Wood Words

HR Policies: Bring Your Gun to Work?

Last year, approximately 353 mass shootings occurred in the U.S. In many of those cases, such as the Colorado Springs and San Bernadino shootings, employees were killed or injured. Not surprisingly, many states (including Tennessee) have recently passed a variety of Bring Your Gun to Work laws.

Undeniably, the U.S. Constitution protects its citizens’ right to bear arms. But as an employer, your HR policies must ensure that you’re consistently providing a safe working environment for your employees.

So today, Wood Personnel is providing a brief overview of the new code section found at T.C.A. 50-1-312, as well as smart tips for ensuring that any resultant revisions to your HR policies are successfully implemented.

A quick overview of Tennessee Code 50-1-312:

In a nutshell, this law provides additional protections to employees who keep lawfully stored firearms (i.e., firearms kept from ordinary observation in a locked compartment within the vehicle, or in a container securely affixed to the vehicle) in their vehicles in employer-provided parking areas.

According to the law, employers cannot discharge an employee, or take “adverse employment actions” against him, solely for transporting or storing a firearm (or ammunition for it) in the employer’s parking area.

If an employer does take such actions, the employee will have a cause of action against that employer to recover incurred damages, including attorney’s fees and costs.

Changing Your HR Policies?

If you are revising your HR policies to accommodate T.C.A. 50-1-312, use these tips to make sure those changes are properly introduced and enforced:

  • Communicate effectively. For your policy to achieve the desired result, provide a plain-English summary all employees within your organization can understand. Adapt your message, and your medium, to address the needs of different recipients at all levels.
  • Set a timeline. Establish clear deadlines for implementation and target dates for 100% compliance. To secure the buy-in you need and create a sense of urgency, outline the consequences if your policy isn’t consistently followed and enforced.
  • Require written acknowledgement. Once you’re sure that each employee understands and plans to comply with the policy, obtain written acknowledgment. Include consequences of non-compliance, including corrective actions which will be taken.
  • Track results. To increase the likelihood that your policy is successfully implemented – and not ignored – create ways for measuring implementation success. Periodically review results with key decision-makers to review successes as well as concerns.

Wood Personnel – Minimizing Employment Risks and Liability for Middle TN Employers

As a leading Lebanon staffing firm, we provide all types of businesses with tools and services that reduce the risks inherent to hiring and human resource management. Here are four areas in which we can help:

  • avoiding bad hires
  • alleviating burnout
  • preventing legal and compliance issues
  • reducing the need for layoffs

Staff your business smarter. Contact Wood Personnel today for a free consultation.