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Is it appropriate to attend a strip club after hours during a business trip? My employer and/or our client has paid my travel and lodging expenses however I also feel what I do after work is my own business.

Thoughts?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Alec, Jan Doggen, Kent A., jimm101 Apr 25 '16 at 12:26

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  • "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, Alec, jimm101
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  • 2
    If the trip was for doing anything personal, it would be called a personal trip, not a business trip. Your boss isn't paying for room service to clean the glitter and cheap perfume off your garments before the business meeting after breakfast. – user41761 Apr 25 '16 at 10:37
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    Speculation: If your employer is paying for international travel insurance, they may not want you doing high-risk or illegal (in the jurisdiction you're going to) activities. – Andrew Grimm Apr 25 '16 at 11:02
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    I believe it would be an important piece of information if we knew the country in question. My own answer is based on experience and expectations within Europe, where I assume the answer of Kilisi is based on USA and possibly other countries. – Migz Apr 25 '16 at 12:10
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    Really, the answer is the same on a business trip as at home. If you think your employer might object, think twice before proceeding. If you think the public media post someone else mentioned might get you in trouble someday when face-matching links you up with it, ditto. – keshlam Apr 25 '16 at 12:34
  • As long as you invite your boss, he shouldn't feel left out – Code Whisperer Aug 29 '16 at 12:13
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What you do outside of your working hours is up to you.

It doesn't matter what or how you do it. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you have an obligation to arrive appropriately at work in the morning. Having that been said, I would also advise against having an escort inside your lodging over the night. Your lodging could also be considered your working environment. You know, mentioning this just in case.

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    I think there might be potential issues if there are "morality" clauses in his/her contract. Depending on the location of the business, employers can have a lot of leeway in the reason that they fire an employee. – WetlabStudent Apr 25 '16 at 8:34
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    @MHH I fail to see how a person's personal hours could become relevant to a company. If a person can get fired for something like that, they may fire me for still watching cartoons at an older age. If a person did any inappropriate things DURING work hours I understand. However what a person does in their own time is their own business. It's more likely that the employer could sue the company big-time for infringement of privacy. and these claims aren't small. Also, I fail to see how visiting strip clubs and possibly more can be seen as immoral. – Migz Apr 25 '16 at 8:49
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    @Migz It could easily be relevant if it has lasting effects. Drinking heavily an hour before you're due in the office, for example. When I've worked on safety-critical equipment I've had to sign to confirm I haven't taken any substance which might impair my judgement in the previous 8 hours, even though that was technically my time - under pain of automatic dismissal if false, and with good reason. – Julia Hayward Apr 25 '16 at 10:04
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    @MHH: perhaps in some parts of the world, but then they'd probably do the exact same if you went to a strip club at home. – RemcoGerlich Apr 25 '16 at 11:35
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    @Migz I don't think you understood my comment. It wasn't about what a company should do, or how they should behave, it is about what could legally happen. It is a matter of fact that in some parts of the world (for example many states in the USA) you can fire employees for all sorts of reasons, things that most people wouldn't find immoral but still are included in contracts. In some US states, companies can legally fire employees for simply being gay. Pretty sure strip club goers are not a protected class in the USA. So can they be fired for it in the USA, yes. Should they, probably not. – WetlabStudent Apr 25 '16 at 11:57
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No, you're on a Business Trip after hours or not, in terms of clients etc,. seeing you, you are representing your company. If something was to happen at that club, a drug bust or anything else, word would eventually get out that you were there. Bad enough in your own locale, but much worse if clients and rivals hear about it.

My policy is to treat the whole trip as a time to be on my best behaviour.

Imagine someone took a picture of you putting money in a gyrating strippers panties, and then imagine them thinking it would be funny to put it on social media captioned "Isn't this the chap we met from XYX Company!", and then imagine how funny your mum, boss, girlfriend, coworkers etc,. would find it.

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    Concerning your last paragraph. At that point, whether you are on a business trip or not, it does not matter. You're talking about the activity itself rather than the situation you're doing the activity. Should a person actively go to a strip-club? probably not. But I feel that this is well outside the scope of the question. However, without this last paragraph I can agree with you and it would be an appropriate way to approach the business trip. – Migz Apr 25 '16 at 10:40
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    Ok, I actually started with a longer last paragraph and cut it down thinking it would be self-evident. Will put it back. If it was captioned, "Isn't this the chap we met from XYX Company!" – Kilisi Apr 25 '16 at 10:45
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    @Migz I have many times, seen people sacked for much less than bringing the company name into disrepute during a business trip. Not going to argue with you though, if it's over your head then I can't help that. – Kilisi Apr 25 '16 at 11:10
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    @Kilisi: wouldn't the same have happened if the picture was taken during a normal work week, locally? – RemcoGerlich Apr 25 '16 at 11:32
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    Nope, not at all in the context of 'local', it might have been his brother or cousin, or boyfriend, the fact that it was overseas during an expenses paid trip is the difference the shame is in that outsiders saw it so he disgraced more than just himself. Everything was laid on for him and that's how he repaid. His family, his former workplace both copped it. – Kilisi Apr 25 '16 at 11:38
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It would be wise to discreetly clarify exactly what the expectations are of you on this trip and what time is truly "your own", eg:

  • whether the client is providing any hospitality you would be expected to attend, or would be rude to decline,

  • whether there is preparatory work that you would be expected to do in your hotel

It should go without saying that it would be highly unwise to do anything out of hours that might jeopardise you behaving professionally the following day, including strangers having access to your room (and therefore company property), and that you keep business and personal expenses strictly separate.

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Under the conditions that:

  • You are in a location where visiting strip clubs is legal
  • Your company is based in a location where visiting strip clubs is socially tolerable
  • You aren't working for a religious organization or similar where employees are held to a higher moral standard than other members of society.
  • It's a strictly private endeavour (Which means you are going alone, not with any co-workers or business associates)
  • You do not cancel any other obligations for the visit
  • You do not try to bill any expenses for the visit onto the company
  • You are fit for work the next day

I couldn't think of any reason why it should not be OK.

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    Not only should you not try to bill any expenses. You should make it 100% certain that a company credit card would not be 'accidentally' charged anything. Your attention might not be directed as much to your wallet as it ought to be in places like that. Just don't bring credit cards to a strip club. – Bent Apr 25 '16 at 19:12
  • I do not agree with points #2 (not sure #3). It reminds me American youngsters who travel to Europe and drink alcoholics at a younger legal age than home. Do American adults consider this socially unacceptable? We are talking about individual freedom versus the obligations that come towards hospitality. – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Sep 30 '18 at 11:00

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