Life Away from Work
33 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2006
A number of states assure employees the right to consume a lawful product on their own time and off the employer's premises, and a very few states protect an employee's right to engage in all lawful activities away from work. These laws have recently been attacked as having no basis in public interest, as substituting a judicial for an employer's judgment of what serves business need - a decision the courts are ill-suited to make - and for eroding the at-will rule. This essay, given at a conference sponsored by the Louisiana Law Review on February 9-10, 2006, replies to that critique. It grounds these laws in the public interest; it explores the consequences of juridification of off-duty life by examination of decisions in France and Germany where such is protected; and, it argues that there is no reason why U.S. employees should not enjoy the same right to a life away from work as do their European counterparts.
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