An Indiana landscaper filed a lawsuit Monday based on his alleged wrongful termination by his employer of 21 years, after admitting to his supervisor that he exercised his Second Amendment right by being a gun owner.
Nino Ferlaino was a seasonal employee at Lakes of the Four Seasons, an upscale gated community located midway between Crown Point and Valparaiso.
His complaint alleges that two days after he told co-workers he was a gun owner, he was approached by a supervisor at work, Doug Weiss, on the subject of his gun ownership, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Ferlaino admitted to owning a firearm, but added that he never brought it to work.
The Times reported:
Weiss told Ferlaino that Weiss had met with the property owners association’s board of directors July 1 and that Ferlaino’s conversation with his co-workers violated the company’s “no tolerance policy,” the lawsuit says. Ferlaino says he was fired July 2.
A message left Tuesday seeking comment on the lawsuit from the Lakes of the Four Seasons Property Owners Association Inc. was not immediately returned. Emails to the president and vice president of the association’s board also went unanswered Tuesday night.
The lawsuit claims that Lakes of the Four Seasons violated Indiana’s “take your gun to work” statute, signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2010, and amended the following year. The law allows employees to keep weapons locked, secured and out of sight in their vehicle while at work.
It also prohibits employers from even asking employees about gun ownership.
There are a few exceptions to the law, according to OgletreeDeakins.com:
The law provides for a number of exemptions as a result of last-minute compromises and lobbying from various interested parties across the state. For example, the law exempts some public utilities, chemical plants and agencies whose drivers transport developmentally disabled people. The law also exempts schools, child care centers, domestic violence shelters and group homes.
Clearly, a gated community is not among the exemptions, no matter how upscale it claims to be.
“The law in question is relatively new and many employers may not know what rights it affords their employees,” Marissa McDermott, Ferlaino’s attorney told The Times in an email.
That may be true, but certainly Lakes of the Four Seasons has heard of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing Americans the right to keep and bear arms, which is part of the Bill of Rights.
It certainly isn’t “relatively new.” It was proposed by the first Congress on June 8, 1789, and adopted Dec. 15, 1791.