What to do if my employer tells me that my evaluation will suffer if I refuse to attend after hours, non-business related, social activities?

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What to do if my employer tells me that my evaluation will suffer if I refuse to attend after hours, non-business related, social activities?

Is this legal?

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is generally legal. Employers define the terms and conditions of employment, and choose on what grounds they will evaluate (or promote or otherwise reward) employees. Those terms, conditions, and grounds could include requiring after-hours, non-business-related social activies. The exceptions--or when the employer can't do this--are:

1) You have an employment contract which guarantees your employment, specificies your performance objectives or how evaluations will be conducted, or limits the grounds for negative employment action or discpline (this includes a union or collective bargaining agreement)--if so, it's terms are enforceable, and the employer may not make you do things in contravention of it.

2) There is sexual harassment or discrimination going on--the employer wants you to go to these events because he or she is attracted to you, or because he or she wants you to use your appearance to attract business or clients, or the events are inappropriately sexually charged ones to begin with (e.g. strip clubs).


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