Poll
Do you feel that a Public Entity that deals with children, such as a school system, should have a say as to what staff members do in their off hours?
No, people have the freedom to do what they wish as long as it is legal. 2
Yes, the school system needs to protect its integrity. 3
Yes, the school system needs to protect the children. 3
No, an employer does not have the right to action against employees’ actions when they are not at work. 1
Yes, only if the employees’ action impact their ability to perform their duties. 11
Total Votes: 20
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Behavior Outside of Work
Posted: 17 February 2011 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have just transitioned into the Public School system. Our policy committee is reviewing the policy regarding Committee Involvement. Does anyone have thoughts on this type of policy? As a public entity that deals with children our main concern is the defamation of the district based on actives by staff.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t really understand what you mean by “Committee Involvement;” could you clarify?

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Posted: 18 February 2011 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As a person who has a degree in education, I was taught in college that everything you do can and will be scrutinized. Your behavior off-hours can affect your job and therefore you must always be conscious of that fact. I have no problem with a “public entity that deals with children” holding their staff members to a higher standard of conduct and monitoring their after hours activities.

The real problem here (especially with schools) is that many districts became so desperate for teachers that the standards have seriously dropped and many individuals who are not a good fit for these institutions were hired. We must go back to these standards and hiring qualified people to teach or care for our children.

Sorry, I got on a soapbox…. hope that helps.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Generally, it is illegal to discipline or terminate employee due to a lawful off-the-clock conduct. Having said that, any activity off work that might cast credibility on your ethics/morals (i.e. being arrested for DUI / Drugs, or being involved in some other significant controversy) might subject you to discipline because of the nature of your position and the expectations from someone in your place.

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Arkady Itkin
Law Office of Arkady Itkin
335 Powell Street, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
http://www.arkadylaw.com

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Posted: 18 February 2011 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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In addition to specific statutes in California and other states that expressly prohibit employers from taking negative employment action based on lawful off-duty conduct, states like California also have certain additional rights to privacy (and “free speech” rights) built into the state Constitution.  Strongly suggest that your committee consults with legal counsel before you finalize anything. 

Best of luck.

Barrie Gross
Founder, Barrie Gross Consulting

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Barrie Gross Consulting
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