FLA Chamber of Commerce suit vs. commuter self defense
Here's a pdf file of the complaint, scanned and thus rather large. The three theories are deprivation of property w/o due process, taking of property by regulation w/o compensation, and violation of the Federal OSHA standards. I'd rate the first two as very weak, and don't do OSHA so I can't size up the last.
One thing does strike me as incongruous. The last theory invokes a statute which extensively regulates how business is carried on. The first two argue that a far more trifling interference with business is unconstitutional.
i only know OSHA as the "dock nazis." i don't ever take on responsibilities i can avoid at sea because they're liable to slap fines on us for not wearing a life vest correctly.
Posted by: jon at April 24, 2008 12:17 PM
I used to "do" OSHA. The OSHAct contains what's known as the "general duty" clause. It states that employers have a general duty to provide a "workplace free from recognized hazards." The idea is to take steps as required to "provide a safe and healthful workplace." The reasoning goes: guns in the workplace are a recognized hazard. Witness the various workplace shootings over the years. An employer can be viewed as complying with its general duty under the OSHAct to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards by bannings guns. The OSHAct contains preepmtion provisions, overruling state laws to the contrary. Thus, a state law that prevents an employer from ridding guns from its workplace is an obstruction and impediment to compliance with the OSHAct and is preempted.
I don't really buy that argument, but there it is. If I recall right, it worked in the Oklahoma case. Somebody check me on that, though.
Oh, and the constitutionality of OSHA was settled long ago.
I can also say that the taking by regulation is going to get them precisely nowhere. I had to research this one a couple years ago. Lots of folks have argued that for lots of regulations (mostly environmental regs) - almost entirely unsuccessfully. Your property must be rendered utterly and completely useless and valueless by a regulation for it to be an unconstitutional "taking." As long as you still have some use of your property and it retains some value, it has not been "taken." A law saying you can't ban guns in locked cars in your employee parking lot in no way rises to the level of a regulatory taking of your property. Some argue for a "partial" taking by regulation; i.e., you're owed compensation to the extent your property value or use was diminished. But again, those are tough cases and have not met with wide success.
Posted by: Bill at April 25, 2008 09:01 AM
The OSHA argument did work for them in the OK case, but as far as I know that has not yet reached the Appeals court. They will find a friendly judge and win in District court, then the fun will start.
Posted by: Gildas at April 25, 2008 09:16 PM