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PTA Blog Talk

My Time Off

Published September 21, 2011 10:43 PM by Jason Marketti

Should employers monitor what we do on our days off to determine whether we represent an ideal representative for their company? With multiple sites on the internet where we can post pictures, show off our videos and even tweet our exact doings, are we running a risk with our employer finding out what we really do, and should employers care?

Let's say I am a risk-seeker. I like to sky dive, climb mountains and drive fast cars. Would this behavior interfere with my ability to perform my professional duties at work? Now let's say I belong to an organization that my employer finds offensive. Should my employer care?

Divorce records, bankruptcy and some police records are in the public realm. What if I am going through a child-custody battle that ends up on the front pages of the local paper, lose my home through foreclosure and have too much debt? Or if I am ticketed for failure to yield in a school zone, should employers be hesitant to hire me because of it?

Maybe they don't want to be associated with a therapist who does not portray an ideal image for the company. If I use medicinal marijuana and am drug tested, I can be fired. However, if I drink a bottle of wine a night and show up hungover, I can continue to work. The difference - one is currently legal, but using either could impair professional judgment.

Should we ever be reprimanded by our employers for what we do on our days off if it does not affect our professional abilities while we are treating patients?


One justifiable reason I can think of for a credit check is that for people who know what they are looking for, they may be able to discern a spending lifestyle (gambling or compulsive shopping) that would make the employee high risk for embezzelment.  People with addictive behaviors often choose poorly and will resort to behavior that can be criminal in nature to try to get themselves out of a tight spot.  It is always a short term fix, but they don't have the ability to see that.

Janey Goude September 26, 2011 2:39 PM

Too true.  Not sure why employers do credit checks on new hires, does it matter?  If a new grad comes out with $100,000 in debt are they a higher risk than those who have revolving credit bills?

Should employers look for those who take no risks and have no debt, are they better suited for employment than those who like to break from the mold spend a lot while speeding down the highway on a motorcycle without a helmet?

Jason Marketti September 24, 2011 1:15 PM


Good ponder.  Similar concept to my post a few weeks ago on physical disfigurements.  Tattoos, piercings, amputations, burn scars.  All are types of physical deformities.  Some are chosen while others are inflicted, but all are aberrations from our societal norm.  

Whether physical characteristics or risk taking behaviors, the question is the same.  When, if ever, is it permissible for employers to take action against employees whose personal preferences do not mesh with the employers' personal value systems?  Would this technically be considered discrimination?  

Janey Goude September 21, 2011 8:00 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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