Overview: In order to effectively manage employees and supervisors, employers should develop a set of work rules to govern conduct at work. These work rules can be conveyed in an employee handbook or personnel manual as well as through memos to employees and supervisors and other forms of communication. Work rules may address attendance and tardiness, dress codes, grooming and personal appearance, workplace violence, political activity, gambling, workplace dating and nepotism, the use of employer provided equipment and vehicles, monitoring of electronic communications and social media use, harassment, prohibited conduct, moonlighting and off duty conduct, and leaves and time off from work. It is necessary for employers to institute rules to ensure that employees and supervisors receive fair and consistent treatment in frequently encountered situations. Employers should make sure that employees have a clear understanding of the work rules and expectations of behavior as this will serve as a defense for the employer if issues arise.
Trends: Employers should understand that certain work rules are required based on federal, state or local law. For example, it is generally advisable and in some states even required for employers to institute a work rule that harassment is strictly prohibited. Further, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) as well as complementary state law require that employers implement work rules that will address employee safety and security as well as workplace violence. Employers should be aware of these requirements and make sure to comply with their legal obligations.
Author: Beth P. Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
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In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to interviewing and selecting job candidates.
The Kentucky employee handbook policy statements and associated "when to include" and "employer guidance" for each policy are now live and have been added to the new Employee Handbooks Tool.
Kentucky employers seeking to explain how the handbook and supplement should be read together and that neither the handbook nor the supplement alter an employee's at-will status should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers seeking to inform employees, including supervisors, about Kentucky requirements regarding overtime pay on the seventh day of work in a workweek should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers seeking to encourage and demonstrate compliance with the state's meal and rest break requirements should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers that employ minor employees (those under age 18) that seek to inform the minor employees and their supervisors about legally required meal and rest breaks and to demonstrate compliance with the law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of leave to receive an adopted child and to demonstrate compliance with Kentucky law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Kentucky employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for service as a juror and to show their compliance with Kentucky's jury duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
HR guidance on implementing work rules that effectively address employer objectives and provide employees and supervisors with guidance as to acceptable and unacceptable workplace conduct.