(Well, you could say no, but they could fire you for refusing.) However, they do need to pay you for this time if you’re non-exempt.However, what’s their rationale for telling you that you can’t go out to dinner with coworkers?It’s bad for morale for all of us to be working full stop and see them goofing of a good part of each day. If they can’t be reprimanded for being causing full blown gossip epidemic, they could at least be disciplined for wasting company time?I am on the same work team with them and have difficulty looking them in the eye sometimes.The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prevents employers from interfering with employees discussing wages and working conditions with each other …and even if you weren’t talking about work at all at these dinners, a prohibition on them would likely be considered to have a chilling effect on your rights under the NLRA.You are right to be concerned about this directive violating the NLRA, which applies to all private sector employers except very small ones.
But absent a legitimate reason like these, they’re on very thin ice trying to prevent you from socializing with coworkers outside of work hours.
You aren’t sure if he’s actually withdrawing or if your own insecurities are acting up and making you paranoid.
Even worse, if he is withdrawing you don’t know why, let alone what you should do about it.
You can certainly keep a chilly distance from people whose behavior you object to, but I wouldn’t recommend confronting someone you don’t seem close to about something that you don’t know for sure is happening and which really isn’t your business if it is.
I suppose if you’re determined to address this in some way, regardless of the above, the best way to do it might be to tell the man (since he’s the married one) something like: “Hey Bill, I wanted to give you a heads-up that there’s a lot of gossip going around about you and Beth.
If it’s not — well, if your management team is at all competent, it’s going to be noticed and addressed at some point.