I am often asked whether Louisiana employers may ban workers from bringing legally owned guns to work. The short answer is yes – employers may restrict workers from carrying firearms and other weapons at the actual worksite, even if the employee has a valid concealed carry license. However, there is an exception for most firearms kept within the parking lot, in the employee’s locked car or truck.
In 2008, Louisiana passed Revised Statute 32:292.1, which grants employees the right to keep weapons in a “locked, privately-owned motor vehicle” in the company parking lot or garage. In other words, even if the employer’s policy forbids guns at the workplace, that policy does not extend to the employee’s locked car or truck. The employer may require that any firearms be “hidden from plain view or within a locked case or compartment” inside the vehicle – so no guns on the dashboard.
Importantly, this statute only applies to the guns kept within the employee’s own vehicle. Louisiana law expressly permits an employer to ban firearms from vehicles that are leased or owned by the company. The statute also does not apply if the employer or jobsite is a gun-free zone under state or federal law, such as a school.
Businesses with a separate, restricted employee parking area (such as a gated or locked parking lot) may ban firearms from that restricted parking area. However, they must provide either a temporary firearm storage facility for employee use, or a separate “alternative parking area” for employees with firearms.
The rules and exceptions surrounding Louisiana workplace firearms law are complicated, to say the least. It is critical that employers follow these rules to the letter, as the statute provides immunity from suit only for employers who are in strict compliance. If you are an employer who wants to ensure that your firearm policies comply with Louisiana law, or an employee who believes that your rights have been violated, call me today.