With gun law issues becoming an increasingly divisive topic nationwide, a new issue has cropped up for many employers. Should employees be allowed to bring their guns to work? For gun rights advocates, allowing guns in the workplace can make a safer workplace and helps employees protect themselves against assault or assailants. For others, guns in the workplace could be seen as posing an additional threat or risk.
Workplace safety is the responsibility of all employers, even if the injury involves violent crimes or assault. Employers are also responsible for the security of workers. Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in representing victims of workplace injury. We are also dedicated to worker security and safety and remain abreast of the current issues that impact the modern workforce. Whether in business offices, factories, farms, or other industries, our legal team is committed to raising awareness to prevent injuries and fatalities on the job.
New laws that allow gun owners to bring their weapons to work has created a tension between gun-rights advocates and other labor law professionals. Human resources departments may also not know where to stand in deciding whether individual rights should trump internal security issues. Some gun-rights advocates argue that allowing guns can create a safer work environment.
Recent reports indicate that more than half of states have enacted laws that legally require employers to allow employees to bring guns to work and keep them in their parked cars. In some states, local businesses have voiced their concern and opposition before lawmakers to prevent the laws from going into effect. Nationwide, there are similar debates between employees, gun rights lobbyists and employers.
According to groups seeking to limit access to guns, firearms in the workplace only encourage acts of violence by potentially disgruntled or mentally ill employees. Gun-rights advocates say that the access to guns gives more security to drivers to prevent assaults. Businesses and business groups argue that the laws strip individual businesses of the right to decide if they want a gun-free work environment. HR departments have insisted that guns in a vehicle will continue to create a workplace hazard or liability.
Workers on both sides have taken a stand. Some gun-owners want the option of carrying a weapon to protect themselves in the event of a shooting or assault. Gun-free companies could strip the rights of employees and leave them vulnerable to attack. Other employees believe that more guns in the workplace simply increase the risk for violence.
The current laws pose some challenges for business owners who want to comply with regulations and keep their workers safe. Employers have a duty to keep a safe work environment; however some argue that allowing guns in the workplace may create additional hazards. Gun-control advocates argue that firearms on the job actually increase security risks and do not create a safer work environment. Statistics show that workplaces with guns are five times more likely to experience a homicide, according to a University of North Carolina workplace safety study.
Over 550 people are killed every year in work-related homicides, including death by guns and other weapons according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most recent reports indicate that there were 405 people shot and killed at work in 2010.
If you or someone you love was injured at work, contact our Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.
More Blog Posts:
Misclassification: North Carolina Proposes New Penalties for Employers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation, June 16, 2013
Airport Work Safety: OSHA Cites TSA, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 27, 2013