I am in a corporate paid Masters program at work. Over time, the group has slowly dwindled to only just a few of us now in this Masters program at a local university.

Since then, two of the last remaining students approached me and asked me to join their group for the group projects which I did.

All has been going well though their contributions have dwindled or have been poor submissions. I have had to correct their work. They wait until the last minute.

These courses are held on our company grounds.

Recently, one of the members got extremely irate during the course, on our corporate campus, albeit off duty. This person was swearing at me and claiming I have a poor reputation at work. I assume to try to hurt my ego.

I have since gotten permission from the professor, without going into detail, to splinter/branch off and do my own group assignments.

Since this happened outside of working hours, but on campus for a corporate sponsored course, does this fall under corporate/company jurisdiction OR just two disagreeing adults disagreeing outside of work time?

It’s important to note that these people are outside of my reporting chain and have no influence on my performance reviews. They aren’t even in the same department.

  • 1
    I'd say it's mostly personal until it actually affects work ... or until it actually affects academics, at which point you might want to make the professor aware of it if they aren't already.
    – keshlam
    Sep 2, 2023 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


does this fall under corporate/company jurisdiction OR just two disagreeing adults disagreeing outside of work time?

Why do you care?

If you think about complaining to HR: DON'T. Look at it from their perspective: they see two employees behaving like kindergarteners and that's not going to look good for anyone. And yes, running to HR and complaining that another kid was mean to you can indeed be considered immature behavior.

As long as your or the other persons behavior doesn't affect any of the work goals or objectives of the company, than you should just ignore it. If it actually DOES affect work you can bring up the specific impact to the person whose has to deal with the impact. However that does not appear to be the case here.

Technically it's a company sponsored event on company property so the company does have jurisdiction. This being said: employees are expected to handle interpersonal conflicts as mature adults and to only involve HR or management if all else has failed and it significantly impacts work.


When the company is paying you to attend an event, even if they aren't paying for your hours, you have to realize misbehavior can impact your employment. This is especially true if the other participants know you are representing the company. Your employer doesn't want misbehaving employees to ruin their reputation.

The question for you is does the incident cause an issue for the external view of the company? If it does, or if it will if the situation continues, then you might need advice from inside the company.

If the issue is an internal one only, you might be able to wait longer before reporting it. But there are generally corporate policies relating to how you should treat co-workers. Review those policies to see if their behavior crossed a line, and how those types of incidents are to be handled.

One other aspect is that dropping out of the program, or getting expelled from the program, can impact the employees in additional ways if the company requires them to repay the wasted tuition. That may also figure in how the situation should be handled. It may mean that a gentle reminder from a supervisor may be enough to correct the issue.

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