-1

When a company says that 'all employees should act like brand ambassadors for the company', is it fair or legally correct? I agree that every employee should be focused entirely to act in the interests of the company during his 'work hours', but does the company have a stake/say on how the employee acts 'outside office hours'? If the company wants the employee to be 'brand ambassador of the company' shouldn't the job description specify the same?

closed as off-topic by gnat, nvoigt, Michael Grubey, Garrison Neely, yochannah Jan 26 '15 at 21:30

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – gnat, nvoigt, Michael Grubey, Garrison Neely, yochannah
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    At the minimum, you cannot act in a way that diminishes the company's good name and reputation during your off-hours. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 26 '15 at 9:09
4

Most job descriptions have a phrase that says, "other duties as assigned." This is one of those other duties. You would need to ask your boss exactly what the company expects, but I would imagine it would be something along the lines of:

Behaving properly in public, especially at any event where you are known to be an employee of the company (such as evening events at a conference).

Not doing anything embarrassing or illegal while wearing company provided clothing such as t-shirts or polo shirts.

If the company makes physical products, not using the products that are made by competitors. An Apple employee shouldn't be using an Android phone for instance. ON the plus side, you can usually get a discount in buying the products of your company.

Not saying anything offensive in a public place (including Facebook) that disparages the company or other employees or is offensive to others (it would be embarrassing to Apple if you were a Neo-Nazi for instance) especially if your current company is attached to your profile. Basically, they don't want anything embarrassing to show up if someone searches for their company name. And depending on the country, it can be quite legal to fire people for bad Facebook use, I know of one case where the person said something racist about a co-worker and not only did she get fired but every Facebook friend she had in the company got asked why they had not reported it (well clearly one did).

This is all quite ordinary. After all, your behavior does reflect on the company you work for.

3

Your question is pretty broad and can't be answered without knowing some simple info like: which country is it in, what's your position in that company, what's your contract states about this etc.

And as always, questions like: is it fair or legally correct? can't really be answered here, you need a lawyer to ask law related questions.

But let's just simplify this, since even if you're right and it's not a legal agreement to represent your company, the employer could just refuse to hire you if you confront him/her on that basis.

So to simplify: if the company wants you to act a certain way in your working hours that is not offensive/discriminatory to you - you probably should. Outside of working hours you can do whatever you want that is not a breach of your NDA and interest violation contract (if signed) - for example working for a competitor etc.

And do remember, although the company legally can't fire you for X, Y or Z action, they can just find a different reason if they don't like you or what you do. That's more of a problem that the company is very controlling and maybe you don't want to permanently assign yourself to a company that get's it's nose into your own business or makes your uncomfortable working hours or not.

  • 1
    yes, that is more in line with what I asked. I am not referring to 'moonlighting', but for example, it could be as simple wearing a t-shirt of another company or mobile phone of another company, using a personal laptop with another microprocessor etc. You can see job descriptions ('brand ambassador') even in LinkedIn now. For me, the question is 'brand ambassador' itself is so broad! – Raghuraman R Jan 26 '15 at 7:36
  • 1
    @RaghuramanR you have to use your own judgement. Do you have other options job-wise? So I can't say "just drop their job-offer", but if there are other companies that do want you - think if you'll be comfortable in a company that so controlling. – test Jan 26 '15 at 7:42
  • 2
    In the UK, several people have lost their jobs for "damaging the reputation" of their company. Often after Facebook posts. – gnasher729 Jan 26 '15 at 8:11
  • 1
    It likely also depends on the nature of your job. If you're someone who customers are likely to encounter as an employee of your company, then restrictions make more sense than if you aren't. – cpast Jan 26 '15 at 9:04
  • I can understand the same clause as I mentioned ('brand ambassador') if I am in sales/marketing, but I am not and never had been. I also feel that company retains certain clauses across all job descriptions and do not see if it is applicable to the relevant position. It could also mean that the company could use such clauses when they want to fire employees! For example, firing based on 'facebook posts' looks a bit sad and seems to indicate that the company is trigger happy! – Raghuraman R Jan 26 '15 at 17:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.