Passed late last year, the Ohio law restricting an employer’s ability to prevent employees from bringing guns onto the employer’s property takes effect March 19. For years, Ohio employers have had the right to restrict firearms on their private property, which included not only their office buildings and work sites but also their parking lots. Under the new law, employers are prohibited from firing, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against a worker who has a concealed-carry permit and keeps a gun in a personal vehicle parked on company property when:

  1. The firearm and all ammunition remain inside the person’s privately-owned motor vehicle while the person is inside the vehicle or are locked within the vehicle’s trunk, glove box or other enclosed compartment or are otherwise contained; and
  2. The vehicle is in a location where it is otherwise permitted to be.

Employers may still prohibit all firearms, even those held with a concealed-carry permit, from employer-owned buildings and worksites and may prohibit persons from removing their firearms from their personal vehicles while on company property.

Many employers have weapons policies forbidding firearms on company property, including the parking lot. Employers with those policies should insert language limiting the areas in which workers are prohibited from carrying a firearm.