Monday, February 18, 2013
Colorado Workplace Gun Bans
Colorado concealed carry statutes currently allow private employers to ban guns at the workplace.
Although the Colorado Supreme Court recently overturned the CU ban of guns on campus, that case was decided on narrow legal grounds and does not directly impact private employer bans.
While it is possible that the statute or an employer policy could be challenged, perhaps on state or federal Constitutional grounds, I have not found a published Colorado case testing such a ban by a private employer.
Courts in other states have found in favor of employers where workers brought wrongful discharge cases after they were fired for bringing guns to work. At the same time, some other states have passed or are considering so-called "take your gun to work" laws, which prohibit total gun bans by employers.
The tension between workplace violence policies and individual gun rights likely will be part of the state and national dialogue on gun restrictions.
While I could foresee a legal challenge to employer gun bans here, whether it would be successful in court is an open question that undoubtedly would be highly controversial regardless of the outcome.
Employers should review their weapons policies and any workplace violence policies they may have in place, and clearly communicate any such policies to their employees.