A couple of weeks ago, Workforce.com posted a story on Texas’ new concealed carry law. The article touches on a topic I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while which is concealed weapons in the workplace.
I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Texas. I don’t carry into my workplace, but I could. I got my license long before I started this website, but I was recently preparing an employee handbook for a client and was reminded of this topic when we discussed whether to have a requirement that guns cannot be brought into company facilities. There is a lot of confusion and ignorance about what employers can and can’t do with guns in the workplace. The confusion is both in the minds of employees and business owners, so I want to clear it up for everyone.
During the concealed weapon training course, students are taught that they may carry their weapon into any establishment they want as long as there is not a properly worded “30.06” notice (from Tex. Pen. Code § 30.06(c)(3)(A)). This includes their workplace! Many employers are ignorant that their employees might just be carrying a gun in their purse or pocket because the notice is not posted.
But employers and employees should know that a business owner can prevent employees from carrying guns into the workplace without posting a 30.06 notice. Employers simply need to make a policy that employees may not carry weapons into work. If an employee with a concealed carry license violates this rule, they won’t be breaking Texas law, but the employer will be within their rights to terminate the employee’s “at-will” relationship and fire them.
Getting back to the new law, however, employees are now allowed to store a weapon in a locked private vehicle in the businesses’ parking lot, even if the employer owns the lot. Employers did get some protection from liability for incidents which might arise from this storage, so even if the employer doesn’t like it they are at least somewhat protected from liability.