Can my employer prohibit me from associating with co-workers outside of work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer prohibit me from associating with co-workers outside of work?

I am an assistant manager at a retail clothing store. The store manager says that I can’t associate with co-workers when I’m not working. Is this legal?

Asked on February 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Some states, including New York, have laws that explicitly protect an employee’s lawful activities off the clock and off company premises. Even states that don't have these laws may still may afford an employee protection in this situaton. If the employer is trying to control an employee’s private/social life, the mandate to not socialize with co-workers could potentially be deemed an unfair labor practice under the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act), as well as a violation of privacy laws.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption