Can a school board make a rule that teachers can’t enter the local bar and grill after school hours?

I live in a small town in Missouri and heard today that a board member wants to
make a rule that the teachers can not go in to the local bar and grill. It is the
only bar in town and 1 of 2 places in town that serves food. Also it has never
been a problem for the teachers to frequent this business before. The board
member that wants this rule only wants to do it to keep his wife out of the bar
while he can still go there.

Asked on March 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Actually, the school board can do this. Absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes the off-hours prohibition that you have described. If this is not agreeable to you, then you are free to seek other employement. I'm afraid that this is your only recourse.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. An employer can make rules that affect what their employees do in their "off" hours, such as not allowing them to be on certain social media, requiring them to not drink or smoke, or, as here, stating that they can't frequent some business(es). Employment in this nation is employment at will: that means, among other things, that employers have wide discretion to set rules for their staff, even rules affecting non-work hours, and the law's assumption is that if the staff doesn't like those rules, they will get a different job.

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