Your Employee’s Right to Party!

Did you know that your employees have a right to pretty much do whatever pleases them outside of work?   New York law (New York labor law Section 201-d 1.b.) prohibits employers from firing employees for "engaging in legal recreational activities outside work hours."  "Recreational activities" are "…any lawful, leisure-time activity, for which the employee receives no compensation and which is generally engaged in for recreational purposes including but not limited to sports games, hobbies, exercise, reading and the viewing of television, movies and similar material."

In an interesting article in the New York Law Journal ("An Employer’s Latest Internet Quandary: The Blog" subscription required), the authors (Wanda L. Ellert and Judson L. Hand) discuss the statute’s applicability to a blogging employee.  They conclude that the statute may indeed protect a blogging employee to some extent.  However, an employee who discloses company secrets is not protected.


About Imke Ratschko

Imke Ratschko is a New York Attorney helping small businesses, business owners and entrepreneurs with all things "Small Business Law," such as litigation, contracts, business owner disputes, shareholder and operating agreements, sale or purchase of a business, investors, and starting a business. You can reach her at 212.253.1027.

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