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I worked for a company for over 3 years and was fired (not for cause). My daughter works there as well. It's time for the company picnic and she wants me to go with her (she is unmarried and high-functioning autistic so doesn't have anyone else to take). Can the company tell her that I can't go with her?

(I have a lot of friends there that want me to go as well so we can visit.)

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    Have you asked HR, or whoever invited your daughter? I have been to social events at a former employer, but only with a personal invitation from the company, not as someone's guest. – Patricia Shanahan Jul 11 at 3:29
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    Are employees allowed to bring family/friends? – さりげない告白 Jul 11 at 6:31
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    "[...] and was fired (not for cause)." Doesn't the term fired imply, that there was a reason? – Paul K Jul 11 at 13:21
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    @PaulK Fired for cause are code words for gross misconduct. See Termination for Cause as a random link explaining it. Presumably the OP was fired for some other reason. – Peter M Jul 11 at 13:43
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    Has the company already told her she can't bring you, or are you just trying to prepare for what may happen? – David K Jul 11 at 14:21
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Can the company tell her that I can't go with her?

If you are not currently working there and the picnic is for employees only, then they can certainly tell her you can't go with her. (The fact that you were fired is immaterial here)

However, considering on your specific family situation, she can ask for this as a special favor and maybe they will agree.

I have a lot of friends there that want me to go as well so we can visit

Not sure if that matters unless those friends are people who make decision for the company who can or cannot go.

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Can the company tell her that I can't go with her?

Yes.

This is a company event. They can decide who is allowed to attend and who is not.

Yes, the company can tell her that you cannot go with her. But they probably won't.

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    +1. Short, concise and to the point. – berry120 Jul 11 at 20:16
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Nothing good can come from this.

Sorry to hear about your daughters predicament but it is simply a bad idea.

The best solution for you would be to find someone else who can go with your daughter.

You can catch up with your friends at another time.

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    Would it not depend on why they were fired? – Gregory Currie Jul 11 at 9:20
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    This doesn't seem to actually answer the question and "nothing good can come from this" is painting with a very broad brush. – dwizum Jul 11 at 13:25
  • @GregoryCurrie does it make a diffference? Does anyone get fired for a good reason? – solarflare Jul 11 at 22:40
  • They said they were fired "not for cause" which may be made redundant? If they parted amicably, is there a problem with attending? – Gregory Currie Jul 11 at 22:51
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    @solarflare I am also Australian. I am not sure what the concept of "fired without cause" maps to. – Gregory Currie Jul 12 at 0:08
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Yes, the company can discourage you from attending, or even prevent you from attending if the picnic is located somewhere the company controls.

Your daughter should ask if she is allowed to bring guests. If yes, then you should attend as her invited guest.

I would avoid attending if not explicitly invited. Although it would be nice to see friends, there are other ways of doing that (perhaps grab a coffee or drink together outside of work hours). Showing up unexpectedly could go poorly as others have described.

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Can the company tell her that I can't go with her?

Probably, although possibly not. If the picnic is on company property or at some privately owned facility then they can exclude you if they want. If it is at a public park or other sort of public facility, it is possible that they can't forbid your attendance; it would depend on laws and contracts, which are outside the scope of this site. However, if the company doesn't want you there it would be best to stay away.

Note however the "if they want" above. What you haven't said is if they have told you (or your daughter) that they want to you stay away. Have you asked? Under the circumstances, it's possible that no one would mind, unless there are bitter feelings held against you by management and/or your former co-workers. From what you've said, that doesn't seem to be the case here. So, ask if it's okay for you to attend, or - maybe even better - have your daughter ask.

Partly this is based on a somewhat similar personal experience long ago, except I resigned, instead of being fired. The call to request tickets for the company picnic went out about six weeks before the picnic. Not knowing for certain if I would still be employed by them, I requested a ticket, even though I was job hunting. In that six week I was offered a new job and accepted it. My last day on the job was a Friday and the picnic was 2 days later, on Sunday. I asked around some and no one thought I should avoid the picnic, so I attended. My line manager gave me some good natured ribbing when I was at the picnic, but no one seriously objected and we had a good time.

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So, you didn't state that this was a picnic where an employee can bring a +1 who isn't an employee. Since the other answers proceeded from the assumption that non-employee guests weren't invited, I'm going to proceed from the other side.

Many times companies throw summer time parties -- picnics -- as a way for employees to get together and socialize in a relaxed setting. Since you mentioned you weren't fired for cause, the propriety of going depends on your relationship with the company as a whole (management likes you) and any former co-workers (who you say like you).

The key is that it sounds as though your daughter could bring a spouse, or possibly even children. I once worked for a Fortune 500 company which had "family days" and entire families would go. If your daughter were married to someone who worked for a competitor, could she bring that person? I think that's the best indication of whether or not you'd be welcome.

What I would suggest is that you keep your comments on the up-beat side, and don't say anything which might be misconstrued as trying to poach employees.

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