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I have an employment law question. I currently work

Hello! I have an...

Hello! I have an employment law question. I currently work part-time (6-10 hrs a week) as a martial arts instructor at the school where I have been training for the past 8 yrs. I want to continue my personal training in BJJ (one of the disciplines we teach) at a more advanced level than we can offer, and so sought out another school that offers regular adult classes that fit my schedule. However, when I shared this with the owner (a longtime friend/teacher), he claimed that taking classes at another school was a conflict of interest. I explained that I was doing it as an individual, on personal time, with personal money. What are the boundaries for conflict of interest, and how much say does a part-time employer have over how I use my personal time? Thanks, Amanda

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the disciplinary action with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

Nothing yet. This is my first exploration of the legal side of the situation.

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

No union. Very informal--we don't even have an official employment contract. I did with the previous owner, but that lapsed when the new owner took over almost a year ago. Working with/for a friend, and I didn't foresee the need.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I think that's everything. Just exploring options at this point--I'd really rather not make it a legal issue, but am uncomfortable with the expectation he seems to have that I have no personal life. Thanks!

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/28/2018
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,999
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Unless you have some written contract stating you cannot attend another training school, your employer cannot prevent you from attending some other school that offers what your employer does not offer. As long as you are not on your employer's time your employer has no legal standing to stop you.

However, realize that because your employment is at will, if you have no contract to the contrary, your employer can fire you for this and you have no legal recourse BECAUSE an at will employee can be fired for no reason at all or for any reason not based only on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin of the employee and the at will employee has no legal recourse other than collecting unemployment.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you for the advice. Would it be smart at this point to push for a written contract, and then negotiate the particulars?

Thank you for your reply.

If he is going to insist you cannot go to another school for training, then asking for a written contract with him. However, most of these schools will not give such a contract and if they do they will want you agree not to work anywhere else for 2 years after leaving them, so most times for this type of job it is not worth it to give them that type of concession in a written contract.

Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,999
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Okay. Thanks for your help! Amanda
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