Fired for gun in trunk: Can employee sue? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Fired for gun in trunk: Can employee sue?

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A court is about to tackle a tricky issue: Does a state law authorizing employees who park in company lots to keep guns locked in their trunks also create a right to sue if the employee is fired for gun possession?

Recent case: Robert, who worked in Mississippi, parked his car in the employee parking lot with a firearm locked inside. His boss learned about the firearm and fired him later that day for violating a company policy forbidding firearms on company property.

The company then convened a plant-wide meeting during which an HR manager said Robert was a security risk and instructed them to call police if they saw him near the facility.

Robert sued because Mississippi law allows citizens to keep a weapon in their locked vehicles at work and prohibits employers from forbidding the practice. The company argued that it could fire Robert because he was an at-will employee.

The 5th Circuit sent the case to the Mississippi Supreme Court for a ruling on whether Robert had a right to sue for wrongful termination (Swindol v. Aurora, No. 14-60779, 5th Cir., 2015)

Final note: Texas has a law similar to Mississippi’s.

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