If my wife is a former employee of the same company thatI work for and she was terminated, can my employer prohibit her from visiting me at work?

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If my wife is a former employee of the same company thatI work for and she was terminated, can my employer prohibit her from visiting me at work?

I work for a company that allows family and friends to visit the work campus during lunch and breaks. This company is high-tech, so there are guards and we have to scan our work badge just to get in the building. I can bring someone only to the cafeteria but no other place in the building. The person I bring to work (on occasion) is my wife. She is a former employee and was fired for “conduct” issues. My boss is telling me that I cannot bring her to work because of the circumstances surrounding her termination. Can companies pick and choose who they allow in the building or not?

Asked on August 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An employer can indeed pick and choose just who it will allow on its business premises.  Unles you have an employment contract or union agreement prohibiting this action, or company policy does not allow for such a prohibition, or some form of actionable workplace discrimination is involved (and your facts due not support this), your empoloyer's actions are perfectly legal.  The reason is the most employment relationships are what is known as "at will".  Accordingly, an employer can hire/fire and set the terms/conditions of employment much as it sees fit.  An employee on the other hand, can choose to work for the employer or not.


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