What is the proper way to tell my current employees not to fraternize with a disgruntle ex-employee that has caused damage to my business/loss of clients?

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What is the proper way to tell my current employees not to fraternize with a disgruntle ex-employee that has caused damage to my business/loss of clients?

They know the situation as to why they were let go, unfortunately they do every now and then go out for drinks with them. I understand I cannot dictate what they do on their own time, but I’m trying to find the politically correct way to say. I don’t like that they are hanging out w/them because of all the damage they have done to my business. We lost 10 clients do to this person not telling the truth

Asked on November 12, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are wrong: you CAN dictate to them what to do on their free time. You can tell employers to not associate with a disgruntled former employee, and if they do, you could fire them (or anything less than firing: like suspension, salary or wage reductions, etc.), unless they have employment contracts protecting them.  Without contracts, they are "employees at will"; an employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason, including ignoring the employer's instructions to not associate with a person who is damaging the business (which is a perfectly legitimate instruction to give).


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