The Indiana Firearms Statute states that:

“Notwithstanding any other law and except as provided in subsection (b), a person may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, a resolution, a policy, or a rule that:

(1) prohibits; or

(2) has the effect of prohibiting;

an employee of the person, including a contract employee, from possessing a firearm or ammunition that is locked in the trunk of the employee’s vehicle, kept in the glove compartment of the employee’s locked vehicle, or stored out of plain sight in the employee’s locked vehicle.”

In the case of Caterpillar, Inc. v. Sudlow, Sudlow was an employee of Caterpillar, Inc. when he was fired after one of his colleagues saw a partially visible gun in his car in the Caterpillar parking lot. Sudlow sued his former employer Caterpillar claiming that they had violated Indiana’s Firearms Statute when they terminated his employment for violating their Firearms policy. Caterpillar’s Firearms Policy stated:

“In accordance with Indiana State Statute 34–28–7–2, employees or suppliers legally permitted to possess and transport a firearm are authorized to store the firearm in the licensee’s private means of transportation in line with state law. Any person who chooses to transport his or her firearm under this law must abide by the regulations within the law while on Caterpillar property.

Any person found to be in violation of this policy, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination and/or criminal prosecution.” At first, the trial court entered summary judgment for Sudlow because it found that Caterpillar’s policy did not prohibit the conduct that Sudlow was fired for. The jury then awarded Sudlow $85,000 in damages. Later on, the Court of Appeals reversed holding that neither the statute nor the company policy violated Sudlow’s rights so he was not entitled to relief.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a termination at work that is believed to be wrongful, contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.