Off Duty Conduct Can Affect the Health of Your Career

Daniel A. Lublin, Toronto Metro News
Published June 6, 2007

Employees who believe that their conduct away from the office is immune from discipline are mistaken.  Employers have the technological means and occasionally the inclination to monitor behaviour that occurs away from the job. And where off-duty behaviour poses a problem, don’t be surprised when it follows you back to your desk.

Read the entire article Off Duty Actions Can Affect Your Job

  • Criminal behaviour unrelated to the workplace but which nonetheless injures an employers interests can amount to cause for dismissal.
  • Off-duty conduct that casts doubt on your honesty or the ability to perform your job can be cause for dismissal.
  • When the public’s safety is in issue, your personal business becomes your employer’s problem.
  • Where off-duty conduct creates a serious conflict of interest with the work of the organization, employees may successfully be fired for cause.

Despite these examples, proving just cause often remains a daunting task for employers. Both they, and their employees, should gauge the following rules.

  1. Proof of misconduct may not be present, but it seldom matters if it is conduct that is, or is likely to be, ruinous to the interests or reputation of the employer.
  2. Proving just cause for dismissal is more likely to be successful if there are negative public consequences or unfavourable publicity brought on as a result of off-duty conduct.
  3. Off-duty behaviour that renders other employees unwilling to work with the perpetrator can be grounds for immediate dismissal.


Daniel A. Lublin is a Toronto Employment Lawyer specializing in the law of discipline and wrongful dismissal.  He can be reached at [email protected] or you can visit him on the web at