7/05/2008

Disney suspends worker for having gun locked in his car at work

Disney is not getting high marks from me this week. With "Wall*E" being an environmentalist screed, now they indicate this phobia against guns. Whatever the exceptions in the law, how could the fact that Disney have fireworks be relevant to whether workers are allowed to have locked guns in their cars? WFTV has the story here:

Disney Employee Suspended After Bringing Gun To Work
POSTED: 5:18 pm EDT July 4, 2008
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A new state law went on the books Tuesday saying people could bring guns to work if they kept them locked in their car. Disney, though, said it was exempt from the new law and its 62,000 employees needed to keep their guns at home.

Friday, a worker who protested the park’s decision told Channel 9 he was suspended.

The worker was well aware that he could end up losing his job when he took the gun to work Friday morning, but said that the principle at stake means enough to him that he was willing to take the risk, especially on the day we celebrate the country and our freedoms.

As he pulled into work, Edwin Sotomayor recorded Sheriff’s Deputies and Disney managers waiting for him. After he refused a car search, managers drove Sotomayor to their offices, questioned him further and then sent him to his normal post. Four hours into his shift, Sotomayor says he was suspended.

Disney told employees it is exempt from the new law that allows them to bring a gun to work, because it stores fireworks on site. . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger wrangler5 said...

I suggest that employer hostility to employee possession of weapons, especially when that employer is supportive of lawful carry by its customers (WalMart being the most prominent example) is based purely on their analysis of potential liabilites.

If an employee is injured or killed the employer's liability is absolutely limited by Workers Comp laws, and is almost always insured (i.e., prepaid.)

But if an employee defends him or herself on company property it is extremely likely that the employer will be sued by the perpetrator (or his survivors.) And the richer the employer the larger the claim. Statutory prohibitions on such suits rarely have teeth sharp enough to deter contingent fee lawyers from taking a run at it anyway.

So, an unarmed employee (even though he may wind up injured or dead) is the lower cost alternative. For a public company, the Board probably has a fiduciary duty to choose this option.

If states want to keep employers from resisting these laws, and allow employees to "bring their guns to work," they need to add some teeth to the prohibition on lawsuits against the employers. Personally, I'd provide that if a suit is filed and found to be prohibited by the statute, the plaintiff AND HIS ATTORNEY (if there is a contingent fee agreement) are JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY liable to the employer for the employers legal fees and costs PLUS the maximum amount that could have been recovered under the petition as it was filed. Sue the employer for a million bucks and you owe the employer all his fees and costs PLUS a million bucks.

Of course, with legislatures filled with lawyers and primarily supported by the trial bar the likelihood of such a sanction ever seeing the light of day is nil, but we can all dream.

7/05/2008 10:27 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Wrangler5:

A lot of the hostility is based on OSHA rules.

7/05/2008 3:38 PM  

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