HR Support on Employment Policies and Work Rules

Editor's Note: Make sure to implement workplace rules to be fair and consistent.

Beth P. ZollerOverview: 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

Latest items in Workplace Rules

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "accrual method" should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the accrual method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the lump sum method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "lump sum" method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Spokane, Washington, Passes Paid Sick Leave Law: Various Documents Updated, Added

    Date:
    February 3, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The City of Spokane, Washington, has passed a paid sick and safe leave ordinance, which takes effect January 1, 2017.

  • Date:
    February 3, 2016
    Type:
    Legal Timetable

  • New Oregon Sick Leave Rules: Handbook Statements Updated

    Date:
    February 3, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Oregon's sick leave handbook statements have been updated as a result of new administrative rules published to implement the Oregon Sick Leave Law.

  • Employee Communications: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee communications.

  • Other Leaves: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to other leaves.

  • Washington Workplace Labor and Employment Law Posters

    Type:
    Quick Reference

    In addition to federal posting requirements, a Washington employer should ensure compliance with individual state and local requirements for workplace posters. This chart contains information regarding Washington-specific notice posting requirements.

About this topic

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.