Leaving company property

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Leaving company property

I am a salary employee. In the mornings I take a break with other employees and walk around the building. This includes walking down a public street directly behind the building. The HR manager told me that I can no longer leave company property because I won’t be covered by insurances if I were to be hit by a car. Can she confine me to company property during the work day?

Asked on January 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your employer cannot physically restrain or confine you--that would be illegal (e.g. kidnapping). BUT they *can* tell you to not leave company property during the work day and fire you "for cause" (no unemployment benefits) for violating their instructions and insubordination if you do leave the property. An employer has full authority to tell employees where they can and cannot go during the work day. 

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