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The Right to Bear Arms...At Work

RENEE KUHS
Compliance Attorney, HNI

While the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, Wisconsin recently expanded this to include carrying concealed weapons.  Beginning November 1, 2011, employees that have a license to carry a concealed weapon may legally take their gunhandgun to work in Wisconsin.  The first thing on the minds of many HR and Safety Managers is how this affects their business and workplace policies.  Is your organization bulletproof? 

The law includes an interesting provision – employers that allow their employees to exercise their right to bear arms at work will be immune from liability if an incident occurs.  While most employers are happy to dodge a bullet, the thought of employees being armed while at work or while visiting clients on company business may feel to some like we’re living in the Wild West.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions from our clients asking for clarification on what the new law entails, for example:

  • What kinds of weapons are eligible for concealed carry?
  • Who can get a permit?
  • Is it okay to ask employees if they’re carrying a weapon?
  • Do I need to reference this in my employee handbook?
  • What if a customer is hurt on premises? Does immunity extend to that?

[Pardon all of the puns in this article – there were just so many I couldn’t help myself.]

Created on 10/19/11 at 17:22:22

Topics: Construction Transportation Safety / Compliance Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits