We are a small company with 8 full-time employees, all men. Recently, we had an end of Summer party at the beach on a Friday afternoon. This was a company-sponsored social event where no business was conducted or discussed. Some of the conversation later in the day was risqué, but not overheard outside our group.

The President told everyone in our weekly lunch meeting today that we will no longer be allowed to engage in such discussions and that it is indicative of a company culture which he does not want.

We do not engage in any conversations like this at work. We were not at work. We were not representing our company in any way. Does he have any right to tell us what we can and can’t talk about while not at work (although out together at a social function?)

Ann Kiernan replies:

If you and your colleagues had rented a house down the Shore (as we say in NJ) with your own money and thrown a party where some risqué remakes were made, I would be the first to say that it was none of the President’s business. But since the company was footing the bill for the beach party, company rules prevail.

Posted 11-14-2017

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