Legal Alert July 2013

25 Jul 2013 9:43 PM | Melanie Burgett (Administrator)

Alabama’s Guns-to-Work Act/Senate Bill 286/Act 2013-283

 

Click here to view the Act: SB286.pdf

 

On May 21, 2013, Act 2013-283 (“Guns-to-Work Act”) was signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.  The Guns-to-Work Act becomes effective August 1, 2013

The Guns-to-Work Act affords employees the right to store firearms in their personal vehicles at work under certain circumstances.  There are also specific locations where a person, including a person with a permit provided by the new Act, may not carry or possess a firearm without express permission from the business entity, owner, or an authorized person.

The Guns-to-Work Act provides that Alabama employers may prohibit employees, including those with a concealed weapons permit, from possessing firearms while on the employer’s premises, or when engaged in work for the employer whether on or off-site.  However, under the Guns-to-Work Act, employers may not restrict an employee’s transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm, ammunition, or firearm accessory in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while it is parked or operated at the worksite (with limited exceptions). 

An employee may possess a firearm in an employer's parking lot ONLY if:

1.             The firearm is in the employee’s locked vehicle;

2.             The firearm is out of sight in the locked vehicle; and

3.                    The employee has a valid concealed weapon permit; or

4.                    The weapon is legal for hunting in Alabama (other than a pistol), and

(a)       the employee possesses a valid Alabama hunting license;

(b)       the weapon is unloaded at all times on the property;

(c)             it is during a season in which hunting is permitted;

(d)       the employee has not been convicted of a crime of violence; and

(e)       the employee has no documented prior workplace incidents involving the threat of physical injury or which resulted in physical injury.

An employer may restrict the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm in a motor vehicle when that vehicle is operated or parked where it is not permitted to be.  In addition, if the employee is in the vehicle the firearm or ammunition must be kept from ordinary observation within the vehicle.  If the employee is not in the vehicle then the firearm or ammunition must be kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment or container.

An employer may restrict an employee who does not have a concealed weapons permit from having a firearm, ammunition, or firearms accessories in his or her car (e.g., hunting rifle, shotgun) if (1) the employee has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence; (2) the employee is subject to a domestic violence restraining order; or (3) the employee has been previously committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Nothing in this new Act prevents a public or private employer from restricting weapons, ammunition, and weapons accessories from being present in a company vehicle or within the workplace itself. 

This bill amends Section 13A-5-42, Code of Alabama 1975, eliminating mini-trials in capital cases where the Defendant has pled guilty.  The change does not apply in cases involving the death penalty. A defendant convicted of a capital offense after pleading guilty to it will be sentenced according to the provisions of Section 13A-5-43 (d).

 

Unattended child/Amiyah White Act/Senate Bill 258/Act 2013-287 --- Effective date August 1, 2013

 

Click here to view the Act:  SB258.pdf

 

The Amiyah White Act prohibits licensed child care facilities, programs providing day care services to incapacitated persons, or any other child care services that are exempt from licensing pursuant to Section 38-7-3, and their employees from leaving a child or incapacitated person in a motor vehicle unattended in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury to them. 

If the child or incapacitated person receives physical injury as a result of a violation of this Act, the person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  If serious injury is caused, the offender is guilty of a Class C felony.  If fatality is the result of a violation, the offender is guilty of a Class B felony.

 

The Red Tape Reduction Act/House Bill 101/Act 2013-88---

Effective date: July 1, 2013

 

Click here to view the Act:  HB101.pdf

 

The Red Tape Reduction Act, which is patterned after the federal Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, requires any agency that proposes a regulation that might adversely affect a business to prepare a business economic impact statement and file it with the Joint Committee on Administrative Regulation Review or its successor committee, agency or service. The committee can direct the agency to modify or drop the proposed rule. It also requires agencies to review all agency rules every five years.

At a minimum, when an agency files a notice of intent to adopt, amend or repeal any rule, the agency must post the text of the rule the agency proposes to change or adopt to its website, if the agency has no website, on a website operated or maintained by the executive branch.  Additionally, when the agency files a notice of intent to adopt, amend or repeal a rule, the agency shall electronically notify any person who has registered with the agency his or her desire to receive notification of such changes.

 

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting/House Bill 301/Act 2013-201--- Effective date: August 1, 2013

 

Click here to view the Act: HB301.pdf

 

The new law amends Section 26-14-3, Code of Alabama 1975, to add physical therapists and employees of public and private institutions of postsecondary and higher education as persons required to report known or suspected child abuse.  It states that public and private school employees, teachers and officials are required to report. In addition, any public or private employer who disciplines or penalizes an employee for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

 

Legal Alert Author: Alyce Spruell

For additional information or questions, please contact Alyce at aspruell@rosenharwood.com


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