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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids
    Posts
    46

    Default Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Michigan

    I met a few co-workers for a few drinks after our shift. At one point, several of us began talking about another co-worker who was not there. We were complaining about her bad attitude and work ethic. Admittedly, some derogatory terms were used, mostly rhyming with "witch." Several weeks later, this co-worker heard a second-hand account of this, and apparently went into the boss's office in tears. Our boss called us into the office and told us that if it happened again, we would be terminated. I understand that some actions outside of work are not protected by privacy laws, but this seems excessive. This same person who complained once told me I was stupid and that I look retarded, both during work hours, and nothing happened.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,979

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    There are very few laws (employment, privacy, whatever) governing what employers may or may not discipline their employees for. Unless your employer disciplined you specifically and directly because of something like your race, gender, age (only if you're over 40), religion and/or disability, your employer has not broken any laws.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    You don't actually ask a question but if you are wondering whether it's legal for your employer to discipline you for a conversation that took place out of work, the answer is yes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    If you have issues with a co-workers bad work ethic, etc.....you should go to your supervisor with it.

    And always know....if you say something behind someones back, it very well can get back to that person....

    Also, it makes it harder for her to work with her co-workers, wondering when one of you will put a knife in her back or try to screw up her work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    Quote Quoting bluecollaraddict
    View Post
    This same person who complained once told me I was stupid and that I look retarded, both during work hours, and nothing happened.
    All employees do not have to be treated the same as long as you aren't discriminated against due to a reason prohibited by law (ie gender, religion, race.....).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    Does it matter that my supervisor and the employee in question are both Hispanic? Or that he is male, she is female, and they are constantly flirting with each other at work?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    Let's start with you telling us: How is that relevant?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    It doesn't matter in a legal sense, no. I think you may be missing a larger picture. Even if you find the nature of their relationship questionable, that doesn't mean a manager isn't free to take issue with you calling a co-worker a "bitch" in whatever setting. You're free to take up with the manager this person's behavior and work ethic as it relates to morale, and free to take it up with someone above this manager's head because you believe this worker's problems are overlooked because of their personal relationship whatever it may be. I'd stay far, far away from any mention of you thinking it's just her being treated better 'cause she's also Hispanic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,979

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    Completely irrelevant. If your supervisor refused to do something about her calling you names specifically and directly because of your race, gender, age, religion and/or disability, then you might have some kind of discrimination claim. However, you will have to prove that the only reason he did nothing was your race, gender, age, religion and/or disability. Him happening to be Hispanic doesn't automatically eliminate the kazillion other possible reasons he did nothing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Disciplined for Conversation Outside of Work

    Ok, let me ask you this:

    What is the racial make up of the entire company? Not just your location, but all offices?

    How are they "flirting"? What is your definition of flirting?

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