Wells Fargo sued by employee fired for concealed carrying at work
posted at 6:31 pm on February 23, 2014 by Jazz Shaw
Another interesting Second Amendment case is coming up before the courts, and yes… it’s from Florida again. Wells Fargo is facing a legal challenge from one of their bank managers who was fired for coming to work while carrying her weapon concealed.
Ivette Ros grew up in a house where her father kept guns. For her, it was a natural step to get a concealed weapons permit and then to carry a 9 mm handgun.
The 37-year-old Tampa resident is a single mother of three children and said she carries the gun for safety.
“It’s just something about having it versus not having it,” she said. “I feel naked when I don’t have my gun.”
Her employer didn’t feel the same way. Carrying the gun got her fired, she said.
Ros has filed a lawsuit in circuit court against Wells Fargo Bank, which she said fired her last year from her job as manager at the bank’s Oldsmar branch. Her lawsuit says the firing violated her constitutional right to carry arms and asks for monetary damages and attorney fees.
“I’m a manager of a bank,” Ros said. “We have a lot of robberies that happen in our banks. I feel safer having that weapon if I ever needed to protect my employees.”
I love a good Stand Up For Your Second Amendment Rights story as much or more than the next guy, but this one looks complicated. There are several elements to consider up front. Ms. Ros is a legal holder of a concealed carry permit. She also works in a profession which certainly invites the possibility of violent attacks on the job. (She works in a bank… they get robbed sometimes.) She sometimes carried her weapon to her job but left it locked in her car. Other times she would keep it in her purse during the workday. It was in the latter case when somebody noticed that she had her handgun with her, reported her, and the company subsequently fired her.
These things vary from state to state, and perhaps it’s just because I’ve spent so much time in the anti-gun climate of New York, but I don’t know if the employer has as much of a losing case as Ros’s attorney seems to think. While she will seek to present this as a Second Amendment case, I can see the defense arguing that the employer has the right to set rules for workplace activities. Companies can fire workers for transgressions as minor as violating dress code by wearing jeans instead of slacks. They can forbid the carrying of cameras, laptops or recording devices in the workplace. They can seemingly violate your 1st amendment rights by forbidding talking about non-work related subjects during working hours.
Further, the argument about her job at a bank being particularly subject to armed attack may not carry enough weight either. The bank may simply say that they employ armed guards to protect the workers, clients and assets, and it is their prerogative as to who will do the armed protecting. I’m not sure how sympathetic they will be in this case.
Of course, one of the best arguments in terms of hoping that Ms. Ros prevails is that it just drives the gun grabbers insane.
Florida has more than its share of gun rights cases going on in addition to this one, so it may be the starting point for additional clarity from the courts on a number of related subjects. And some of them are sure to drive the Left equally crazy. Just take the case of the blind man who had his guns returned to him after shooting an intruder. Cue the heads exploding in five… four… three… two…