Wells Fargo fires employee for bringing gun into work

Ivette Ros claims business violated law

OLDSMAR, Fla. - A Tampa Bay area woman says her rights were violated when Wells Fargo fired her last year for bringing a firearm to work. 

Ivette Ros has a concealed weapons permit for her 9 mm pistol, according to her attorney.

"These people have gone through training," said Noel Flasterstein, an attorney. 

"They've gone through a class, they've had extensive background checks and had to submit fingerprint cards."

The 37-year-old worked at the Oldsmar branch of Wells Fargo.

Ros has filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County circuit court. She said the bank's policy is illegal and violates her right to bear arms. Her attorney agrees.

"Wells Fargo, not withstanding its policies, has violated Florida statute, in addition to our U.S. Constitution and Florida Constitution," Flasterstein said.

WELLS FARGO BANK POLICY

According to the Wells Fargo Team Handbook, "possessing firearms and weapons on company premises or at company sponsored events is dangerous to team members and is strictly prohibited."

The handbook goes on to state that no team member may bring a weapon to the workplace unless specifically authorized by the human desources director or the chief security officer.

A Wells Fargo representative told ABC Action News the company cannot directly comment on the case.

"I can confirm that Wells Fargo does have a policy regarding firearms, which is that team members (employees) are strictly prohibited from possessing firearms and weapons on company premises," wrote Kathy Harrison, vice president of communications for Wells Fargo Bank in the bay area.

Harrison added Wells Fargo recognizes applicable state laws regarding guns in employer parking lots.

Ros sometimes kept her firearm in her locked car and never displayed it at work, according to her attorney. It is still unclear how her employer found out she was carrying a gun.

"Florida statute prohibits an employer from asking an employee and/or customer whether or not they are concealed-weapons permit holders," Flasterstein said.

Flasterstein added that bank representatives also crossed the line when they searched his client's car.

"It's illegal and we are going to challenge it," he said.

However, Florida statute does not state that an employer must allow an employee to bring a firearm or weapon into the workplace or on work premises.

Flasterstein argues that Ros having a concealed weapons permit gave her the right to take the gun into work.

BANK CUSTOMERS WEIGH IN

Bank customer Ken Morehouse told ABC Action News he supports employees carrying weapons if they have a permit.

"In my ideal world, if somebody comes in to rob a bank, 15 people will pull a gun and there won't be a robbery," Morehouse said.

Janice Riccelli said she did not feel it was right Ros was fired.

"It doesn't bother me that she had a gun," said Riccelli.  "I mean, she is protecting herself."

Ros declined to comment on camera.

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