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  1. #1
    Join Date
    25th June 06
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    Franklin, NC USA
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    Jacobite members told by employer they can not attend meetings!

    As founder of the the local Scottish & Irish club in Lakeland, FL (Jacobites) we have a new situation. A situation I feared could happen and has, but still could have further to go.

    Several of our members (including myself) work at the same retail store of a popular retail corporation. Over a situation involving employees (whom are not club members) the executive team has made it clear to Team Leads (non execs) and Senior Team Leads (also non execs) that they can not mingle with employees beneath them outside of work for any situation.

    Two of my clubs members fall in this category and one is a Senior Team Lead and was placed on " 6 months coaching" for being involved with our Heritage group. Our meetings revolve around history lessons, genealogy, discussions, music, art, and food. Our meetings are not a party, although we do have a good time. There has also never been any drunken behavior at all. Which is a hard thing to do with Celtic folk! Just kidding...


    Any advice is welcome!

    Let's please keep this discussion from getting put in the penalty box. If you feel you need to voice something that could put this in the penalty box, PLEASE PM me.
    ----------------------------------------------[URL="http://www.youtube.com/sirdaniel1975"]
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    2nd November 08
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    Peoria (Phoenix Metro), Arizona USA
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    No advice. Just astonishment. Something's wrong here. There is some fine line of civil rights that has been crossed, but beyond my understanding -- meaning I'm not an attorney. Unfortunately, those who hold the money are making the rules. Hmmn... I'm curious to see other people's response. This is one of those questions of which ditch do you want to die?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    12th June 07
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    Whittier, CA
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    Sorry to hear about the Corporate foolishness. Sometimes corporations are simply trying to keep themselves from getting sued.

    How to prevent, hmmm.. perhaps we have a civil rights lawyer on the board. One would think that your off hours are your own, particularly if no untoward behavior happens, and (this may be where they are coming from) no preferential behavior is shown by members of the group towards other members of the group at the disadvantage of other employees who are not members of the group. (Read it slowly, then it will make more sense)

    Can't have Jacobites helping each other out in the work place.

    Best of luck in trying to get this favorably resolved.

    Cheers,

    Marshal Moroni
    "..., and wrote upon it - In memory of our God, our religion, and our freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children...." Alma 46:12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    24th August 05
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    TUSCON AZ south of PHENIX :)
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    Wow....I work for the Fire Department and even THEY can't tell me who to hang out with, or what I can do outside of work! they can't even tell me I can't have a second job!
    obviously there is common sense involved here. nothing illegal, and I can't go wearing my uniform t-shirt to the bar and get stupid!

    the way I look at it is this. if you aren't going to pay me 24-7 then you can't tell me what to do outside of work!

    are the two involved in a direct supervisor situation? ( is he/she YOUR boss?)
    I could see the "no fraterinzation"(sp) rule being sited... but since that rule is usually under the sexual harrassment section of an SOP book and you aren't "hooking up" then I don't see what the problem is.
    I'd consult the HR person, and if you have a union talk to your rep. and after that you don't get a satisfactory answer as to WHY and you feel strongly enough talk to a lawyer. NO company should have control over what you do on your own time.

    Scott-work to live not live to work-Ellis
    Irish diplomacy: is telling a man to go to he)) in such a way that he looks forward to the trip!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    14th March 06
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    It would probably be best to consult a labor lawyer for an authoritative opinion. The laws vary quite a bit from state to state.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    28th March 07
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    Iowa
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    I would think that patently illegal. The employer cannot dictate who their employees socialize with outside of the company. Exceptions being the armed forces, perhaps.

    Of course before I was self employed, I was regarded as having an attitude problem. Too true, and this kind of thing is one of the reasons why.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    17th December 07
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    Generally the concept of free association is protected in law. However, if you have signed an employment agreement (or contract), then you may be subject to some sort of "non-fraternization" clause. This clause may, or may not be a good thing. As Gilmore has stated, quite rightly, a proper legal opinion should be sought, not merely the gut reactions of this forum.

    My advice would be to seek out a competent legal opinion in the state of Florida, follow that advice, and then let us know (if you can) how things have turned out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    3rd December 07
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    America's Hometown
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    Here, in the United States, most labour relations are determined by the laws and regulations of each individual state. For your own sake, I would contact your state representative. He/she may be able to sent you a set of extracts on the labour laws of Florida.. From the publication, you could then determine whether an attorney should become involved.
    Here in Massachusetts the law only allows the employer say in one off duty behaviour -- the consumption of tobacco products. A certain big box retail operation is regular target practice for our state's attorney general over attempts to do otherwise.
    Be well

  9. #9
    Join Date
    1st December 06
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    Conyers, Georgia
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    I think you're just screwed on this one.

    It would, of course, be well to point out to the execs that this is not quite the same as having Fred and the little lady over for beer and football, but it's not likely that it will do any good. The powers that be would have to admit they were wrong, and there are not many things more petty than a minor "power-that-be!" Maybe a petty bureaucrat, but I'm not sure.

    You could pursue all this through labor law, but doing so is not only overkill, it's probably professional suicide. I really hate it, but there may not be any good choices here.

    Having said that, I will point out that non-fraternization rules have a good basis. Familiarity really does breed contempt, and the general rule has a good reason for existing. Of course, the downside is that "general rules" and policies tend not to actually fix anything.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Jim Killman
    Writer, Philosopher, Teacher of English and Math, Soldier of Fortune, Bon Vivant, Heart Transplant Recipient, Knight of St. Andrew (among other knighthoods)
    Freedom is not free, but the US Marine Corps will pay most of your share.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    16th December 08
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    It does have some distressing implications. What if you just happened to go to the same Church (or other religious organisation) as some of your co-workers, some of whom may be your superiors, and some your subordinates. Would they have a leg to stand on to tell you not to go to Church? Or to force you to convert to another denomination? I think not, because that would be an infringement on your rights to religious freedom.

    Now, I am in no way, shape or form implying that your club is a religion, and it's not in the same league at all, but looking at it from the point of view of, I believe the term in the US is, your "Constitutional rights", I'm pretty sure I've heard that freedom of association is one of them.

    It just seems very strange, and very morally wrong to be told by a civilian employer who you can and cannot socialize with. They have these rules in the military, police, and other emergency services because they can come across situations where leaders have to order someone to do something that is almost certainly going to get them killed. They keep the ranks socially separate so that if and when that decision has to get made, it gets made without someone playing favourites.

    The only illustration I can think of comes from the grossly historically inaccurate film U-571. There was a scene where they were aboard a submarine, and it was sinking. The only hope they had was for someone to swim through a submerged passage, close a hatch, and try to swim back. It was a considerable distance. They all KNEW it was a one-way trip. But, if someone didn't do it, they'd ALL die. So, the officer in charge had to pick someone to do this. All of them, including the officer, were willing to do it, because they were all good sailors that were ready to die for their buddies. But, he had the burden of leadership where he had to pick the guy to make the swim. It's a horrible decision to make.

    Since when do you have that kind of moral dilemma in the retail sector?

    But, yeah, I'd check with a lawyer. This may have some legitimacy depending on your states labour laws and any employment contracts you may have entered into.
    Hello nurse! Is it time for more meds already? Well, alright, but I'm just in the middle of posting... Ouch! Hey... Ohh!... I... feel... much... calmer... already...

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