Can my employer require me to tell my co-workers and boss how I spend my time away from work?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer require me to tell my co-workers and boss how I spend my time away from work?

My employer, a large public corporation, has decided that my team must know each other better. So meetings are scheduled during lunch hour, and each of us has to tell the team 10 things we do when we’re not working, provide biographical information, and so on. I’m guessing there’s a law that prohibits this type of intrusion.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are wrong--there is no general law that prevents this. There is certain specific information that you don't have to disclose--certain things relating to health issues, for example. And you can't suffer negative work or job consequences for certain categories of disclosure--e.g. for disclosing matters related to your religion or race or disability or age (i.e. for disclosing information related to your membership in one of the categories protected against job discrimination). However, short of those specific limitations, there is no general privacy protection which prevents an employer by forcing employees to "bond" by sharing their out-of-work activities. And since employers have tremendous discretion in determining the terms and conditions of work--and disciplining or even firing employees who don't comply--which means that the employer may in fact make this mandatory.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption