Baseball game count as work time?

Is it legal to make employees attend a baseball game during their free time?

Posted 08-05-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

Employers have wide discretion on what they can “make” an employee do during working hours, so long as it does not violate the law or a contract. So far as we are aware, there is no law saying that an employer can’t do this. But, anytime an employer requires something of an employee, that time becomes working time and must be compensated, including with overtime pay for hourly employees and travel time and costs (i.e., parking) since presumably, the ballpark is not their usual place of work. You may want to consult with your local employment agency or an employment attorney. Not only are there wages and expenses due for these outings, but there are also penalties for failing to have done so for up to three years in some states.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.