Employers seeking to control employee behavior outside of working hours is nothing new. However, recent developments have extended efforts to control employee behavior into new areas, with new significance. Employers seek to control legal behavior by employees outside of working hours, to have significant influence over employee’s health-related behavior, and to monitor and control employee’s social media, even when this behavior has nothing to do with the workplace. In this article, I draw on the work of political theorists Jon Elster, Gerald Gaus and Michael Walzer, and privacy scholars Daniel Solove and Anita Allen, to show what is wrong with this extension of employer control of employee’s outside of work behavior. I argue that there are ethical limits on the controls that employers may put on their employees’ out of work behavior, and that many of these limits should be enshrined into legal protections which would prevent employers from conditioning employment on the regulations criticized.
Lister, Matthew J, That’s None of Your Business! On the Limits of Employer Control of Employee Behavior Outside of Working Hours (June 7, 2021). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence (forthcoming).