Print Issue: September 2011
Weapons. A new law (formerly S.B. 321) in Texas allows employees to keep firearms and ammunition locked in their cars on company property. The law does provide exceptions for schools and for properties, such as oil and gas refineries, where combustible or explosive materials are prohibited by law.
The law makes it clear that the presence of firearms or ammunition on the employer’s property does not constitute an unsafe workplace. Except in cases of gross negligence, the law gives employers immunity from civil liability arising from the practice of keeping firearms on company property.
Sexual abuse. A bill (S.B. 5606) has been introduced that would require hotel and motel owners to provide sexual harassment training to employees and to develop programs to facilitate reporting of harassment. Hotel owners would be required to provide a “know your rights” brochure to all employees detailing state and federal laws on sexual harassment. The bill would make it illegal to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment.
The bill was introduced in response to the alleged sexual assault of a housekeeper by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.