My employer is asking us to create a “life board” depicting personal life goals. Is this legal?

The board is to be displayed in an area where other staff members and customers can see it. They have pressed the issue to the point of where it seems we could be written up or terminated if we refuse. Is this legal?

Rita Risser Chai responds:

AAAGGGHHH!!!! Save us from nosy managers. This is an invasion of privacy and completely unrelated to work. The fact that it could be seen by customers is even worse. The problem with privacy laws is that, generally, there are no government agencies that enforce them. You would have to hire an attorney. Some attorneys will write a letter to a company for a small fee, and that might work. On the other hand, your company might be so stupid that they would fire you after getting a letter from a lawyer. The only idea that comes to me is to do it, but make it so vague that it’s meaningless. Like what you want in your life future is a clean environment, so it’s all pictures of forests, beaches and sunsets. Good luck.

Posted 09-06-2017

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:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.