With the recent addition of Ohio, 46 states now have laws allowing competent adults to carry concealed weapons.
The good news: In most states, that right typically doesn't apply if a private employer notifies employees and visitors (before they enter the premises) that it bans weapons on its property. And some states, such as Ohio, grant legal immunity to employers who are sued after a concealed gun is discharged on their premises.
The bad news: Employment attorneys say nuances in state laws can affect how far your "no weapons" policy goes. And employers often fail to take advantage of language they can use.
The most common employer re-sponse to these growing laws has been to issue a blanket policy banning all weapons, concealed or not, from the workplace. But the differing laws make it necessary to determine whether you can legally prohibit weapons in common areas, such as parking lots and company vehicles.
What's your best policy? Take these three steps:
1. Add a no-concealed-weapons ban to your employee handbook. Ask applicants and employees who have concealed-weapons permits to disclose that fact on applications and other company forms.
2. Consider additional language prohibiting employees from taking weapons to customers' sites.
3. Notify visitors, contractors and vendors that your premises is a gun-free zone. Signs at entrances do the trick, but so does "no weapons" language on sign-in sheets and visitor cards.
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