Business Groups Challenge Florida "Guns at Work" Law

A new state law that will allow Florida residents to keep firearms in their cars at work is being challenged by several employer groups.

The law, which takes effect July 1, prohibits public and private employers from having policies prohibiting firearms in their parking lots. It allows employees with valid weapons permits to keep guns locked in their cars in employers' parking lots. It also prohibits all public and private employers from discriminating against or taking action against any employee, customer or guest for exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

Handbook Hindrance
If the courts fail to block implementation of the law, employers will have to revise any employment policies that ban guns at work, according to Colombo. Employers prohibiting concealed weapons at the workplace will have to specify that "workplace" refers to the office. "If you just say 'the workplace,' that is too broad. That technically can include the parking lot if the employer owns it and/or provides it for employee use," she says.

Training also will be required for supervisors. "If a supervisor learns that an employee has a concealed weapons permit or keeps a gun in his or her car, that employer has to be sure they don't treat that employee any differently--you can't discriminate," she says. Employers also will have to eliminate any questions regarding gun ownership on employment applications.

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Yesenia Salcedo

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