Yes, this does sound very silly. Nevertheless, it’s a serious question that must be answered – before any of us get fired for enjoying our favorite music genre in the workplace.
Obviously, in this particular case, we aren’t referring to employees blasting music through their wireless speakers and disturbing other people. We simply wonder if an employer has the right to fire you if they find out that you listen to music that they don’t like!
If the following surprises you, worries you, or seems untrue, keep in mind that you can always rely on a professional lawyer to clarify any work-related uncertainties.
What Can an Employer Do?
The most important thing that you have to remember is this: An employer has the right to regulate what goes on in the office and doing so is completely acceptable. You can already see where this is going, right?
Ultimately, the employer has the right to try and make everyone feel comfortable while working, even if this means having you turn your music off. For example, while live music is legal in Maryland, it can cause disturbances in the workplace, preventing the workers from focusing. A Maryland employment lawyer will help you understand these policies, to avoid any issues.
An employer can limit what you listen to while you are on the premises of their business. In fact, music and media policies are very much a thing in some companies and, naturally, employees must respect them. Failing to adhere will cause disturbances that have nothing to do with the music, but with the noise itself.
Why Can Music be Regulated in a Workplace?
First of all, music and media policies are not a way to showcase that a specific boss doesn’t like electronic or heavy metal music. Instead, such policies make sure that discriminatory, harassing, sexual, racist, and many other types of music/lyrics don’t find their way into the office.
At the same time, it also depends on one’s coworkers. If someone feels offended or finds your music inappropriate for the workplace, then they do have the right to report you. The same should happen if you don’t agree with what somebody else is listening to.
Why Listening to Your Music can be a Problem in a Workplace
The in-office system sound can be used to broadcast lovely tunes for everybody in there. But what if you want to listen to your own music?
Well, to avoid disturbing your coworkers, you’ll rely on earphones or headphones, right? While that sounds like a good idea, it actually promotes an unhealthy working environment. People usually don’t want to talk to other people when they’re wearing headphones. Ultimately, this gives birth to miscommunications in the office, which is bad for business.
Naturally, relying on speakers to listen to your own tunes doesn’t help in this environment either!
The Bottom Line
As you can see, your music can get you fired – more or less. It goes without saying that, in most cases, you’ll be subject to disciplinary action if someone complains about the music that you listen to, or over the fact that you’re listening to your own music at all.
So, music and media policies are not something to be toyed with. Be careful of what you view, listen to, or share while in the office, as the ramifications can end up being quite serious. In the end, it’s better if all the employees agree on a mix of work-friendly tunes that you can listen to together, all day long!