Crazy requests managers can legally ask staff to do

by HRM01 Nov 2013

Two popular HR bloggers have joined forces to create a list of the amusing things employers are legally allowed to do.

Ask a Manager blogger, Alison Green, and Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas, were spurred to action after Green was asked whether it’s legal for an employer to make an employee clean up rat poo. While initially tempted to put together a book on fake employment laws people think exist, they conceded they were “too lazy” and put together a blog post on the amusing things employers can legally do.

The legalities listed come from issues the two American’s have answer in the last combined 13 years of blogging (seven for Lucas and six for Green).

Here is a selection:

  • It’s legal for your manager to try to make you feel guilty about not coming in on the weekend
  • It’s legal for your manager to make you clean up rat poo
  • It’s legal for your company to prohibit you from talking at work with your co-worker who happens to be your husband
  • It’s legal for your company to ask you to distribute personal mail to employees who have it sent to your office
  • It’s legal for your company to ban fish from being cooked in the office microwave
  • It’s legal for your co-worker to refuse to speak to you
  • It’s legal for your boss to ask you to pick up his lunch, even though it’s not in your job description
  • It’s legal for your manager to yell
  • It’s legal for your boss to require you to read a self-help book and test you on it
  • It’s legal to be sent home because you’re in a bad mood because the windshield of your car was smashed
  • It’s legal to ban sugary foods from the office
  • It’s legal to ban gambling at the office
  • It’s legal to Google your co-workers’
  • It’s legal to ask someone if they speak English.
  • It’s legal to be a jerk.
  • It’s legal to fire someone for being a jerk.

To read the full lists visit Evil HR Lady or Ask a Manager.

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