Can an employer forbid an employee from gambling inside their place of work during their break time if the employer sells lottery tickets?

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Can an employer forbid an employee from gambling inside their place of work during their break time if the employer sells lottery tickets?

If someone works in a convenience store and their employer provides a lunch break of 30 minutes as per rule. It is a liquor store and inside they have lottery tickets. Can an employee play scratchers and lotto during his or her break time as per rule?

Asked on December 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A business can prohibit its workers from gambiling on its premises. The fact is that in an "at will" work relationship, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent discrimination or an agreement of some kind to the contrary like a union/employment contract). As a result, a company can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can forbid gambling at work by employees, even if the employer sells lottery tickets. Employers have full discretion to set rules at work, and those rules could include no gambling--or also no social media, no use of cell phones, no surfing the web, no personal phone calls, etc. Employers decide what goes on during work hours or in the workplace--employees who don't want to work under those conditions can look for different jobs.


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