None of Your Business

The following is from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM):

Court Strikes Down State Law Prohibiting Workplace Gun Policies

By Joanne Deschenaux

An Oklahoma federal court ruled that a state law barring employers from prohibiting weapons on workplace property was invalid because it was pre-empted by federal law. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma concluded that the law ran afoul of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSH Act) “general duty” clause, which requires an employer to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”

This decision “gives Oklahoma employers relief from the ‘Catch-22’ position of having to choose between violating state or federal law,” Julie Elgar, SHRM’s Georgia state legislative director and an attorney at Ford and Harrison LLP in Atlanta told SHRM Online in an Oct. 23 interview. It also gives employers in states with similar laws a weapon to challenge the laws, she said. And, in states in which the legislature has fought over but ultimately failed to pass such laws, employers have legal ammunition when the issue comes up again, as it is likely to do in Georgia. “It’s a strong weapon to have in your arsenal,” Elgar noted.

Comment: This is the sort of thing that makes my head explode. A business is private property. There used to be rights associated with private property. Were that still the case, the business owner would develop a policy appropriate for his business, implement it, and shazaam!, resolution! Instead, the business owner, who has the biggest stake in the outcome, must sit on the sideline while state legislatures and feral… sorry, federal courts duke it out. I suppose if one is to be a slave, it’s nice to have competing masters fight over you.

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