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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 7/3/2003 9:19:25 AM EDT
This post is to expose the text of an employee handbook from a previous employer of mine as discussed in another thread.

This is the section of the text that makes me, and everyone I know that still works there sick. Notice that even TALKING about guns can get you fired:

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

Verio continually strives to maintain a
workplace that is safe and secure for all
associates. Verio will not tolerate any violent
acts, gestures, or threats committed by
associates. Associates are strictly prohibited
from any involvement in activities of a violent
nature.

Workplace violence defined

Workplace violence is defined as any act,
gesture, or threat of a violent nature. Such
behavior has the effect of harming person or
property, and creates an intimidating and
hostile work environment.

Reporting

While you are not expected to be skilled at
identifying potentially dangerous situations or
persons, you are expected to exercise good
judgment and to inform your supervisor or
Human Resources representative if any
associate, customer or other third party exhibits
behavior that could be a sign of a potentially
dangerous situation. Such behavior includes:

· Discussing weapons or bringing them to
the workplace

· Displaying overt signs of extreme stress,
resentment, hostility, or anger

· Making threatening remarks

· Sudden or significant deterioration of
performance

· Displaying irrational or inappropriate
behavior.

Any potentially dangerous situations should be
reported immediately to a supervisor or your
Human Resources representative.

Associates who are found to be in violation of
this policy will be subject to disciplinary action,
up to and including termination. If necessary,
violent acts may also be reported to appropriate
law enforcement agencies.

Now, I know some may doubt that they will act on this, but I can tell you first hand that they have and will.

Before the restriction of the first amendment was added to the handbook, I was fired from this company after someone reported to management that I and several co-workers had been heard talking about going shooting after work. To make a long story short, after being searched by the police, I was asked if I had a firearm. I have a CCW and DID have a handgun locked in my car but was NOT packing on the job. I admitted this, thinking it was MY car and was NOT parked in a company lot, so what did I have to fear... Wrong! I was terminated immediately for violation of company weapons policy. The above restriction of the 1st amendment was added AFTER my situation.

How far does your company go?
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:07:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 6:11:09 PM EDT by PaDanby]
I don't know if you are in an "at will" state but if they changed the policy after you were fired you likely have an unjust termination case. Discussing "weapons" is a pretty nebulous term. Have you checked with a labor and or employment specialist lawyer? (Not General Practice or Criminal, Employment law is screwy sometimes and a specialist might be able to solve this real quick.) There's a variety of things about this that I find shaky, but I've only worked in HR for 20+ years so what do I know. Firing for discussing something that was not delineated in the policy at the time. A private discussion about legal activities outside employment should be protected or at worst get you a warning. In any case they should be able to procude someone that could say they felt threatened by the discssion. Might not help you but your former co-workers now know who should be excluded from conversations. They may even complain that they are being harassed and made to work in a hostile work environment. File for work comp stress, you got fired for ridiculous reasons they are worried they are next. Was anybody else in the discussion disciplined? Are you over forty and/or a Vietnam or "other" Vet. Claim discrimination. Fired for something the Police found in your car when it was not on the property, which was legal and the police did nothing. You may even have a false arrest or wrongful imprisonment case (that's a stretch) but a nasty gram from a land shark oughta shake them up. Did anybody make a false report to get the police involved?
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:26:52 PM EDT
What, if any, was the specific weapons policy at the time of your termination? If, according to the policy you [u]signed[/u], your employment was "at will", then they could/can fire you w/o cause, unless employment laws were violated (Of course, try proving violation). If not, & the policy did not prohibit you from keeping a gun (legally) locked up in your car in a public lot, then I'd consider making a legal inquiry. I find it interesting/disconcerting that someone would even care about a consentual, casual discussion about participation in a legal activity after work. Why did this "tattler" feel the need to harp about it? Check w/ an attorney & (if you still have them) keep any/all policies you signed. The employment policy is a legal contract. What legal premise did the police have to search you &/or your vehicle? This is why I rarely ever socialize about non-work-related issues anymore. It's too easy to be instantly accused of anything/everything these days. Doesn't do much for relations, but you'll avoid a lot of pain. Sad, but true. *********** I've seen "blitzkreig" terminations before. The tactic is intended to put the targeted employee on the defensive & keep them from asserting their legal & contractual rights. Never sign [u]anything[/u] if you find yourself in such circumstances.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:46:45 PM EDT
Who says guns are weapons anyway, they are tools, not weapons. Weapons are like missiles and grenades.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:15:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/3/2003 7:22:03 PM EDT by LiveFire]
Actually this happened a little over a year ago. I'm just posting this now for several members who expressed an interest in the case. I spoke to quite a few lawyers and even contacted the NRA and GOA (member of both). I was told, without exception, that in the state of Florida this case would be a looser and no one would take it on. In fact GOA was the ONLY pro-gun organization that gave me the name and number of a local lawyer and at least made an effort. I eventually had to stop searching for an attorney, and start searching for a new job. I am not over 40 or a vet of anything but the Cold War (Army), so that wouldn't wash. There was an existing policy that prohibited weapons of any kind on company grounds or in DESIGNATED company parking spaces. The police concluded (Very quickly) that no law had been broken, so they were out of the picture just as soon as they were sure I wasn't going to shoot up the place or something. Actually, having a CCW made things go much more smoothly than they could have gone without one. At least the police knew right off the bat that they were not dealing with a felon or some such. I was fired because they claimed that the lot I was parked in had reserved spots for the company's use, and that was enough. I explained that I was NOT parked in one of the reserved spots precisely because I did NOT want to violate policy. They would not listen at all. The worst part of this whole thing is that these were people I had worked with for years and they ALL new me. They know that I am a stable and reliable person. I can't say this for certain, but I got an unmistakable feeling that the HR folks did NOT want to fire me, but were left with no choice. The actual order to fire me came out of Japan... From some nameless, faceless person who didn't even know me. I am not posting this story to whine or cry over the situation. I just thought folks who carry at work should know what happened to me. Edit to add: You would be shocked at the number of lawyers I spoke to that sounded interested right up until I mentioned the G word (Gun that is). Once the G word was used, the phone would go very quiet, and then I would be told that they could not accept the case.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:30:18 PM EDT
Well, in the end, the reason companies attempt to do this kind of crap is to protect their employees, and the company's wallet, from being harmed. But, in reality, they don't care about the crap in the policy. What they want to know ahead of time before they hire someone is if they have a history of mental illness. Especially violent history of mental illness. Unfortunately, mental health privacy laws prevents them from asking, or attempting to obtain this information. And this is their best attempt to find probable trouble makers they can muster.
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 8:45:52 AM EDT
This raises several things that I take issue with: - Why admit to anyone that you have a gun in the car, when you are NOWHERE near the car? Without that admission, the police could not have searched the car and you probably would not have been terminated . . . that day! - Don't ask/don't tell is always best! If it was not on your person/in your office, refuse to answer any other question as "irrelevant". Tell them to get a search warrant if they want to search your home, car, friends house, etc. This was a "fishing expedition" without merit, but you "gave it legs". - The way to bury this kind of BS is to have people file complaints every time someone mentions baseball (bats are dangerous weapons), eating out (steak knives can kill), etc. Drive them crazy with their own policy. If the listener claims to have felt "threatened by the discussion" they'd have to react the same way they did with you, or change the policy! And the Japanese love baseball! [:)] When I worked at the late DEC, they gave out a folding knife with the DEC emblem as a 10th Anniversary gift, many of my employees/co-workers proudly wore them on their belt. Their "dangerous weapon" policy could easily be read to ban these knives as well. If you were parked in a parking lot owned/rented by the company, your keeping the gun in the car was a clear violation of their policy. If you were parked "off site" in a public parking lot (which is what I recall you saying originally), you clearly could have told them to buzz off or get a search warrant! CYA works best before getting knee deep in trouble. Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh about it, but being forewarned is a good policy for future actions.
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 9:57:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/4/2003 1:03:33 PM EDT by LiveFire]
Originally Posted By LenS: This raises several things that I take issue with: - Why admit to anyone that you have a gun in the car, when you are NOWHERE near the car? Without that admission, the police could not have searched the car and you probably would not have been terminated . . . that day! - Don't ask/don't tell is always best! If it was not on your person/in your office, refuse to answer any other question as "irrelevant". Tell them to get a search warrant if they want to search your home, car, friends house, etc. This was a "fishing expedition" without merit, but you "gave it legs". - The way to bury this kind of BS is to have people file complaints every time someone mentions baseball (bats are dangerous weapons), eating out (steak knives can kill), etc. Drive them crazy with their own policy. If the listener claims to have felt "threatened by the discussion" they'd have to react the same way they did with you, or change the policy! And the Japanese love baseball! [:)] When I worked at the late DEC, they gave out a folding knife with the DEC emblem as a 10th Anniversary gift, many of my employees/co-workers proudly wore them on their belt. Their "dangerous weapon" policy could easily be read to ban these knives as well. If you were parked in a parking lot owned/rented by the company, your keeping the gun in the car was a clear violation of their policy. If you were parked "off site" in a public parking lot (which is what I recall you saying originally), you clearly could have told them to buzz off or get a search warrant! CYA works best before getting knee deep in trouble. Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh about it, but being forewarned is a good policy for future actions.
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Oooo... tough love [:D] First, I agree that the admission was the wrong thing to do. I was among what I THOUGHT were friends and really felt that If I explained the situation, the whole thing would be forgotten. I simply stated that I would NEVER knowingly violate policy and that IF I was going to go shooting after work, I always locked any firearms in the car and parked in the public area. I was trying to be honest. I was wrong... Live and learn. Second, I was NOT parked in a company owned or rented space. There were spaces marked Verio that the company rented, but I specifically DID NOT park in these spots, In fact, I was parked in the designated [b]public[/b] area of the lot. The police never searched the car and never asked to. That aside, I THOUGHT I was well within policy and had no intention of causing a problem. Again, live and learn. I've posted this [b]only[/b] to forewarn others that even when you think you are just fine, you may not be. Trust that I will never admit to anything in the future... no matter who is envolved.
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 11:50:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/4/2003 11:51:09 AM EDT by LenS]
Name, rank & Employee #. Everything else, tell them to talk to your lawyer or get a search warrant!
Link Posted: 7/4/2003 1:31:41 PM EDT
This is an insane situation. To think something like this can happen in our country is very disconcerting. I've emailed Verio and will see what sort of reply I get. I don't expect much but want to see what they have to say. I'll also keep them on my you know what list and avoid anything that I know will add a penny to their pockets. Hopefully you've found something even better than that position. The three AOL guys that were fired in Ogden Utah for going shooting after work one Friday all had better jobs within one week. Seems like a little justice for our side when things work out that way but it's the pits to have to go through the first stage to get to the better part.
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 8:35:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LDB: ...The three AOL guys that were fired in Ogden Utah for going shooting after work one Friday all had better jobs within one week.
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Say what??? When did this happen? Since when was it any co's biz. what a someone does when they're off the clock?
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 8:45:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Master_Blaster:
Originally Posted By LDB: ...The three AOL guys that were fired in Ogden Utah for going shooting after work one Friday all had better jobs within one week.
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Say what??? When did this happen? Since when was it any co's biz. what a someone does when they're off the clock?
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I believe it was 2001 when it happened. It isn't extremely recent but still is wrong. The company position was guns on company property, using a public parking lot as their bogus justification. AOL rents a portion of an office building there and is allowed to use the parking lot but doesn't have a reserved section or any other means to call it an extension of company property. It was flat out bs and bogus. I'm just glad the 3 guys did better and I hope it left AOL in a hurt for the loss of the 3 guys.
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