If this gal was just a run-of-the-mill employee, then sure, she's free to find employment elsewhere, but it sounds like she's valuable to your business and replacing her might be trouble you'd like to avoid.
My approach would comprise a few elements:
- I'd start by letting her know you've been armed for a very long time, and she was never uncomfortable because she never knew... and the only thing that's changed is that now she's aware that you may be armed. Of course this is an appeal to logic and rational thought, which may not be a cure in this situation.
- I would ask if she has the same level of discomfort around cops (including plain clothes LEOs) or uniformed, armed security personnel.
- Since she never said anything until she saw your holster clips, I'd suggest altering your holster or your mode of dress so she doesn't see them any more. This isn't capitulation to a hoplophobe, it's making a modest adjustment to ameliorate the problem, like taking the pebble out of your shoe.
- The last discussion I would have with her is that you value her as an employee, but you will continue to be armed on the job. You hope that that's not a deal breaker for her, but if it is, then it is her choice to vacate her position.
Let us know how it works out.
^^ IMO it dependss on how worried he would be to lose a great employee that makes him money... yes you can replace people but they may not be the same status as the previous or will take time to get them up to par and when all of this is taking place he could be possibly losing money by losing business. yes it is ultamitaly his decision to carry what he wants, i would probably only downgrade if it is last resort and he feels like he needs to keep this employee to keep his business at the status it is at right now.
Well, I tell you what. If it were me, I wouldn't make my choice to carry dependent on her fear. From here on out, she doesn't need to know that you're carrying, and if she asks, well this might be one of those times where it's ok to tell a little white lie. I definitely wouldn't quit carrying, though. Not even an option.
Y'all may argue that if she leaves on her own accord, she is due no compensation, but I can assure you the Unemployment Board and/or any labor attorney will have a field day showing how she left because of a "hostile" environment. This is about the only way (this and harrassment) one can quit and still successfully collect unemployment benefits as well as compensation for wrongful maintainence of a hostile work environment.
Good luck with your situation.
BTW I am not a lawyer, but I have been involved in similar situations.
As a fellow small business owner, I can appreciate the situation you're in. I often make generous concessions to keep my best guy happy. But I've never been in a situation where anybody felt scared or uncomfortable so thats unfamiliar territory. My suggestion would be to just ask her what you could do to make her feel more comfortable and hope her response isn't "stop bringing your gun to work". I just feel as though there's very much a happy medium to be found here. She needs the job just as much as you need her. Completely uprooting and starting at a new job after 15 years probably isn't an appealing idea to her. Meet in the middle. Good luck.
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate all of them and thank each of you for taking them time to offer your suggestions and opinions.
She is a good employee and a valued asset. In fact she's been there longer than me (20ish years vs. my 17). Part of the reason I bought the business from my predecessor 15 years ago was because she was willing to stay even with the change of ownership. Not sure I'd have taken the plunge if she had indicated she would seek other employment at that time.
Anyway it's a lot to digest and obviously a challenging situation to deal with. I'll keep you all posted on what develops.
Good luck BillK01
Bill, have you been carrying the whole time you owned business or is it recently you started carrying?
Respect a person's fears, sure, and certainly be cognizant of the mental minefield that the person has with respect to any attempts to change those beliefs.
But at the end of the day, it's a business you're operating, not a charity ward. If it's your place of business and you see it appropriate to remain armed while folks are at work, then I'd say it behooves you to speak with your staff simply and clearly about the rationale and the policy. Your point isn't to change them from anti's to 2A advocates; far from it. Rather, you're just attempting to dispel irrational fears over a completely rational act, clearly stating the policy and basis for the act. On that basis, then, folks can determine for themselves if that's a place at which they want to continue to work. For those who are rigidly set in their beliefs, biases and/or fears, there might well be no getting through to them. But I'd say it's worth a try, particularly if you really value such people. There really isn't any more you can do.
You say she would be hard to replace, but not impossible. You say she does an important job, but not one you can't cover yourself.
If she's willing to leave a paying job after 15 years over another persons civil right, let her. Her loss, and her explanation on new applications, so be it.