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 Car Searches 
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 Post subject: Car Searches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Ok I have a question. In My current employee handbook they have the following section.

Quote:
Weapons

It is the intent of the Company to provide a safe and secure workplace for employees, clients, clients’ customers, visitors and others with whom we do business.

The Company expressly forbids the possession of firearms on company property. The Company has “zero tolerance” for possession of any type of weapon, firearm, explosive, or ammunition. Company property includes, but is not limited to, all company facilities, vehicles, and equipment, whether leased or owned by the Company or its client.

In addition, firearms in employee-owned vehicles parked on Company property are strictly forbidden.

In enforcing this guideline, the Company reserves the right to request inspections of any employee and their personal effects, including personal vehicles while on company premises.

It is also a violation of this policy for an employee to refuse to allow the Company to conduct an inspection pursuant to this policy.

Employees within the Company share the responsibility for identifying violators and/or potential violators of this policy.

An employee who witnesses or suspects another individual of violating this guideline should immediately report this information to HR.


While I want to be able to carry at work, whatever on that point(BTW, It's not posted on any doors of our buildings). The part I really have a problem with is the following sentance:

Quote:
In enforcing this guideline, the Company reserves the right to request inspections of any employee and their personal effects, including personal vehicles while on company premises.

It is also a violation of this policy for an employee to refuse to allow the Company to conduct an inspection pursuant to this policy.


So, Can they do that?

I would think they would have to contact police if they suspect a crime has been commited. At which point, It would be up to the police decide if they want to pursue the matter by obtaining a search warrent and searching the car.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:22 pm 
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They aren't claiming the right to search your car, they're claiming the right to ask to search your car. You can refuse.

Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:33 pm 
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jdege wrote:
They aren't claiming the right to search your car, they're claiming the right to ask to search your car. You can refuse.
Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you.

This.
I don't think it would be illegal for them to fire you for refusing. So if your gun is in your car, then let them search it, find the gun and then try to fire you for having the gun in your car; which would be illegal.
(IANAL, and this is not legal advice.)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:47 pm 
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Minnesota is an at-will employment state, so they can fire you for any reason. Violation of company policy will probably be the reason they will fight to keep you from getting unemployment, too.

So... either follow the policy or take the risk of getting fired if you get caught or someone squeals on you.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:19 pm 
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jdege wrote:
They aren't claiming the right to search your car, they're claiming the right to ask to search your car. You can refuse.

Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you.


Your right they do say they may request in the following sentance, "In enforcing this guideline, the Company reserves the right to request inspections of any employee and their personal effects, including personal vehicles while on company premises. "

Really the one I have a problem with is "It is also a violation of this policy for an employee to refuse to allow the Company to conduct an inspection pursuant to this policy."

Which is really saying we reserve the right to search your car and you can't say no.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Brixius wrote:
jdege wrote:
They aren't claiming the right to search your car, they're claiming the right to ask to search your car. You can refuse.

Of course, if you refuse, they can fire you.


Your right they do say they may request in the following sentance, "In enforcing this guideline, the Company reserves the right to request inspections of any employee and their personal effects, including personal vehicles while on company premises. "

Really the one I have a problem with is "It is also a violation of this policy for an employee to refuse to allow the Company to conduct an inspection pursuant to this policy."

Which is really saying we reserve the right to search your car and you can't say no.


Yes, and they very well can terminate you at that point for cause should you refuse. If it is in the employee manual, and treats all employees in a consistent manner, violations can be handled with dramatically escalating progressive discipline.

Been there, done that … as the employer.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:26 pm 
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You could always park off of their property. They could not search your car then.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:00 pm 
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ffind out if any of the executives shoot clays or the like. Find out where they shoot. Approach them at their shooting venue and complain.

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 Post subject: Re: Car Searches
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Brixius wrote:
Ok I have a question. In My current employee handbook they have the following section.

Quote:
In addition, firearms in employee-owned vehicles parked on Company property are strictly forbidden.



So, Can they do that?


If I'm not mistaken MN law specifically states that employers cannot ban employees from have a firearm in their personal vehicle in the parking lot.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:07 pm 
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Yep, I was right...

Direct from the statute: https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin ... um=624.714

"Subd. 18. Employers; public colleges and universities. (a) An employer, whether public or
private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees
while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may
be invoked for a violation.
(b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish
policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution's
property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or a postsecondary institution may
not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area.
"


It may be worthwhile to print the statute and show it to your employer. I'm quite sure they won't want to be in violation of state law. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:54 pm 
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johngagemn wrote:
Yep, I was right...

Direct from the statute: https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin ... um=624.714

"Subd. 18. Employers; public colleges and universities. (a) An employer, whether public or
private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees
while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may
be invoked for a violation.
(b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish
policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution's
property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or a postsecondary institution may
not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area.
"


It may be worthwhile to print the statute and show it to your employer. I'm quite sure they won't want to be in violation of state law. :wink:


That's risky. Unless you know everyone's views on guns in corporate and HR, you might find yourself at the wrong end of an anti's ballpoint and they may very well find something else to fire you for. Just know that the law is on your side if they were to ever search you car.

Nice find John!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:49 pm 
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I believe in the state of Minnesota an employer may "let you go" for ANY reason or NO REASON at all. Don't give them a reason..
What they don't know won't hurt you.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Brixius wrote:
Which is really saying we reserve the right to search your car and you can't say no.

You can say no. If the company searches your car without your consent, you can sue. Note: the policy does not say "by accepting employment you are granting the company authority to search your car whenever it sees fit." The policy you quoted simply says that your refusing a search constitutes a violation of company policy. Which would be grounds for dismissal. But no more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:48 pm 
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CraigJS wrote:
I believe in the state of Minnesota an employer may "let you go" for ANY reason or NO REASON at all. Don't give them a reason..
What they don't know won't hurt you.


And if you could reasonably show that they actually fired you because you informed them they were in violation of existing state law your attorney would have a field day suing them for wrongful termination.

Sometimes I think we can be a little too conspiracy minded in the RKBA community. The vast majority of employers out there would likely very much appreciate their employees making them aware of the fact that they are in violation of state law before it gets the company in trouble. I know mine did. :wink:

I did not suggest you waltz into the boss's office, demand they change the policy, and tell them you are going to violate the existing policy. For good God's sake, you have to have a game plan on this stuff.

Me: Hey boss, you got a second?

Boss: Sure, what do you need?

Me: Well, I just wanted to let you know about something I found out over the weekend. You know that policy we have about banning employees having guns, even locked in their cars out in the parking lot?

Boss: Yeah, what about it?

Me: Well, it turns out that MN statute says that we're not supposed to do that. Apparently it specifically says that we have to allow employees to carry in the parking lot, and to store it in their vehicle. A friend of mine told me about it, so I looked it up and sure enough, here it is. (Provide printed copy of the statute.)

Boss: Huh. No kidding. Thanks for letting me know, I'll forward it on to HR so they can look into it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:32 pm 
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You might want to enlist the services of one of the local attorneys who specialize in RKBA (not me) to draft a letter to your employer notifying them of the fact that at least one of their employees isn't thrilled with the fact that "the company policy" appears to be violating state law.

You don't have to confront HR and there is a paper trail establishing the fact that the company is aware of the statute. Yes, this would likely cost you a little lawyer time but it might be worth it.

Of course you always have the option of trying to find a new employer.


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