GENEVA – Just as employers are able to regulate employee behavior – such as restricting certain clothing – Kane County is within its rights to implement a concealed-carry policy for its personnel, Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Lulves told the Human Services Committee on Wednesday.
Balancing liability issues and employees’ constitutional rights were among the committee’s concerns when it considered the policy in April.
Lulves said the state’s attorney’s office has drafted a concealed-carry policy that reflects a “risk management position.”
The proposed policy would prohibit county employees from carrying a concealed firearm in any county building or vehicle.
Employees would also be prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm in their private vehicle while in the course of their employment with the county.
It would not apply to employees authorized to carry a concealed firearm by any other state statute.
“Do you foresee us getting challenged?” Committee Chairman Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, asked.
Lulves said that would be speculation on his part, but the state’s attorney’s office believes the proposed restrictions are “reasonable.”
“Employers are routinely able to regulate employee behavior,” he said.
Board member Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles, asked about employees’ commute to work.
Lulves said an issue could arise if employees were asked to conduct county business with their personal car, and they had concealed firearms in their vehicle.
Davoust said employees in that situation should be able to tell their supervisor about the conflict without repercussions. Castro agreed.
“I think you’d want honesty out of that employee,” she said.
Board member Mike Kenyon, R-South Elgin, asked what the punishment would be for employees in violation of the policy: Suspension? A verbal scolding? Sent home without pay?
The punishment would be up to the director of that county unit, Lulves said.
Board member Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, asked about the possibility of providing lockers for people to store their firearms while on county property.
Taking responsibility for someone’s weapon would raise legal issues, Lulves said, and financial issues would be tied to the capital and manpower needed for such a service.
At the committee’s direction, Lulves said he would take another, unrelated suggestion under consideration and will work with Human Resources Executive Director Sheila McCraven to address Davoust’s concerns regarding commuting.