South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Companies May Dismiss Employees for Bringing Firearms onto Company Property
Description Appeals court held that the constitutional and statutory right to carry weapons did not give employees the right to bring firearms on to company property in violation of company policy. The company had the right to dismiss the at-will employees for possession of firearms in their vehicles.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Wrongful Discharge; At-Will; Weapons; Self-Defense Act
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Weyco runs a paper mill in Okalhoma. KBR is a large subcontractor at the Weyco site. Both companies had policies prohibiting the possession of firearms by employees on company property, including the parking lot. “No weapons” literature was posted around the property. In cooperation with the local sheriff, a search was done of vehicles in the parking lot. Six at-will employees were fired for having firearms in their cars. The employees sued for wrongful discharge; the trial court granted summary judgment to the employers. Employees appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, which allows people to possess firearms, does not restrict the right of employers to prohibit possession of weapons on company property. Employees can sue for wrongful discharge, but there is no cause of action here. The employees were at-will and they violated company policy. Company policy did not violate public policy. There was no unreasonable search and seizure involving the weapons search since it was done on company property under the direction of management that requested help from the sheriff.

Citation Bastible v.Weyershaeuser Co., 437 F.3d 999 (10th Cir., 2006)

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