The country has been plagued with increasing incidents of workplace violence especially after employee termination. Employee termination can prove risky when the affected employees have a history of mental illness or hostile behavior in and out of the workplace.
Questions the SPHR should ask Betty Smith
The SPHR should ask several questions Betty Smith in connection to the current situation in the company. These questions will include:
a). Are there members of staff that carry guns and other weapons in the vicinity of the company?
b). What is the authorization procedure for allowing certain employees to bear arms within the company’s vicinity?
c). Are those authorized to carry weapons in the company’s compound passed through standardized mental, stress and attitude tests?
d). Does the company have a violence policy in place or a workplace security contingency plan?
e). How does the company assess risk factors that may indicate a strenuous termination? What are some of the specific risk factors that the company usually looks at?
The Second Amendment and its Impact on Gun Possession
The Second Amendment is the right for the American citizens to keep and bear arms. The Amendment prohibits the infringement of this right by the government. The Amendment was incorporated into the Constitution in order to protect the citizens from an over reaching government or one that would forcefully take away their rights. Proponents of the Second Amendment contend that limiting a citizen’s ability to legally purchase firearms and carry them actually allows those with the intention to break the law to possess the weapons (Gopnik, 2015).
Based on the Second Amendment, the CEO of the company has every right to bring a gun to the workplace. The Second Amendment guarantees him the right to keep and bear a weapon in his person for self-defense purposes and to defend others that might be in his charge in case a threat arises. The need to defend one’s self may arise at any instance and as such, every law-abiding citizen needs to be able to protect himself when such a situation arises. The gun will give him peace of mind about his personal security when he reports to work especially after the 10 employees are fired.
Despite the Constitution guaranteeing him the right to carry his weapon, the decision to carry a gun to work might be misplaced and might lead to greater harm than good. The CEO having a gun could exacerbate a hostage situation leading to more casualties. Having a gun would prompt the CEO to try to be the hero in such a situation and seeing as he is not an expert on handling such situations, the situation might boil over to catastrophic levels. The aggrieved employee can also subdue the CEO and take control of the weapon causing more injuries.
However, some people are of the opinion that the issue of guns in the workplace is more about the employees rather than the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment. According to De La Cruz (2013), the debate on whether to allow employees to carry weapons in the workplace should focus on the comfort and safety of the employees similar to the implementation of the smoking free zones in workplaces. Smoking was banned in most companies to improve the comfort levels of all the employees. Having guns in the workplace makes everyone uncomfortable and on edge and is a significant security risk for the other employees.
It is important to note that the company cannot prohibit the CEO from carrying his weapon and placing it in his car as this is private property. However, the company can prohibit him from placing the weapon in the safe in his office. Different companies have different workplace weapons’ policies.
Issue of Covert Armed Employees
It is the prerogative of the company to provide a safe and secure environment for all of its employees. This is especially the case when an employee whose employment has been terminated becomes violent in the workplace. Therefore, the company should have covert armed employees who have been trained on how to deal with such a precocious issue. The team of covert armed employees will help diminish the chances that a former employee will turn violent and compromise the safety of the other employees. The armed professionals should be qualified in crisis management. They should also be well trained on how to defuse extremely emotional environments that may arise when the termination process goes south. Most HR managers believe that the presence of covert armed employees specifically trained in handling employee termination situations creates a stress-free workplace environment.
Having the team of covert armed employees also reduces the liability of the company. This is because the company has done its part in ensuring the safety of its employees by employing skilled personnel to deal with troublesome situations such as employment termination.
Problems with Unarmed Security Guards
The main problem with unarmed security guards is the feeling of insecurity in the company. Many employees feel insecure in the workplace when the company’s security guards are unarmed. This is especially the case with the rise of horrific workplace murders that have been occurring across the country. On the other hand, having heavily armed security guards does pose a problem as it might make the employees apprehensive about the workplace. The presence of guns in the workplace can create stress in the workplace.
Rules to be considered when deciding whether to allow armed employees
There are various rules and regulations that need to be considered when deciding whether there should be armed employees in the company. First, the HR department needs to understand the laws of the state. Several states have now made it illegal for employers to tell employees not to carry their weapons while at work. Indiana is one such state that prohibits employers from banning employees to carry their licensed weapons. Other states assert that employers reserve the right to ban guns from company property. The second regulation to consider is the type of contracts that the company has with the employees. It is understood in legal circles that employment at will trumps the second Amendment gun rights. Employees have the right to bear arms in their own private settings but they do not possess the same Second Amendment rights in the workplace.
De La Cruz, R. (2013, March 13). Issue of guns at work about employees, not Second Amendment. Retrieved on 3/1/2016 from http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/guns-on-the-job-about-the-workplace-not-second-amendment.html/
Gopnik, A. (2015, Oct 2). The Second Amendment is a Gun-Control Amendment. The New Yorker. Retrieved on 3/1/2016 from http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-second-amendment-is-a-gun-control-amendment