Approximately 2 million people are victims of workplace violence every year throughout the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the fifth leading cause of workplace fatalities is homicide, representing approximately 8 percent of the total. However, Oklahoma recognizes the right to carry firearms, and workplaces must make accommodations between providing reasonable security and allowing constitutionally-protected freedoms.
Some sort of balance between workplace safety and workplace freedom must always be maintained. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to keep the workplace free of known hazards, a term which could certainly be used to describe firearms. At the same time the state of Oklahoma recognizes and respects the right of employees to go armed about their daily business, and that includes their place of work.
There are necessary complexities to this, as it is quite common for the definition of the workplace to be somewhat flexible. For example, there is a question as to what sort of safety standards that employers should maintain in the parking lot or garage outside their business. Many states allow employers to require that firearms be secured in a locked vehicle and not be brought into the actual place of business.
The failure to maintain reasonable safety standards on the job can possibly lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. People who have been the victim of workplace violence may want to meet with an attorney to learn about how best to seek recompense for their losses. The acceptance of workers’ compensation benefits will preclude injured victims from suing their employer, but there are some situations in which a separate lawsuit against a non-employer third party can be maintained.