by Jourdan Day
Ohio’s new law prohibiting employers from creating or enforcing policies that prevent employees with a concealed carry license from storing a firearm in their locked vehicle while on employer premises takes effect March 19.
The law means that as long as an employee keeps her firearm and ammunition in a locked compartment of her vehicle while she is away from it, her employer may not take any action against her for bringing the firearm or ammunition onto its property.
Because of the new law, employers need to review their workplace violence and firearm policies. If your policies prohibit firearms in employees’ locked personal vehicles, they must be modified to make them consistent with the new law.
Employers are still free to prohibit employees who do not possess a valid concealed carry license (or who are otherwise excluded from the licensing requirement) from keeping firearms in their vehicles, even if they are otherwise in compliance with the law. Employers also may still prohibit employees from carrying firearms inside company premises and taking firearms out of privately owned vehicles while on company property.
Many business interest groups opposed the legislation because it makes access to firearms in the workplace easier. In light of the new law, employers are advised to revisit their workplace violence policies to make sure they state clearly the prohibitions on violence and threats of violence.
For more information on Ohio’s new gun law, see the January issue of Ohio Employment Law Letter.