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Second Amendment gun/workplace laws

Situation 1

In October 2002, GoGreen Corporation hired a security company to search all the vehicles in its parking lot for drugs and guns. The security company's officers employed four sniffer dogs. Guns were found in several vehicles, but no drugs were found. The corporation felt that all employees whose vehicles had weapons had violated a company policy on ban on the possession of weapons at the workplace. Therefore, on the basis of the search, the corporation terminated four employees and eight contract workers. In response, the employees immediately sued the corporation for wrongful termination.

Based on the situation, answer the following questions:

What arguments can the employees make in their suit?

What arguments will GoGreen Corporation make in response to the suit for wrongful termination?

Is it likely that the decision will be in favor of the employees, not the corporation? Why or why not?
Situation 2

The firings outraged individuals of a rural community in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, where carrying firearms in one's car is a common practice, especially during deer-hunting season. As a result, the Oklahoma legislature overwhelmingly passed a law stating that "no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity shall be permitted to establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting or storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle." Before the law could be passed, however, several prominent companies protested against it.

What arguments are available to the plaintiffs?

What arguments will the state of Oklahoma make in response?

Which party should prevail? Why?
When analyzing and answering these questions, you can refer to the following information on the Internet:

Warren, S. (2004, November 26). In Oklahoma, a ban on guns pits state against big firms. The Wall Street Journal, p. A1.

The case of Ramsey Winch Inc. v. Henry, 555 F.3d 1199 (10th Cir. 2009) from the Internet using the keywords "Ramsey Winch Inc. v. Henry, 555 F.3d 1199 (10th Cir. 2009)."

Solution Preview

What arguments can the employees make in their suit?
The employees can contend that they did not have actual possession of the firearms; therefore they are not technically breaking company policy. Actual possession is defined as having physical custody or control of an object. Actual possession also can be described as having immediate physical contact. The employees of GoGreen can argue that though the firearms were in their personal vehicles on company property, the workers did not have immediate access to the firearms, thus they were not infringing upon the company policy. Thus, the workers would argue that they should not have been released from their employment.

What arguments will GoGreen Corporation make in response to the suit for wrongful termination?
GoGreen can counter the employees' above arguments in a major way. Courts have broadened the scope of possession beyond actual possession. GoGreen can argue that its staff had constructive possession. This type of possession is a legal theory use to extend possession to situations where a person has no physical custody of an object. Constructive possession exists when a person has no physical contact with an item. However, according to United States v. Derose, one is still considered in possession of the item because they have control over the item. Further, the employees were ...

Solution Summary

The companies will argue that they should be able to make their own policies for their companies. The policy in question is not necessarily an egregious policy. The policy is putting forth the best interest of its employees. The companies are looking to secure the safety of their employees. In addition, from the readings, the companies desired to be in compliance with an OSHA regulation regarding the work environment being safe. The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution has been at the center of controversy for many decades. The government is forcing upon these corporations a law that is not even clear at the federal level.