Legal Off-Duty Conduct

Out-of-service misconduct policies should spell out exactly what these terms mean. You can give examples of what is appropriate and what is not. Or ask questions before posting anything job-related on personal social media. Policy authors must ensure that the out-of-service behavior policy is consistent with other policies. It is clear that the correct attitude of the organization with regard to behaviour outside working hours is not always obvious. But in anticipation of the need to make a decision about an employee, it`s wise to have policies and take them into account. Here are some suggestions: Federal law is silent on the issue of domestic discrimination. While most states have laws that protect against discrimination based on marital status (for example, refusing to hire a married person for fear that they will seek additional leave), these laws are often silent on the issue of employer decisions that prohibit married couples from monitoring each other. As a result, many companies have an anti-nepotism policy. While anti-nepotism policies may be legal, discrimination based on gender, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and violations of employee privacy are not, which may provide you with some protection. For more information, please visit our pages on discrimination based on family responsibilities.

An employer who wishes to control an employee`s behavior outside the workplace should review state and local laws before engaging in employee discipline or implementing a code of conduct outside the service. A number of states protect employees who engage in various lawful behaviors outside of work. In particular, some states protect employees who: In some cases, an employee`s off-duty behavior may directly affect their performance in the workplace. And that only gives companies a reason to discipline the employee for this behavior. In Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC, we have extensive experience in protecting our customers when they legally behave outside the service. Damages under the Off-Service Legal Conduct Act make the employee complete, except for discriminatory conduct, and may take into account attorneys` fees if the employee can successfully prove the wrongful termination. Employees should keep in mind that, according to Colo. Rev. § 24-34-402.5 and case law may raise objections to lawful conduct outside the service, such as conflicts of interest between employer and employee and duties of loyalty. Colorado law requires that an employee`s privacy outside the workplace be balanced against the legitimate needs of a Colorado employer. Maybe.

The answer differs from state to state and depends on whether you work for the federal government or a private employer. Workplace Fairness has a page on discrimination based on sexual orientation, which covers topics such as protection from discrimination, legal differences between sexual orientation and discrimination based on gender identity, if you can take care of your partner, and much more in detail. The policy may overlap with the Code of Conduct, Social Media Policy, Sexual Harassment Policy, etc. If your company doesn`t have undeclared work, it may not be a problem for you to have a second job, but to be sure, you should consult a supervisor or your company`s human resources department. In addition, you should never do business related to your second job while working for the first employer, including phone calls, emails, and using your primary employer`s consumables or business contacts. When investigating off-duty misconduct, one of the most important things an adjudicator will look at is how consistently you have disciplined for the same or a similar offence. A strong out-of-service behaviour policy provides consistent guidance for what is acceptable and what is not. However, the events of January 6, 2021 went beyond a political protest and illegally stormed the Capitol. Such illegal conduct would not be protected. Furthermore, racist threats and expressions of violence or harassment do not constitute political speech.

Thus, while employers may consider systematically applying their policies and expectations to peaceful protesters on different sides of an issue, behavior that is not comparable (for example, storming the U.S. Capitol or peacefully attending a rally) does not need to be treated equally. In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, employers worked to ensure they protected their employees and their company`s reputation without disciplining employees for legal behavior outside of working hours. Several states have laws that state that employees cannot be fired for lawful activities outside of working hours. While this advice provides some general guidelines, the situations that may arise in this area are varied, with factual differences that make similar behaviors legal in some circumstances and illegal in others. Each situation should usually be evaluated on its own merits in order to apply appropriate discipline and avoid unforeseen problems. Note that Connecticut law extends free speech protections to private employees. As noted below, other state laws prohibit discrimination based on lawful conduct outside of service, which could include speech.

Even then, in the event of a riot on Capitol Hill, an employer could take action based not on an employee`s speech, but on the basis of the employee`s illegal entry into the Capitol building. Here are some reasons why a company may discipline an employee for off-duty misconduct: Providing details helps employees understand expectations and can also help minimize liability. Without details, they may not stand up to arbitration or legal scrutiny. While there are laws that protect you from harassment, a company`s decision to take action against an employee for harassment outside of work hours depends on the company`s policy. For example, if harassment creates a hostile work environment, many companies will punish the perpetrator. To learn more about harassment, visit our Harassment and Other Issues in the Workplace section and learn about the harassment that is most closely related to what you are experiencing. While this is a somewhat opaque area of law, with new laws and case law, there are general guidelines on what an employer can and cannot legally do, as well as what they should or should not do. This article provides guidelines for employers of unlimited employees in the private and not-for-profit sectors. This represents the vast majority of workers in these sectors, as opposed to unionized workers or the very small minority of private sector workers who have individual employment contracts and may be subject to special rules. 8. I smoke medical marijuana in a state where it`s legal, but my employer fired me because I tested positive for marijuana.

Is it legal? However, some off-duty misconduct can significantly damage an organization`s reputation and ability to operate effectively. Often, there are general clauses in a contract or employee handbook that refer to “behaviour detrimental to the company”. Sometimes policies usually talk about not disclosing confidential or proprietary information. That depends. Some states have laws prohibiting employers from taking adverse employment action against workers on the basis of lawful off-duty conduct. Currently, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New York and North Dakota prohibit employers from firing employees or retaliating for legal activities outside of working hours, including language. This could no doubt include behaviour that their employers and employees might find offensive. But even in these states, illegal behavior, including illegal intrusion into the U.S.

Capitol, looting or violence, would not be protected. Even though most of the behavior took place outside the workplace, employees — and often community members — who saw photos of employees involved in the riots, expressed support for the riot, or wore masks or clothing with some of the rioters` messages expressing complaints to employers.