Q & A – What should an employer do if it knows that an employee has a firearm on company premises?

Q: What should an employer do if it knows that an employee has a firearm on company premises?

A: States have different laws concerning where and under what circumstances citizens can carry firearms.  Employers should know the law for the states in which they operate.  Many states do, however, permit employers to regulate whether weapons can be brought onto private property.

Employers should inform employees in handbooks if possession of weapons is prohibited in the workplace.  The policy should discuss the employer’s internal procedure for responding to violations, including points of contact for reporting suspected violations.  Language may also be added allowing employers to conduct workplace searches and seizures based on reasonable suspicion that an employee possesses a weapon in violation of the policy.  If an employer suspects that an employee has a weapon on the premises, it is best to involve trained law enforcement and not to handle the firearm.  The employer can call the police department and coordinate the search with them.