What employee conduct can companies monitor after hours?

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Many employers are concerned with what their employees do when they’re off the clock. This might be because the employees are known in the community and the employer is concerned about how their after-hours activities will look on the company. It may also occur if the employer is concerned with how those activities will affect the employee’s work. 

It might surprise some people to know that employers do have some rights when it comes to monitoring what employees do off the clock. Certain activities are the business of the employer, but there are limits. 

Harassment and discrimination

Employment policies should discuss the fact that workers are never allowed to harass or discriminate against their co-workers at any point. This includes when they’re off the clock. An employer who’s alerted to an employee sexually harassing a co-worker could take adverse employment action based on that if the complaint is found to be factual.

Illegal activities

In some states, employers can terminate employees who are arrested. This isn’t the case in California. Employers in this state are forbidden from using an arrest as the basis of any adverse employment actions. Even suspending an employee because of an arrest might be problematic, but it’s sometimes allowable depending on the circumstances. 

Protecting your company has to be a priority for you, so working with someone who’s familiar with federal laws and state laws is important. Because the laws in California are so strict and complex, you could spend far too much time trying to go through everything without ever being able to determine what you should do.