Behaving badly at the softball game (Toughest HR Question)

What are employer’s liability concerns, disciplinary options when employees are off-duty?
By Brian Johnson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/07/2014

Question: How much does an employee’s conduct away from the workplace, but related to the employer — such as playing on a company-sponsored softball team — fall under the employer’s jurisdiction? Can an employer discipline the employee or be liable for any misconduct in such circumstances?

Answer: It is generally recognized that an employee’s off-duty conduct can attract discipline if the conduct interferes with and prejudices the employer’s business interests and operations, or its public reputation.

There are a number of cases in Canada where summary dismissal was found justifiable for off-duty conduct: