runs across the answer, please post it. Did this woman have a carry permit? I know it's early in the reporting process, but nobody has mentioned one yet.
  5. mseric

    mseric New Member

    I'm actually surprised she found an Ambulance chaser to take her case. Maybe more to it then the News article states.

    This has been court tested many times before. The end result is always the same. The employer can fire you for disobeying company policy. She is toast.

    Parking lost and vehicles, different story, inside the building, not so much.
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    The solution for this is simple. Pass a law stating: If an entity, be it business or government facility forbids firearms (Means of self protection) on the premises that entity should be held accountable for the protection of the people legally on its premises and should be held liable for damages incurred. Once they get sued for major damages a few times the insurance companies will get on board and attitudes will change. Unfortunately Libertards dont understand simple.
  7. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    i have mixed emotions on this one. OK has a law, tested in federal courts, that allows employees to have guns in vehicles parked in the company lot. This came about after the new manager of the Weyerhaeuser plant in SE OK went on a witch hunt and asked the local cops to search vehicles in the company parking lot. Several employes were fired because they had guns in their vehicles.

    The OK legislature passed a law that allowed employees to leave their guns in their vehicles in the company lot. Some other companies joined the lawsuit and the law was overturned. The OK legislature re-did the law only to have it appealed on OSHA grounds. Some of those companies dropped out of this appeal because of threated of boycott of their products. The federal court said OSHA did not apply and that was that.
  8. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    I don't believe she has a case. Her employer has every right to say what is & isn't permissible on their property (within limits of course.) Whether I agree isn't really relevant.
    Whether she deserved to be fired is situation dependent. If she didn't have a history of problems and was willing to comply with the policy, I probably wouldn't have fired her. However, since it's now a lawsuit, I suspect that she probably expressed her opinion and future intent to not comply.
  9. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

    How did they know she had a gun? Why didn't she just keep it in her purse and not tell anybody? It's one thing to violate a rule, it's just stupid to get caught. I don't blame her for carrying but she should have kept it to herself.
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    That's basically what I was wondering. Was this the first time this happened or was she told to not have her gun on her (specifically) previously?

    Legally I suppose it doesn't matter. I'm just curious as to the disposition of the employer. Did he give her multiple chances or was this the first offense?

    No I haven't read through the link. No time right now. I will after work.

    It was time for a new signature. This is what you get.
  11. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

    she does not have a case here. this is cut and dry, you want to own a business and not allow firearms, that is your right. I support that, regardless of whether I like it or not
  12. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    Florida has a similar law, but there are exceptions. School grounds, power plants, places dealing with explosives or fireworks as a primary income generator, and a few others. Other than those exceptions it is prohibited by law for an employer or any representative of that employer to even ask if you have a gun in the car.

    We recently had a court case here in Florida concerning firearms in the cars in college and university parking lots. To sum it up, the universities and colleges were told they had no jurisdiction, and to leave it alone. A couple are threatening to appeal, but for the most part the others are going along with the ruling.
  13. manta

    manta Well-Known Member Supporter

    I think people should have a right not to allow firearms on their property if they don't want them. That includes employers and private citizens.
  14. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    From the article in the link-

    She told the Tampa Tribune that she felt safer having the weapon with her at the Oldsmar branch bank so she could protect other employees from potential robbers.

    THAT right there was what did it. NOT "I am being stalked by an abusive ex." NOT "I am afraid of being attacked on my way home from work."

    Like most banks they have established policies to be followed during a robbery. She decided to establish her own. Whether I agree with that or not, her employer has the right to set rules for conduct within the workplace.
  15. StogieC

    StogieC New Member

    There is nothing parking lot related in the statutory language they are using. While getting the license itself is a privilege currently under Florida law (we're in court on that), carrying once you have it is still a right.

    It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
  16. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    You missed something. The title of 790.251 is:

    Once her firearm comes out of the car this statute does not apply.
  17. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

    I don't know Florida law on this but it seems she was wrong in the eyes of the law, your property your rules, my property my rules.

    The company I work for (trucking co.) policy is no weapons on company property or in company vehicles, ie no concealed carry on company property or in company vehicles. The unwritten rule that was made pretty clear was "your hunting rifle or shotgun locked in your trunk or behind the seat in your truck that we can't see, we won't be looking for unless it is flagrantly on display". In other words don't ask don't tell in the parking lot. I have seen employees buy and sell guns from one another as long as it was discreet and not "in the face of management".

    Most managers don't want this fight unless it is forced on them, then they will cling to company policy to cover their own a$$.
  18. robertusa123

    robertusa123 New Member

    She doesent have a case. Company have been fireing employees who bring guns to work all the time
  19. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    personally, i don't think she has a valid case that will win in court. though i disagree with many companies having a policy against firearms in the workplace, i will support that right because they should be allowed to set their own rules and policy. now what is in my vehicle is my business and none of theirs.

    i have to agree with JTJ said though, that if a company wants this to be policy, they should be held liable for any damages if there was a violent incident to take place on their premises and people got hurt. by making this a company policy, and to abide by company policy, they have taken that right to self protection from me to be in compliance with those policies. yes, they should be held liable.
  20. CzarChasm

    CzarChasm New Member

    You're mistaken. The title of the code is not the controlling language, the provisions contained within it is. Section (4) Prohibited Acts:, #2(e) of 790.251 states very clearly:

    The employer has already given a reason for firing her - her legally-carried gun, whether inside or out in her car in the parking lot. That precludes any other reason (or no reason) as the cause of termination under the Right to Work statutes.

    The suit will go forward. With that code section as the foundation of her suit, she will likely win, only along with damages, the court will likely order the bank give her her job back as the firing is now a civil rights issue made clear by the above statute using the language "discriminate" and "constitutional rights" as applying to her right to carry both inside and out.

    The only caveat I can think of would be if she actually did "exhibit" her weapon. If whoever reported it simply saw a bulge under her clothes, or "thought" they saw a gun in her purse, but the employee never did anything to actually "exhibit" the weapon, she's on the fast-track to win this one.

    I am personally a property rights kind of guy. I think a property owner should be able to prohibit firearms anywhere within the boundaries of their property. The Florida legislature thought differently though, and it's right there in the code for all to see.

    The bank should have never given a reason for her firing. They'd be completely in the clear if they hadn't. But they did, and have even reiterated the reason to the newspaper through interviews. They're toast.