Workplace Policies

Your workplace policies help you build a lawful and pleasant workplace where your employees can thrive. We crafted a template to help you communicate your basic workplace policies pertaining to confidentiality, health & safety and anti-violence practices. Include this template in your Employee Handbook.

Download this policy in .doc format by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Keep in mind that this template is not a legal document and may not take into account all relevant local or national laws. Please ask your attorney to review your finalized policy documents or Handbook.

Contents:

  • Confidentiality and data protection
  • Harassment and violence
    • Workplace harassment
    • Workplace violence
  • Workplace safety and health
    • Preventative action
    • Emergency management
    • Smoking
    • Drug-free workplace

Workplace policies: safety, health and confidentiality

This section describes workplace policies that apply to everyone at our company: employees, contractors, volunteers, vendors and stakeholders alike. These policies help us build a productive, lawful and pleasant workplace.

Confidentiality and data protection

We want to ensure that private information about clients, employees, partners and our company is well-protected. Examples of confidential information are:

  • Employee records
  • Unpublished financial information
  • Data of customers/partners/vendors
  • Customer lists (existing and prospective)
  • Unpublished goals, forecasts and initiatives marked as confidential

As part of our hiring process, we may ask you to sign non-compete and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs.) We are also committed to:

  • Restrict and monitor access to sensitive data.
  • Develop transparent data collection procedures.
  • Train employees in online privacy and security measures.
  • Build secure networks to protect online data from cyberattacks.
  • Establish data protection practices (e.g. secure locks, data encryption, frequent backups, access authorization.)

We also expect you to act responsibly when handling confidential information.

You must:

  • Lock or secure confidential information at all times.
  • Shred confidential documents when they’re no longer needed.
  • Make sure you view confidential information on secure devices only.
  • Only disclose information to other employees when it’s necessary and authorized.
  • Keep confidential documents inside our company’s premises unless it’s absolutely necessary to move them.

You must not:

  • Use confidential information for your personal benefit or profit.
  • Disclose confidential information to anyone outside of our company.
  • Replicate confidential documents and files and store them on insecure devices.

This policy is important for our company’s legality and reputation. We will terminate any employee who breaches our confidentiality guidelines for personal profit.

We may also discipline any unintentional breach of this policy depending on its frequency and seriousness. We will terminate employees who repeatedly disregard this policy, even when they do so unintentionally.

Harassment and violence

To build a happy and productive workplace, we need everyone to treat others well and help them feel safe. Each of us should do our part to prevent harassment and workplace violence.

Workplace harassment

Harassment is a broad term and may include seemingly harmless actions, like gossip. We can’t create an exhaustive list, but here are some instances that we consider harassment:

  • [Sabotaging someone’s work on purpose.]
  • [Engaging in frequent or unwanted advances of any nature.]
  • [Commenting derogatorily on a person’s ethnic heritage or religious beliefs.]
  • [Starting or spreading rumors about a person’s personal life.]
  • [Ridiculing someone in front of others or singling them out to perform tasks unrelated to their job (e.g. bringing coffee) against their will.]

Sexual harassment is illegal and we will seriously investigate relevant reports. If an employee is found guilty of sexual harassment, they will be terminated.

If you’re being harassed, whether by a colleague, customer or vendor, you can choose to talk to any of these people:

  • Offenders. If you suspect that an offender doesn’t realize they are guilty of harassment, you could talk to them directly in an effort to resolve the harassment. This tactic is appropriate for cases of minor harassment (e.g. inappropriate jokes between colleagues.) Avoid using this approach with customers or stakeholders.
  • Your manager. If customers, stakeholders or team members are involved in your claim, you may reach out to your manager. Your manager will assess your situation and may contact HR if appropriate.
  • HR. Feel free to reach out to HR in any case of harassment no matter how minor it may seem. For your safety, contact HR as soon as possible in cases of serious harassment (e.g. sexual advances) or if your manager is involved in your claim. Anything you disclose will remain confidential.

Workplace violence

Violence in our workplace is a serious form of harassment. It includes physical and sexual assault, destruction of property, threats to harm a person or property and verbal and psychological abuse. We want to avoid those incidents altogether, but we also want to be ready to respond if needed.

For this reason, we ask you to:

  • [Report to HR if you suspect or know that someone is being violent. Your report will be confidential and we will investigate the situation with discretion.]
  • [Call our building’s security if you witness incidents of severe physical violence (e.g. ones that involve a lethal weapon.) For your safety, avoid getting involved.]

We will treat employees who verbally threaten others as high risk and they will receive an appropriate penalty. If HR finds that an employee commits an act of violence, we will terminate that employee and possibly press criminal charges. Employees who damage property deliberately will be solely responsible for paying for it.

Supporting victims

To support victims of workplace violence, we may:

  • [Cover relevant medical bills.]
  • [Pay for mental health treatment if needed.]
  • [Provide victims with our lawyer’s services to help them file lawsuits.]

Get help early on

Seek help from others early on to mitigate conflicts. For example:

  • If you experience conflicts with a colleague, ask your manager for advice before tensions escalate. If these conflicts persist, ask HR whether you could attend conflict resolution seminars with your colleague.
  • If you are experiencing personal or work troubles, ask for help from a [mental health professional.] Check with your insurance provider to determine whether they cover any mental health services or ask HR for information on our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Your discussions will remain confidential.

Our workplace is founded on mutual respect and we won’t allow anyone to compromise this foundation.

Workplace safety and health

Our company is committed to creating a hazard-free workplace. To this end, we will ensure workplace safety through preventative action and emergency management.

Preventative action

Preventative actions are any actions we take to avoid injuries or illnesses related to the workplace. We will periodically conduct risk assessments and job hazard analyses [through a workplace safety committee] to uncover health risks to employees. And we will establish preventative measures to address risks accordingly.

At a minimum, we will:

  • [Hold employee training sessions on safety standards and procedures.]
  • [Make sure employees who work in dangerous locations are safe.]
  • [Provide protective gear like gloves, protective uniforms and goggles.]
  • [Direct inspectors and quality control employees to evaluate equipment and infrastructure regularly.]

We also expect you to take safety seriously. Always use protective equipment and follow standards whenever necessary. If you deliberately disregard our guidelines, we may terminate you for your own and others’ safety.

Emergency management

Emergency management refers to our plan to deal with sudden catastrophes like fire, floods, earthquakes or explosions. Our emergency management provisions include:

  • [Functional smoke alarms and sprinklers that are regularly inspected.]
  • [Technicians (external or internal) available to repair leakages, damages and blackouts quickly.]
  • [Fire extinguishers and other fire protection equipment that are easily accessible.]
  • [An evacuation plan posted on each floor and online.]
  • [Fire escapes and safety exits that are clearly indicated.]

Smoking

[Company’s name] is a smoke-free workplace. You can smoke in [designated smoking areas, balconies, open-air verandas and outer premises, like gardens and sidewalks.] Any other area in our workplace (like restrooms, lobby, offices, staircases, warehouses) is strictly smoke-free to protect non-smokers.

We also advise you to:

  • Extinguish your cigarettes and discard them in [outdoor ashtrays, cigarette urns.]
  • Avoid smoking when you have scheduled meetings with clients or vendors.
  • Avoid smoking near flammable objects and areas.

Setting off fire alarms and causing fires by smoking are serious offenses. If you are found responsible, you may face disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Drug-free workplace

[Company’s name] is a drug-free workplace. Whether you are an employee, contractor or visitor, you must not bring, use, give away or sell any drugs on company premises. If you are caught with illegal drugs, or show that you are under the influence of substances, you will face disciplinary action up to and including termination.

A list of prohibited drugs and substances includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • [heroin/cocaine/methamphetamine in any form]
  • [marijuana]

Alcohol

We prohibit employees from consuming alcohol during working hours, but they may consume alcoholic drinks in moderation at company events.

Prescription drugs

If you feel that a prescription drug (e.g. an anxiety mediation) unexpectedly affects your senses, thinking or movement, ask for the rest of your day off. If your manager suspects substance abuse, you may face disciplinary action.

You [must not] use medical marijuana in our workplace. We have the right to terminate you if your off-duty use of medical marijuana makes you unable to complete your job duties correctly.

We expect employees who hold safety-sensitive jobs (e.g. machine operators or drivers) to be fully alert and capable of performing their duties at all times. We may terminate you if we conclude your prescription drug use creates severe safety risks. If you need to use prescription drugs for a limited time and you think they may impair your abilities, use your PTO or sick leave.

If your job includes secondary tasks that are safety-sensitive and your prescribed drugs affect your ability to perform these tasks, we can make reasonable accommodations to ensure you and your colleagues’ safety.

Dealing with addiction

Being sober is a prerequisite to thriving at our company and we want to help you as much as possible. We offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that can help employees overcome addictions. If you face a relevant problem, please reach out to our [EAP Officer.]

We won’t tolerate substance addiction that results in violent, offensive or inappropriate behavior.

Download this sample as Word Document

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