As every business owner knows, an employee’s conduct while on the job can have a negative impact on a company’s image and brand – but what of conduct outside of work? As evidenced by the current investigation into the Chicago water department, sometimes, it more about what your employees do off the clock than what they do while working. Learn how you can mitigate against off-duty behavior issues as an employer, and what you can do if you are ever faced with litigation because of an employee’s on- or off-duty conduct.
The Chicago Water Scandal Investigation
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, state officials are currently investigating the personal emails of a long-time employee, which were purportedly used to send numerous anti-gay, racist, and sexist emails. The public nature of his job, department, and the investigation could have long-term implications on the government entity’s image – even if the allegations turn out to be untrue.
Mitigating Against Both On- and Off-Duty Behavior
Although there are many stipulations, exclusions, and requirements that employers need to be aware of, they can (and should) attempt to mitigate against any unsavory on- or off-duty behavior that may reflect poorly on their business. One of the ways of doing this is the employment contract. In it, you can specify types of behavior that will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the employee is on or off the clock. Further, you may have the right to request access to things like offensive social media posts that may affect your company’s image.
How Our Schaumburg Employment Law Attorneys Can Help
Employers are not required to hire an attorney for the drafting of an employment contract, but it is highly recommended. As previously mentioned, there are some important laws that must be adhered to in such contracts, and any failure or violation could result in litigation against your company. Do not take the risk. Instead, contact an experienced employment law attorney for assistance.
Whether your business is facing litigation, needs help getting started, or is just now expanding to include more employees, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Our Schaumburg employment law attorneys are skilled in all areas of employment law and we will work hard to protect your company and its image. Learn more by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.