Ask HR: Can We Dictate Employee Behavior Outside Of Work?
Ask HR: Can We Dictate Employee Behavior Outside Of Work?

Ask HR: Can We Dictate Employee Behavior Outside Of Work?

Whether you’re commenting on Twitter or posting images on Facebook, it’s important that you’re mindful of your behavior and how your words could affect others. Though you’re off the clock, your co-workers could be impacted by certain behavior which could translate into uncertainty or discomfort in the office. How can your organization prevent this potential issue?

You don’t have to stop being social. Let the expert professionals at HR Support Center help guide you through this delicate situation.

Question:
Can we dictate employee behavior outside of the workplace?

Answer from the HR Pros:
Employers are limited in how much control can be exerted when employees are not on duty.

We know issues may arise when employees engage in social activities after hours where they feel they can let loose or otherwise act in a way that is inconsistent with the policies outlined in the employee handbook. While an employer can't regulate what goes on in that setting—in fact, many states protect legal off-duty conduct—you can expect and require that there not be any residual effects that carry over into the workplace. For instance, if an employee made threatening comments about a certain religious group on their Facebook page, and these comments were seen by another employee who then felt fear in the workplace, you would need to address this behavior.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that there is a higher legal standard for the behavior of supervisors. Employers will always be responsible for harassment by a supervisor that results in a tangible employment action like demotion, termination, or constructive discharge—even if the harassment originated outside the workplace. And even if the harassment from a supervisor doesn’t lead to a tangible employment action, the employer is liable unless it proves that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the harassment and that the employee “unreasonably” failed to complain to management.

Your best defense is a clear sexual and unlawful harassment policy along with well-trained managers. This should help limit problematic behavior outside of the workplace, as well as assist your managers and supervisors in dealing with these issues if they begin in, or seep into, the workplace.

This content came from a team of HR professionals at HR Support Center. Businesses like yours can pay a yearly fee for HR Support Center and receive awesome subscription perks like these:

  • Legal advice
  • Employee handbook help (creating a new one or updating an existing one)
  • Custom HR forms, letters, tools, and other documents
  • Tons of Q&A
  • News on government activity that could affect you
  • Training on common HR activities like hiring
  • Thought leadership articles

The list goes on. HR Support Center is one of the many features in our HR & Benefits Software. it is not only feature rich, it’s inexpensive: one entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than one hour of a typical attorney’s time. Contact us today to sign up.

More to Discover

Franchise Payroll: Answering Tough Questions

Franchise Payroll: Answering Tough Questions

It’s no secret that payroll for franchisees and franchisors can be a hodgepodge of confusion. Who’s responsible for payroll? Often, it’s a toss-up. With so much confusion it’s easy to fall victim to major fines and penalties. That’s why it’s so important to get payroll right. If you’re one of the lucky few (a franchise with a built-in payroll provider as part of the franchise agreement), great! But if not, you may be left with tedious HR tasks that take your focus away from your customers. Before we dive deeper, let’s identify the players in the game. “Employer” “Franchisor” and “Franchisee” Who’s Who? Owning a franchise is similar in many ways to running an independent small business, such as a restaurant or dry cleaners. One of the...

SaaS Payroll: 6 Tips to Find the Perfect Solution

SaaS Payroll: 6 Tips to Find the Perfect Solution

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the term used for software that’s delivered and used totally online or in the cloud. As more businesses turn to online solutions to manage their workflows, do accounting, etc., it should be no surprise to see that payroll processing is no exception. From tax-filing and employee self-service to data security and compliance management, SaaS payroll automates routine tasks and ensures accuracy, so business leaders can focus on what really matters, improving the bottom line. If you’re in the market for an online payroll system, you’ll need a sharp eye to find the perfect match for your organization. Keep in mind, not all payroll software is created equal. Whether you want to go with a bare-bones solution or...

10 Must Haves for HR SaaS

10 Must Haves for HR SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the term used for software that’s delivered and used entirely online or in the cloud, meaning that no software is actually installed on employees’ hard drives. More and more businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions to manage their workflows, run accounting and control their supply chains, often as part of a larger enterprise resources planning (ERP) solution. Probably not surprisingly to most, the HR function is no exception. A SaaS human resources solution can enable small and midsize business owners to control every aspect of their employee management tasks online. And in doing so, HR departments can eliminate mundane and error-prone manual tasks such as wrangling multiple spreadsheets and...

How and Why to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

How and Why to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

Regardless of size or industry, every company will eventually have its share of disputes and disagreements among its employees. These conflicts tend to lead to problems for your business – from unmotivated workers all the way to negative publicity or even employee lawsuits. The Role of Human Resources HR should work closely with management to ensure a formal grievance procedure and policy is in place. Having a formal process gives your employees a practical, efficient way to express their concerns. This enables you to get in front of any problems quickly, so they don’t turn into a bigger issue for your company. Keep in mind, when you address grievances, employees feel respected which is important for engaging and retaining your...