Functional link (or nexus)

Establishment by an employer that an employee’s on- or off-duty conduct likely would (or actually did) adversely impact the employer’s ability to conduct business.  Such a nexus might arise if a uniformed railroad employee dining in a town’s restaurant stated loudly that the railroad going through town did not care about citizens’ safety along the right-of-way. It also could come into play if a disgruntled nurse gossiped negatively about a physician’s competence in front of the doctor’s own patient.