A Loaded Issue – Employment Ramifications of the Conceal and Carry Law

Effective November 1, 2011, your employees will be allowed, by law, to carry a concealed weapon. In the next several months, you are going to have to decide whether you will allow employees, guests or customers, to carry a concealed weapon on your premises. That decision could alienate a portion of your workforce – those who want to carry concealed weapons versus those who don’t want concealed weapons at the worksite.

Can an employer prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons while working?

Yes, employers may declare that concealed weapons are not permitted in the workplace. Employers may also prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons in the course of employment even if the work is being performed off-site.

However, employers may not prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons in their vehicles regardless of whether the vehicle is used in the course of employment. Employers may not, as a condition of employment, prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons outside of work. Further, employers may not prohibit employees from storing firearms in their vehicle if parked on the employer’s premises.

All employers who allow carrying concealed weapons on their premises are granted immunity from liability arising from that policy decision. However, employers who prohibit carrying concealed weapons on their property will be subject to liability for injuries which are proven to have been caused by that prohibition.

How does an employer prohibit employees (and others) from carrying concealed weapons?

An employer can prohibit concealed weapons from coming onto the worksite by posting signs stating that weapons are not permitted on the premises. The signs must be at least 5 x 7 inches and posted at all building entrances and all probable access points to the building’s grounds in places where employees and others can reasonably be expected to see them.

The Labor and Employment attorneys at Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci, S.C., will continue to monitor developments with this law and its effect on property owners.

Weld Riley, S.C. was founded in 1991. The firm consists of lawyers across four offices (Eau Claire, Menomonie, Wausau and Black River Falls) and offers a full range of legal services, including labor and employment, business law, estate planning, tax representation, municipal law, mining and mineral rights, environmental law, banking and creditor rights, civil litigation, criminal defense, immigration, and family law.