On March 21, 2018, West Virginia passed the Business Liability Protection Act (Act) which will limit the ability of an employer to prohibit an employee or customer from lawfully possessing a firearm locked in the individual’s personal vehicle located in a company parking lot. Prior to passage of this law, employers and property owners in West Virginia could prohibit the carrying or concealing of firearms on any property under his or her domain. This law creates an exception to those rights. Employers should begin preparations to comply with this law which will take effect June 8, 2018.
What the New Law Does
Beginning June 8, 2018 West Virginia employers may not:
- Prohibit any customer, employee or another person lawfully on the premises from storing a lawfully possessed firearm inside of a privately-owned vehicle in a company parking lot as long the firearm is out of view and locked inside the vehicle;
- Ask employees or customers about the presence of a firearm locked inside a vehicle in a company parking lot;
- Perform an actual search for a firearm within a vehicle in a company parking lot; or
- Condition employment on an employee’s agreement not to keep a firearm locked inside his or her vehicle or concealed carry license status.
This law will only apply to privately-owned vehicles and will not affect an employer’s ability to prohibit firearms inside company-owned, rented, or leased vehicles. Additionally, the law does not limit an employer’s ability to prohibit firearms in other areas of the employer’s premises. Employers who comply with the law are also protected from any civil lawsuits arising out of their actions or inactions taken in order to comply with the law (e.g., an employer will not be civilly liable if a shooting occurs because an employee lawfully possessed a firearm in his or her personal vehicle). Similarly, the law does not create any new obligations or expand on an employer’s existing duty to provide a safe workplace. Continue reading West Virginia Will Allow Employees To Carry Guns in their Vehicles