Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Discussions about relevant bills filed and their status.

Moderator: Charles L. Cotton

User avatar

Ameer
Senior Member
Posts: 1340
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:01 pm

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby Ameer » Sun May 29, 2011 7:31 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
flintknapper wrote:That is correct, is it simply a "catch-all" for employers...since there is always a "reason".

how has this played out in Oklahoma, where they've had a parking lot law on the books for a while now?

Oklahoma kept their law simple. That give less wiggle room for cheaters.
No person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity shall maintain, establish, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked motor vehicle, or from transporting and storing firearms locked in or locked to a motor vehicle on any property set aside for any motor vehicle.


If an employer doesn't search now, I doubt they will start searching after the law goes into effect. However, if they do search now, that will be an interesting situation to watch.
I believe the basic political division in this country is not between liberals and conservatives but between those who believe that they should have a say in the personal lives of strangers and those who do not.


steve817
Senior Member
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: Arlington

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby steve817 » Sun May 29, 2011 10:23 pm

My company changed our handbook just this year that says something to the effect of
Weapons are prohibited on company property unless allowed by local law. Guess they saw this one coming and decided to go with the flow.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.."
-- Ronald Reagan

User avatar

The Mad Moderate
Senior Member
Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Marble Falls

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby The Mad Moderate » Sun May 29, 2011 10:25 pm

steve817 wrote:My company changed our handbook just this year that says something to the effect of
Weapons are prohibited on company property unless allowed by local law. Guess they saw this one coming and decided to go with the flow.

To me it sounds like your handbook gives you the go ahead to carry at work provided you have your CHL.
IANAL
American by birth Texan by the grace of God

Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.
-Francois Guisot

User avatar

WildBill
Senior Member
Posts: 16466
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:53 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby WildBill » Mon May 30, 2011 11:06 am

loadedliberal wrote:
steve817 wrote:My company changed our handbook just this year that says something to the effect of
Weapons are prohibited on company property unless allowed by local law. Guess they saw this one coming and decided to go with the flow.

To me it sounds like your handbook gives you the go ahead to carry at work provided you have your CHL.
IANAL
I wonder why they said "local law" rather than state law. Maybe it was intentional or they don't know. Or it could be the handbook was also written to cover locations outside of Texas.
NRA Endowment Member


speedsix
Senior Member
Posts: 5608
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby speedsix » Mon May 30, 2011 11:17 am

...I have never heard of an employer searching cars on the parking lot...I can see where perhaps a defense-related employer might have that strict a policy...but who can name others that actually search employees cars, either with a walk-by with a dog, or force the employee to open the vehicle so that they can search it????

User avatar

WildBill
Senior Member
Posts: 16466
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:53 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby WildBill » Mon May 30, 2011 11:33 am

speedsix wrote:...I have never heard of an employer searching cars on the parking lot...I can see where perhaps a defense-related employer might have that strict a policy...but who can name others that actually search employees cars, either with a walk-by with a dog, or force the employee to open the vehicle so that they can search it????
Over the years, I have worked for many different companies. The only company that I ever worked for that searched vehicles was a defense company. They didn't search the cars in the parking lots, but did a quick search when entering or leaving the facility. They were spot checks of the glove box and the trunk and they didn't happen very often. I think that they were more concerned about people bringing in alcohol [especially during the Christmas holidays], cameras and stealing company property rather than looking for firearms.
Last edited by WildBill on Mon May 30, 2011 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
NRA Endowment Member

User avatar

terryg
Senior Member
Posts: 1719
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Alvin, TX

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby terryg » Mon May 30, 2011 11:38 am

I'm not so worried about a search. But as I work for a private university with their own police force and road system, I am worried about being stopped for a minor traffic violation. By law, I would then have to present my DL and my CHL. :shock:

Here is our current weapons policy:

xxx prohibits the possession of firearms on University premises, even by those who are qualified to carry concealed handguns under Texas law.

xxx also prohibits the possession on campus of all of the following:

fireworks
ammunition
hazardous or explosive material
firearms
pellet guns, and
other dangerous weapons.


Texas law as well as Rice University policy prohibits the ownership of

firearms
illegal knives
clubs
other weapons specified in the Texas Penal Code, section 46.05 (a)


It hasn't been updated since 1996 and I am pretty sure the last section in no longer true. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will be made to this policy now.
... this space intentionally left blank ...


speedsix
Senior Member
Posts: 5608
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby speedsix » Mon May 30, 2011 11:46 am

...I don't think your presentation of the CHL when you were stopped would be reasonable cause for him to search your car...I would present, though, because, even though the penalty was removed...it's still the law...and if you don't...THEN I'd say he has reason to believe you might be hiding something(assuming that he found out on the computer that you HAVE a CHL...
...what it boils down to...is that the law will only discourage employers from posting...not from having their way with us about carrying...I'd like to have seen more teeth in the law in our favor...tough to accomplish with Texas' hire/fire practices...

User avatar

terryg
Senior Member
Posts: 1719
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Alvin, TX

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby terryg » Mon May 30, 2011 11:51 am

speedsix wrote:...I don't think your presentation of the CHL when you were stopped would be reasonable cause for him to search your car...I would present, though, because, even though the penalty was removed...it's still the law...and if you don't...THEN I'd say he has reason to believe you might be hiding something(assuming that he found out on the computer that you HAVE a CHL...
...what it boils down to...is that the law will only discourage employers from posting...not from having their way with us about carrying...I'd like to have seen more teeth in the law in our favor...tough to accomplish with Texas' hire/fire practices...


Right, but now the campus police department - who are also university employees - will know I carry a weapon in my vehicle. Could this information make it to the extremely liberal administration?

How about the case when a, now legally, stored gun is stolen from an employees' vehicle while parked on campus. Guess who you call to file the police report?????? That's right, the university employed campus police department.
... this space intentionally left blank ...

User avatar

terryg
Senior Member
Posts: 1719
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Alvin, TX

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby terryg » Mon May 30, 2011 12:13 pm

Rather than hijack this thread further, I created a new one to discuss the unique impact of the parking lot bill to university employees:

viewtopic.php?f=110&t=45475
... this space intentionally left blank ...

User avatar

ELB
Senior Member
Posts: 5661
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 9:34 pm
Location: Seguin

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby ELB » Mon May 30, 2011 2:49 pm

I am feeling generous today, so I will give me three cents worth...

Penny #1: The vast majority of employers, especially large corporation types, the issue is not "safety," the issue is "financial liability." Hence the majority of big companies really don't give a flip about whether Joe has a gun in his car, they give a flip about getting sued for mega-bucks if Joe pops someone with that gun. (The exception to "don't give a flip" is probably universities and colleges.) A factor in our favor is that the legislature has specifically addressed that issue. An additional point in our favor would be if some enterprising employment law attorney began including in his advertising a willingness to represent people who think they were terminated in violation of the new law. In fact, this may put an additional arrow in the quiver of those who are fighting their terminations thru the court. Keep a cheap pistol in the trunk, if you get canned, sue for wrongful termination and claim that the employer violated the law.

Penny #2: This is an extension of the "don't give a flip about safety, only liability" thesis: employers are in the business of making money, and they don't make money if they fritter away all their funds on searches, firing otherwise able employees, and the like, unless either actual problems or litigation make these things necessary. (Again, this does not apply to public univ and colleges). Thus, I think in the majority of cases, if employers are convinced that their liability butts are covered by the law, and as long as guns in trunks don't become a real problem for the employer (thus generating negative publicity and litigation), it is rapidly going to be ignored as a non-issue. So don't be showing off your new deer rifle in the parking lot.

Penny#3: If employers are anywhere near as averse to being the "test case" in court as gun owners apparently are, then there will be no problem whatsoever.
USAF 1982-2005
____________
The Most Interesting Texan in the World. :txflag:


Topic author
GEM-Texas
Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:04 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby GEM-Texas » Mon May 30, 2011 3:30 pm

Having read liability and crisis management literature aimed at universities, I would disagree respectfully as they are also truly concerned with liability.Thus I think your analysis holds for them. While on the surface the faculties are seen as not gun friendly, financial officers are more concerned with the bucks and wouldn't want to start a giant lawsuit.

In fact, schools' inaction in case of the warning signs from rampagers can be traced back to liability concerns. If they wouldn't act strongly against obviously disturbed folks suggests that they wouldn't be hot to go after law abiding folks with clean records.

TX is also a conservative state and the resultant PR flap might not be good for fund raising.

But we will see.


BrianSW99
Senior Member
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:51 am

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby BrianSW99 » Mon May 30, 2011 4:12 pm

speedsix wrote:...I have never heard of an employer searching cars on the parking lot...I can see where perhaps a defense-related employer might have that strict a policy...but who can name others that actually search employees cars, either with a walk-by with a dog, or force the employee to open the vehicle so that they can search it????


K-12 school district employees often have their cars sniffed by dogs. They'll sniff all the cars whether student or staff. Of course, they're also not included in the parking lot bill.

Brian

User avatar

seamusTX
Senior Member
Posts: 13551
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Galveston

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby seamusTX » Mon May 30, 2011 4:24 pm

I wish I could be so optimistic.

In 2002 at a Weyerhauser plant in Oklahoma, the company management ordered a police search of employee vehicles for drugs. No drugs were found, but about a dozen employees were fired when firearms were found in their vehicles. All the employees weapons legally, either handguns with permits or hunting weapons.

Subsequently the state legislature passed an employee parking-lot law like the one under discussion here.

Weyerhauser, ConocoPhillips, and Williams Cos. filed suit to void the law. They won in the first round, but eventually the law was upheld in 2009.

These companies probably spent millions in legal fees to overturn the law. They produced a valuable federal court ruling that allowing employees to have firearms in their own vehicles is not within the scope of OSHA regulations (which was the basis of the suit).

http://www.newson6.com/story/9873937/co ... ns-in-cars

This ruling directly affects only the 10th circuit (that is, not Texas), but it serves as a precedent for suits that may be filed in other circuits.

Along the way, the NRA promoted a boycott against ConocoPhillips. This boycott was nationwide news in 2005. ConocoPhillips did not change its course of action or suffer any detectable loss of business.

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/R ... 9&issue=53

The entire story of this episode has not been told in one place.

Now for my opinion:

The management of many companies is stupid. It is a huge, blind beast that continues to do what it has always done because it has always done it that way. They do not always make decisions that result in long-term profitability. That is why so many of the formerly great companies of the 20th century either no longer exist or reduced to brand names owned by someone else.

They also are afraid of their own employees—usually with good reason.

As for Texas being conservative, keep in mind that many of these large companies are run by MBAs and lawyers in some other state or country.

- Jim
Fear, anger, hatred, and greed. The devil's all-you-can-eat buffet.

User avatar

seamusTX
Senior Member
Posts: 13551
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: Galveston

Re: Parking lots and employee handbooks?

Postby seamusTX » Mon May 30, 2011 4:28 pm

GEM-Texas wrote:In fact, schools' inaction in case of the warning signs from rampagers can be traced back to liability concerns. If they wouldn't act strongly against obviously disturbed folks suggests that they wouldn't be hot to go after law abiding folks with clean records.

The problem with "disturbed" students is that few of them have done anything that meets the strict standards of mental incompetence or criminal guilt.

In fact, it's almost necessary for the person to commit a serious crime before being found incompetent. This was exactly the case with Loughner.

Also their medical records are protected by privacy laws and concern with slander or libel suits.

Schools are perfectly happy to throw out students and employees who are found with weapons. They just don't look very hard.

- Jim


Return to “2011 Texas Legislative Session”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest