Does an employer under any circumstances have the authority over what you do when you are not on the clock working for them?

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employee does, as a general matter, have authority over what you do "off the clock." Employees may set terms, conditions, and requirements for employment; these terms or conditions can impact what you do when not at work. For example, an employer could prohibit you from dating a coworker or an employee of a customer; could prohibit you from using certain social networking sites; could ban certain hobbies; etc. They can even prevent your exercies of "free speech" to a very large extent, since the constitution does not apply to private employers in that way. Anyone who does not want to abide by an employer's restrictions has the option of seeking other employment; but if he or she wants to work there, he or she has to do what the employers asks.


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