I am a director of a small department at a non-profit and report to the company's newly-hired Executive Director. The ED informed me that my team could no longer hold lunch meetings outside of the agency "due to potential legal issues" but would not explain what those issues might be.
I am not sure if the issue is eating during a meeting or if the problem relates to where we hold the meeting.
More information is needed.
What kind of non-profit is this? What type of business do you engage in? What do you typically discuss during these lunch meetings? Why do you care where these meetings are held?
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There are a lot of questions here for you that would make it easier to give you a response. Could be tax issues, could be a bad experience he had in a similar situation in the past. But best bet until he clarifies, don't do it.
Perhaps he is worried about something like potential workers comp claims. Normally, if the employee is on a lunch break and decides to travel down to road to get something to eat and is in an accident, that wouldn't be compensable under workers comp. However, if the employee is traveling from the work site to a lunch meeting for work and is injured in an accident, that likely would be compensable. Or maybe he is worried about potential liability for employee negligence. In the same scenarios above, let's assume the employee caused an accident and injured someone. In the first scenario, the employer would not be liable for the employee's negligence; in the second scenario, it would probably be liable under respondeat superior. Those are just two guesses, though. Without more to go on, it's hard to say what his exact concern is.
This communication is general in nature and not to be construed as legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. All situations are different and you should meet with and discuss your particular situation with an attorney.
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