Florida Legislature Stops Vote to Protect Safety, Security of Workers

For Immediate Release

Mar 3, 2006
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SHRM Applauds Legislature for Protecting Private Property Rights

(Alexandria, Va., March 3, 2006) The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) applauds the Florida State Legislature for derailing legislation that would prevent employers from prohibiting guns on their private property. This step ensures the safety of employees while at work.

The proposed legislation was being debated in a House committee and did not make it to the floor for a final vote, essentially terminating the bill for this session. According to SHRM, the bill would have prohibited employers from establishing policies that prevented employees and patrons from carrying and storing firearms in their vehicles while on company property or when using the vehicle during work hours. It would carry felony penalties for an employer who instituted a policy that prohibited firearms on their property. In addition, the legislation had an employee reinstatement clause if an employee was fired for having a weapon on company property.

SHRM, its Florida members and a wide-range of employer groups argued that the bill would have jeopardized employer and organizational efforts to maintain safe working environments for employees and customers as well as impede the employer's private property rights. The Society's research indicates that the majority of employees say that feeling safe in the work place is very important to their overall job satisfaction. Additional research released this year by the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces where guns were permitted were five times more likely to experience a homicide than those where all weapons were prohibited.

Similar legislation was defeated in Wisconsin earlier this month showing that the state legislators in Florida and Wisconsin have validated the importance of employers' rights to protect their employees and their workplaces. SHRM is hopeful that other state legislators across the country, including Georgia and Virginia, will follow the trend to oppose this unnecessary and potentially dangerous legislation and ensure a safe working environment.

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