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Hurt in my hobby, Now Company wants me to sign contract. Legal? California

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  • Hurt in my hobby, Now Company wants me to sign contract. Legal? California

    Ok...I have scoured the net and havent come up with anything.

    I am a skydiver. Have been for 8 years now and never hurt till last Oct 28th. Broke my back and broke my lower leg. Went on disability and company hired a contract pilot to fill my position. I will be able to return to work December 29th. Now they want me to sign a contract saying I will never skydive again as long as I am working for them. Current contract says I will not make a skydive 72 hours prior to a scheduled flight. (this is understandable because of difficulty finding replacement pilots at last minute).

    I am definitely going to stop skydiving for a while (maybe a year or two) just because of my own financial difficulties after all this. But I certainly don't want to have to give it up for 5 or 10 years...however long I am with them.

    Is it legal for a company to attempt to regulate my personal recreational sports that I love and do on my own free time? I really love the job but I also love skydiving. I guess I want my cake and think I should be able to eat it too.

    Thanks for anyone's insight and help

    Spencer aka Monk

  • #2
    Q: Is it legal for a company to attempt to regulate my personal recreational sports that I love and do on my own free time?

    A: Yes. And here is one example of why they may do it: "...I am a skydiver. Have been for 8 years now and never hurt till last Oct 28th. Broke my back and broke my lower leg. Went on disability and company hired a contract pilot to fill my position...."
    “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

    --Benjamin Franklin

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    • #3
      Bummer. That sucks. Maybe I should take up skiing. I will definitely get hurt worse and quicker and more often skiing than skydiving. Oh well.

      Spencer

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      • #4
        Many "Key Man" positions within a company are issued special insurance policies that protect the company in the event of the loss of a key member of the companies management staff.

        These policies typically come with several restrictions as to actions. Heck, I have even heard of some professional quarterbacks that aren't allowed to own or ride a motorcycle.
        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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        • #5
          I wouldn't skydive on a BIG bet!!!

          Frankly, though, you broke a leg and your back, and you STILL want to do it? I would recommend finding a safer hobby. Like collecting stamps.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
            I wouldn't skydive on a BIG bet!!!

            Frankly, though, you broke a leg and your back, and you STILL want to do it? I would recommend finding a safer hobby. Like collecting stamps.
            Stamps are boring. Jumping is a rush and, while it has risks, human error is the largest problem. That usually tends to be the error of the individual jumping and not the error of some other person, unlike what could happen on the highway where even the most cautious driver is at risk due to the tons of other fools allowed behind a steering wheel.

            http://www.afn.org/skydive/sta/stats.html

            Unfortunately for the OP, if he wants his job, he must give up his hobby, unless he can get the company to relent.
            Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ScottB View Post
              Stamps are boring. Jumping is a rush and, while it has risks, human error is the largest problem. That usually tends to be the error of the individual jumping and not the error of some other person, unlike what could happen on the highway where even the most cautious driver is at risk due to the tons of other fools allowed behind a steering wheel.

              http://www.afn.org/skydive/sta/stats.html

              Unfortunately for the OP, if he wants his job, he must give up his hobby, unless he can get the company to relent.
              I'll find other things for MY "rush", thank you very much.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                This is not a debate about the safety or "why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane" argument about skydiving.

                Let's replace the word skydiving with snowboarding. Would you still have the same opinion? Or lets replace it with tennis. Both of these sports result in FAR more injuries on a ratio to ration basis than skydiving. Both have sky high ankle break injuries. Which will prevent me from flying. Or I enjoy driving. Driving up the coast of cali is far more dangerous. Should they be able to tell me that I can't make joy rides with my girlfriend up the coast because it might be too dangerous in their opinion. But again this is not about whether I should be skydiving.

                This is about a company instilling a condition of continued employment. Regulating my personal activities on my own free time. Accidents happen. In 8 years of skydiving this is the first of any injury of any kind for me. And where will it stop? Next they ban me from skiing? Snowboarding? Surfing? Scuba? Coastal drives and getaways? Eating pop tarts? Where is the limit? Where does the rights of the individual and the right to privacy begin and end?

                Granted they have invested quite a bit of time and money. I'll give them that. But not even close to how much I have invested. But this really hasn't cost them anything. I went on disibility. My normal salary was given to the temp replacement pilot. I'm leaning toward standing my ground and preparing myself for losing the job and maybe head for litigation. this sucks

                Spence

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Monk View Post
                  This is not a debate about the safety or "why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane" argument about skydiving.
                  I was just trying to put a little levity into the situation. Obviously, I didn't convey the intent of the sarcasm.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    The rights of the individual have never been compromised. You have never been told that you would be jailed for skydiving.

                    However, you have a type of contract with your company for employment. There is give and take in that contract... like requiring a dress code, a standard of behavior and, in your case, a limitation on hobbies that put the company in circumstances it would rather not be in.

                    You talked about skydiving, scuba, snowboarding, etc. Yes, if you make the claim that these are as or more dangerous than skydiving, be prepared to give them up too.

                    Finally, litigation isn't an option. Really. You are being told of a condition of employment and you are choosing to not abide by that condition. You are, therefore, voluntary terminating yourself.

                    Odds are, you won't be able to collect unemployment, either.
                    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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                    • #11
                      And before you say it, they DO have a right to set conditions on your life that interfere with your job performance.

                      You may drink on your own time, but the moment you show up at work drunk there are repurcussions, right? Even though it is legal?

                      If you got arrested and convicted for armed robbery but were given probation, would it be okay for the company to term you? Even if you weren't at work when you robbed that bank?

                      so, your personal hobbies were okay until they crimped the corporate hose. Now you have a choice to make... but it is your choice.

                      Oh, and I have dove myself a couple of times... but had to give it up when I married. While you are correct that statistically it is much more likely to get hurt in a car accident, the injuries incurred tend to be far more catastrophic in sky diving accidents. Not too many power poles have air bags.
                      Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                      I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                      Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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                      • #12
                        Really life is a series of purchases, each one tends to be more expensive than the last. A job is a frivolous purchase as it can easily be replaced. Also, I have never purchased a bed that refused to allow me to lie down on it at some point. To quote my DI, "Do whatever you want to do provided you are willing to accept the consequences." Sign the contract if you want to keep your job. For that matter sign it and keep skydiving, if you can go eight years without injury chances are high that they will never find out. But really, pilots are in demand, you can get a job anywhere.

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                        • #13
                          I have never purchased a bed that refused to allow me to lie down on it at some point.

                          Stridor, that is a wonderful metapor!
                          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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