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Recent Mass Shootings Have Again Raised Questions for Companies Regarding their Workplace Policies

Two of the five deadliest mass shootings in the United States have taken place over the last few months. On October 1, 2017, fifty-eight (58) people were killed at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. In that shooting, a gunman fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a crowd of more than 20,000 gathered in Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The gunman killed fifty-eight (58) people and injured more than five hundred (500). This was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

On November 5, 2017, a gunman opened fire on parishioners at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing twenty-six (26) people and injuring many others.

Along with these mass shootings is the continued gun violence both inside and away from the workplace. With the most recent gun violence cases being in the headlines over the last few months, many companies are reviewing their policies and procedures to make sure they are up to date and in compliance with federal, state and local laws.

Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin all have state concealed carry statutes that employers should be familiar with. Even though these states have concealed carry laws, it does not necessarily mean employees are allowed to carry weapons into the workplace. Concealed carry laws across the country allow employers to restrict people from carrying weapons onto company property, even though the person may be a law abiding citizen with a valid concealed carry license. It is important for companies to know what their state law is regarding concealed weapons. Companies are allowed to restrict their employees, customers, vendors and anyone else coming onto their property from carrying weapons. Employers are encouraged to review their state laws and to review their policies in regards to concealed weapons and make sure that the appropriate notices are posted, prohibiting employees and any other people from carrying weapons onto company property.

Companies are also reviewing their workplace violence policies and many companies are developing workplace safety strategies/policies in the event workplace violence occurs. These policies, generally speaking, are to inform employees what to do in case there is violence in the workplace and address issues of notifying the police, what to do if there is violence in the workplace and accounting for all employees after the situation has ended. These policies can be very helpful and many companies are taking this next step and implementing policies regarding workplace violence.

Wessels Sherman can assist in drafting or reviewing your company's policies. For more information please contact Attorney Joseph H. Laverty at (563) 333-9102 or via email at jolaverty@wesselssherman.com.

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