Earlier this week, I gave a presentation on the dangers of social media in the workplace. As an aside, Roy Williams with the Birmingham News wrote an excellent story on this same topic on Wednesday, June 20. One example I used was that of Brian Downing. He is the Alabama fan who was in New Orleans for the BCS National Championship game earlier this year. He went to a Krystal's, and there was a passed out LSU fan present. Downing pulled out his genitalia, and rubbed it in the face of the passed out man. Unfortunately for Downing, someone videotaped this incident, and he was arrested and charged criminally. If convicted, he could be forced to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life. He also lost is job as a result of this incident.
Of course, no one else would ever do this. Wrong. Jason Shinn, in the Michiganemploymntlawadvisor posted an article last week detailing a member/guest golf outing at the Piedmont Driving Driving Club in Atlanta. The Piedmont Driving Club is 125 years old and calls itself "one of the most prestigious private clubs in the South." Mr. Shinn attached a letter sent to the country club by a member setting forth numerous misdeeds, including "a golfer playing the 14th hole completely naked; a golfer demonstrating his skills picking up golf balls with his naked butt cheeks....a member passed out in the men's grill which prompted another member to reach into his pants, pulling out a certain club, and repeatedly slapping the passed out member over the head...one or more of the members deliberately exposing themselves to a female caddie while urinating on the greens and...several members mooned the attendees at a wedding rehearsal dinner that was taking place..." that evening. Many legal problems come to mind in reading about this story: criminal conduct in exposing themselves to a female caddie, pulling a "Downing" by hitting another member with genitalia, sexual harassment, attributable to the employer, if they know or should have known about the conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action, public intoxication, indecent exposure, DUI (I am sure some of these people drove themselves home) and assault. I would recommend reading Mr. Shinn's post: it is a good one, especially for a Friday.
Practice pointer. When I used to play golf, I participated in a number of tournaments, although not very well. There was drinking, boorish behavior and inappropriate conduct, but nothing like what happened in Georgia. The lesson to be learned, however, is that at any corporate outing, whether on the golf course, fishing trip, restaurant, or any where else, improper and illegal conduct can lead to civil and criminal liability. A good time can be had by all without resorting to these kinds of antics.