Unwritten Laws of the Workplace

Besides what’s in the contract, or in the employer’s handbook or government regulations, every workplace has its unwritten rules. Just as in everyday life, there are ways of 2016.08.22 membertip unwritten.lawdoing things in the workplace that may not be on a page anywhere to read but are accepted by everyone. When you’re waiting to get on an elevator, where is it written that you are required to make way for a parent with a toddler? Nowhere, but people understand that that’s the way it should be, so that’s the way it usually is. Similarly, it may not be written anywhere that it’s okay to knock off a little early on Christmas Eve, or that a phone call to check on your children at home is allowed, but that may have developed into the “law of the shop” in your workplace.

—Adapted from The Union Member's Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer