May an employer discipline an employee for off-duty behavior?

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

It depends. Whether an employer may discipline an employee for off-duty behavior, such as smoking or political activities, depends on the law of the particular state in which the employer operates. For example, some state laws include protections for the "use of lawful products," which includes smoking and the use of tobacco products. In addition, various states protect an employee's political activities outside of work.