Governor Haslam in early April of 2015 signed into law a new bill that provides a civil remedy to employees fired for possessing a firearm or ammunition in an employer parking area. This new law, now codified as Tenn. Code Ann. §50-1-312, states in relevant part: "No employer shall discharge or take any adverse employment action against an employee solely for transporting or storing a firearm or firearm ammunition in an employer parking area in a manner consistent with §39-17-1313(a)." This new law provides a victimized employee a private cause of action against the offending employer in either chancery or circuit court in the county where the violation occurred. The damages available to an employee include injunctive relief, economic damages, and attorney fees.
To fall within the coverage of this new law, an employee must possess a valid handgun carry permit recognized by the State of Tennessee. In addition, the firearm or ammunition must be located in the employee's vehicle and either (a) kept from ordinary observation if the employee is in the vehicle; or (b) kept from ordinary observation and locked within the trunk, glove box, or interior of the employee's vehicle if the employee is not in the vehicle.
If you feel that your employer has taken an adverse action against you in violation of the "Guns in Trunks" law, contact us for a case evaluation.