Buckeye Firearms Association endorses SB 180 (Protect Workers' Constitutional Rights)

(Columbus, Ohio) On Wednesday, June 10, Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) introduced Senate Bill 180, which would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers exercising constitutional rights.

Ohio is an “at will” employment state, meaning that workers can be fired for any reason, or no reason. There are many protected classes or exemptions to the general rule. A person may not be fired because of race, color, religion, sex or many other factors deemed inappropriate to discriminate against. SB 180 adds exercise of a “constitutional or statutory right” to the list.

One important distinction about the new protected class is that it only protects employees in their private automobile and does not extend inside the employer's building or company vehicles, as do other protected classes.

Said Uecker, “As a former business owner, I understand the desire to maintain control over business rules and regulations. However, the government, through both legislative actions and through court decisions, has long had the power to regulate countless aspects of a business owner’s property use. Constitutional rights must be maintained above all other interests. My bill strikes the proper balance.”

Everyone agrees that private property rights are important. They are better respected under Uecker’s bill than in current law. The employer’s property rights are supreme inside the employers building. The employee’s property rights should be supreme inside the employee’s private vehicle.

It is puzzling how anyone who claims to respect private property rights would not support this bill. To them, Jim Irvine, President of Buckeye Firearms Association poses the question, “Under what conditions does an employer have a right to dictate what private property is inside a private vehicle when they are not on company time, not in a company vehicle, and not on company property? Yet that is the only possible result 'no guns' policies can have as employees are forced to travel to and from work unarmed.”

Over 20 states have already adopted similar laws, which have been upheld in multiple court challenges. We look forward to the passage of this important reform to protect employee rights.

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