Carrying at work

GSG

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Are there any laws regarding carrying at work in MA?

In short if it's not prohibited by law, no, and that's a short list of places off limits in Mass.

This is pretty standard wording for most military, gov't, etc related workplaces. It adds exemptions for police and military of course. Sort of like a standard police state. You can't have them but we can....for your safety.

More like a standard backlash in corporate policy to a few active shooters.

The employee at Disney who declined a search for a gun actually weakened his case as they could, and did, fire him for refusing a search. If he let them search, and they found the gun, he would have been able to argue that he was protected by the "gun in private car" law (although Disney has tried to claim the fact that they use fireworks puts them under the "explosives facility" exemption to that law).

As far as not letting them search, he was legally protected there. FS 790.251 says in part:

A search of a private motor vehicle in the parking lot of a public or private employer to ascertain the presence of a firearm within the vehicle may only be conducted by on-duty law enforcement personnel, based upon due process and must comply with constitutional protections.

Sheriff's deputies were on scene for the attempted search, but they didn't force him into the search, probably because they knew that they couldn't legally do it, but details are shaky there. He made a few other errors too. When the new "take your gun to work" law passed, he publicly announced via TV news that he would be bringing a gun to work in his car the next day, policy be damned. He wanted to be a test case.

His lawyer was also trying to make it extra clear that the guy was in compliance with the law, so he stressed that his client had a CWFL and that the gun was locked in the trunk of his car. Neither the carry license nor the locked container is required for compliance with that section of FL law, but now the courts think that the license is (they didn't actually address the "securely encased" portion of statute). It's created non-binding, incorrect precedent that can be fixed, but will probably help bring some test cases to light.
 
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Last I knew (and that was ~10 years ago), there were only a couple of reasons why MA will deny you unemployment. IIRC one was stealing from the company and another was failing to show up to work. IIRC, failure to follow company policies was not deemed sufficient to deny unemployment benefits if the person requested an appeal hearing.

Depends on the policies that were not followed and the documentation thereof. The main qualifier for the employer is whether or not the violations are enforced equally among staff. If I fire Joey McSlack*** for being repeatedly tardy, and he can prove that Suzie Stand-up-employee strolls in late occasionally too, I may lose the hearing. Incompetence really can't be part of the equation, unless you have an operation that relies on quotas, and even then it can be dicey.

The one that really kills me, though... Say you have an employee who is some kind of habitual offender (tardiness, absenteeism, intoxication, whatever). You have a few times of writing the person up for this issue, maybe give them a suspension as part of your "progressive disciplinary system," but you also try to work with them or let your discipline slide a bit because you don't want to dismiss them. If you finally dismiss the employee and they file for unemployment, you may lose the case because they had a reasonable expectation that they would not be disciplined or dismissed for the final violation because of previous lenience. The first time the examiner found in favor of the employee for this reason, I was so furious I thought I was going to vomit blood.

I recall being hired by companies where I was made to sign that I had read and agreed to follow all current and future employee policies on my first day of work, BEFORE I ever saw the employee handbook. It was SOP and there is no way that you have the time to read the thing before they collect your signature in any case.

My brother had a similar situation. He stopped them and said, "I'd like to read the handbook first, please." It took him about an hour while they waited.

So proud... [crying]
 
J

Jose

How could I possibly have a retort to your very well thought out and articulate response. I stand in awe of your verbal prowess.
Because it's the truth?

A state that goes out of its way to screw over producers to a degree that I have not heard or seen in any other.
 

dwarven1

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I've read an employee handbook (from a huge company with lots of lawyers) that supposedly gives the employeer permission to search any employee's person, bags, vehicle, home, computers, etc.., and claims to enforce things like a"no weapons" policy on employees off of company property.

Why would anyone agree to that, I wonder?

Does "off property" refer just to times you are on the job or do they require you to be disarmed 24x7 as a condition of employment (which, btw, is the policy applied to Nassau County, NY ADAs)?

Sucks to be a Nassau County ADA, don't it.

I recall being hired by companies where I was made to sign that I had read and agreed to follow all current and future employee policies on my first day of work, BEFORE I ever saw the employee handbook. It was SOP and there is no way that you have the time to read the thing before they collect your signature in any case.

Yup, I've been in that situation, too. Wonder if the fact that they didn't give you time to read it before signing that form would give you grounds to fight any claim that you read it (if it came to a court case)?

A state that goes out of its way to screw over producers to a degree that I have not heard or seen in any other.

I have to wonder, Jose, what your post count would be if we deleted all your comments about how horrible MA is. I mean, I don't think there's a NESer out there who doesn't know how you feel by now. Give it a rest, will ya?
 
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Does "off property" refer just to times you are on the job or do they require you to be disarmed 24x7 as a condition of employment (which, btw, is the policy applied to Nassau County, NY ADAs)?

Well, it referes to any place that work is done. I'm unofficially on call 24/7 (in theory I'm not on call, but when shit happens the on-call guys call me). There have been serveral times where I've been called while at a shooting range.
 
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Remember that Massachusetts is an "at will state" which means an employee can be terminated for any reason or no reason. (an exception would be if one were working under a contract, either personal or union). If an employer says "no firearms" and you were found carrying a firearm, you could be terminated for that or for any other reason other than the usual discrimination ones.
 
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Remember that Massachusetts is an "at will state" which means an employee can be terminated for any reason or no reason. (an exception would be if one were working under a contract, either personal or union). If an employer says "no firearms" and you were found carrying a firearm, you could be terminated for that or for any other reason other than the usual discrimination ones.

That really is only pertinant for a lawsuit or something of that nature. If you are talking about unemployment benefits, that's a whole different ball of wax.

Example... We had two staff members who were giving away products for free, taking product for themselves, and pocketing cash from the register. I think that we can all agree that this would fall under the category of "theft," right? And to my best recollection, theft is (and was) very much illegal.

The unemployment arbitrator asked my company if it was written in their handbook or explained to staff that theft of company property and money was not allowed.

[hmmm]

Jose, feel free to chime in here. It's well deserved... [sad]
 

GSG

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Does "off property" refer just to times you are on the job or do they require you to be disarmed 24x7 as a condition of employment (which, btw, is the policy applied to Nassau County, NY ADAs)?

Do they only apply this to pistol permits, or do they not allow employees to have long guns as well?

Yup, I've been in that situation, too. Wonder if the fact that they didn't give you time to read it before signing that form would give you grounds to fight any claim that you read it (if it came to a court case)?

It doesn't seem like that would matter in Mass. A few cases sort of touch on that.

Jackson v. Action For Boston Community Development Inc., 403 Mass. 8 (1988) says in part:

In this case, viewing the circumstances most favorably to the plaintiff, the most that can be said in his behalf is that he received the manual at some unknown time and continued to work for the defendant thereafter, and that on the plaintiff's discharge, the defendant adhered to, albeit imprecisely according to the plaintiff, the personnel manual's grievance provisions. We agree with the plaintiff that remaining with an employer after, or commencing employment upon, receiving an employee manual, can, in appropriate circumstances, supply the necessary consideration to incorporate the manual's terms into an employment contract. See Simons v. American Dry Ginger Ale Co., 335 Mass. 521 , 526 (1957). See also, e.g., Southwest Gas Corp. v. Ahmad, 99 Nev. 594, 595 (1983). We also agree that the defendant's adherence to the grievance procedures is some evidence of the existence of a contract based on the personnel manual's terms. Cf. John P. Condon Corp. v. State Line Contractors, Inc., 353 Mass. 137 , 141 (1967).

Courts have disagreed as to how clear an indication an employer must give in connection with distributing an employee manual before it may be found that the employer entered into a contract on other than a strictly at-will basis. Compare Martin v. Capital Cities Media, Inc., 354 Pa. Super. 199, 220-222 (1986) (employment at will should be presumed in absence of clear statement in handbook to the contrary), with Woolley v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 99 N.J. 284, 309, modified, 101 N.J. 10 (1985) (unless manual contains prominent statement that no promises are made therein, a contract on its terms can be found). However, on review of all the circumstances here, and considering the relation of the parties, the conclusion is inexorable that no implied contract based on the personnel manual's terms existed. It is undisputed that the defendant retained the right to modify unilaterally the personnel manual's terms. This tends to show that any "offer" made by the defendant

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in distributing the manual was illusory. See Gill v. Richmond Co-Operative Ass'n, 309 Mass. 73 , 79-80 (1941); Bernstein v. W.B. Mfg. Co., 238 Mass. 589 , 590-591 (1921). The personnel manual's language that it is provided for "guidance" as to the defendant's "policies" is of the same import. It is also significant that nothing in the circumstances here reveals any negotiation over the terms of the personnel manual. Cf. Carnig, supra at 546 (negotiations lead to offer of permanent employment). Further, consistent with employment at will, no term of employment was stated in the personnel manual. See Fenton v. Federal St. Bldg. Trust, 310 Mass. 609 , 612 (1942); Campion, 269 Mass. at 582. The plaintiff does not argue that any special attention was called to the manual by the defendant; there is no indication that the plaintiff signed the manual, or in any way manifested his assent to it or acknowledged that he understood its terms. See, e.g., Garrity, supra at 822 (employee required to sign manual); Renny v. Port Huron Hosp., 427 Mich. 415, 425-426 (1986) (employee given page-by-page review of manual during orientation and signed acknowledgment of familiarity with its terms). In sum, in the circumstances of this case, we conclude that the conduct of the parties, and their relation, fell short of that which would allow a jury to decide reasonably that the parties had entered an implied contract based on the manual's terms.

and Garrity v. United Airlines Inc., 421 Mass. 55 (1995), which says in part:

"Plaintiff received a copy of the company handbook in the internal company mail, did not sign it, and never read it during the course of her employment at United. She was not involved in any negotiations that went into the handbook which states: `This handbook does not constitute a contract of employment.'

...

"On February 22, 1990, a disciplinary hearing took place to decide disciplinary action based on Garrity's failure to comply with United's employee handbook, `Articles of Conduct . . . Your Responsibility' in You and United, which [describes the following activities as misconduct]:
...

We follow the lead taken by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Little v. FBI, when that court announced that a handicapped employee who engages in conduct significantly inimical to the interests of his employer and in violation of the employer's rules is not an "otherwise qualified" person within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act. We conclude that such a person is not a "qualified handicapped person" within the meaning of G. L. c. 151B and therefore is not entitled to the protection of that statute.

Also O'Brien vs. New England Telephone & Telegraph Company, 422 Mass. 686 (1996) says in part:

Since our opinion in Jackson v. Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., 403 Mass. 8 (1988), in which we last considered the question of personnel manuals, some confusion has arisen. In that opinion, we held that the summary judgment evidence demonstrated that the parties had not entered into an implied contract on the basis of a personnel manual that the defendant employer had distributed to its employees. Id. at 14.

Principles stated in the Jackson opinion remain sound. A personnel manual may form the basis for an express contract. Id. at 13. Surely, if the parties agree in advance of employment that a personnel manual will set forth relative rights and obligations of employer and employee, the manual becomes part of the employment contract. A similar result would be obtained if, during the course of at-will employment, the parties agree, orally or in writing, that thereafter their rights and obligations would include the provisions of an employee manual. An employee remaining with the employer after receiving a manual provides the consideration necessary to support the contract. Id. at 14. It is also apparent that the circumstances of a particular employment relationship could warrant a finding of an implied contract that includes the terms of a personnel manual. Id. If an employer

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adheres to the procedures set forth in its manual, that would be some evidence that the terms of the manual were part of the employment contract. Id.

The Jackson opinion has led to confusion because certain facts that were stated to be present or not present in that case (id. at 14-15) have been viewed as constituting a list of conditions that must exist in order to justify a ruling that the terms of a personnel manual are part of an express or implied employment contract. See Pearson v. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co., 979 F.2d 254, 256-257 (1st Cir. 1992); Biggins v. Hazen Paper Co., 953 F.2d 1405, 1423-1424 (1st Cir. 1992), vacated on other grounds, 507 U.S. 604 (1993); Cadrin v. New England Tel. & Tel. Co., 828 F. Supp. 120, 122 (D. Mass. 1993). Cf. O'Brien v. Analog Devices, Inc., 34 Mass. App. Ct. 905 , 906 (1993) (manual played no part in employment agreement because employee did not read manual until after she began her employment); Mullen v. Ludlow Hosp. Soc'y, 32 Mass. App. Ct. 968 , 969 (1992) (no contract because terms of manual were not negotiated, manual was received after employee began working, employer could change manual unilaterally, and manual said it was not a contract).

The various circumstances discussed in the Jackson opinion are not a rigid list of prerequisites, but rather explain factors that would make a difference or might make a difference in deciding whether the terms of a personnel manual were at least impliedly part of an employment contract. For example, one of the Jackson factors is whether there had been negotiations over the terms of the personnel manual. Jackson, supra at 15. If there had been negotiations leading to an agreement, that fact alone would justify the conclusion that more than an at-will employment contract existed. The fact that the NET manual was not the subject of negotiation is neither significant nor surprising. Negotiation of the terms of a company-wide manual for nonunion employees is not likely and is not an essential precondition of the enforceability of the employer's obligations stated in the manual. Of course, if a manual furnished to an employee stated a term of employment, the employee would not be an at-will employee. Id.

The Jackson opinion thought significant, in support of its result, that the employer retained the right unilaterally to modify the terms of the manual because that made any offer in the manual illusory. Id. at 14-15. On the other hand, if an employee reasonably believed that the employer was offering

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to continue the employee's employment on the terms stated in the manual, the employee's continuing to work after receipt of the manual would be in the nature of an acceptance of an offer of a unilateral contract (see Pine River State Bank v. Mettille, 333 N.W.2d 622, 626-627 [Minn. 1983]), and the promise would not be illusory. The fact that the employer did not intend to make such an offer, and that there was no explicitly bargained-for exchange, does not matter if employees in general would reasonably conclude that the employer was presenting the manual as a statement of the conditions under which employment would continue. See Restatement (Second) of Contracts s. 24 (1979) ("An offer is the manifestation of willingness to enter into a bargain, so made as to justify another person in understanding that his assent to that bargain is invited and will conclude it").

The Jackson opinion also indicates that a finding that the terms of a personnel manual are part of an employee's contract would be supported if the employee signed the manual, manifested assent to it, or acknowledged understanding of its terms, or if the employer called special attention to the manual. Jackson, supra at 15. Although O'Brien did not sign the personnel manual (the document that contains whatever contractual rights that she may have beyond those of an at-will employee), there was evidence that she received a new copy of the manual annually.

I haven't found anything that directly addresses it, but they seem to assume that employees know the rules, especially if they hang around for awhile.

That really is only pertinant for a lawsuit or something of that nature. If you are talking about unemployment benefits, that's a whole different ball of wax.

Most likely.
 

Rob Boudrie

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o they only apply this to pistol permits, or do they not allow employees to have long guns as well?

I don't know - but I do know their job application states that not holding, or applying for, a pistol permit is a condition of employment.
 
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