WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Whether you are a recent college graduate heading into the workplace, or a high schooler working a part-time job, there is workplace etiquette to remember if you want to keep your coveted new role.
There are some key questions that have changed in recent history we should all be asking, like, what are the rules when it comes to dating in the workplace? What is the appropriate use of social media?
Kia Roberts, Founder and Principal of Triangle Investigations, has created a "cheat sheet" for this year's graduates of do's and don'ts at their new place of work.
True or False:
It's never okay to date someone you work with?
It is okay but your employer might recommend or suggest that you tell Human Resources about the relationship. That's especially important when you have a situation of a Supervisor dating a subordinate because you want to avoid allegations of favoritism or unfair treatment.
Some employers have a policy that requires employees to tell them when a relationship begins and when it ends. It's always best to check with [Human Resources] and find out what the workplace dating policy is so you are totally informed.
True or False:
There is such a thing as a "Love Contract" in some workplaces.
Love contracts are agreements that exist within workplaces for two coworkers that are dating each other. So the way that it works is that the employer gives the employees "Love Contract" and asks them to sign it. That "Love Contract" outlines the workplace dating policy. The employees are acknowledging the policy and stating they will follow it. These have become increasingly popular in the last few years with the advent of the "Me Too" movement as employers seek to protect themselves against lawsuits based on sexual harassment or sexual abuse in the workplace.
True or False:
I can write about my job on social media as much as I want.
This is not college and an oversharing culture does not work at work. Employers have lots of different provisions and rules about what's okay. One rule many employers have is that you're not allowed to engage in social media activity while at work and on the clock.
I would say to grads just use common sense about what you're posting about what's going on at work and in terms of confidentiality or sensitive issues you may be working on.
The recommendation would be that if you are working on something that s confidential or sensitive and you're not totally sure what to do with it, just check with [Human Resources] or your immediate supervisor.
True or False
Federal employees are never allowed to talk about politics on social media
Federal employees can use social media to talk about politics and candidates but there are some limits.
First of all, you cannot talk about social media and intertwine social media and politics while at work. That also applies to telecommuting. So if you're working from home and your in your sweats and writing your boss an email, then you go on social media to suggest someone support a candidate that is actually a violation of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act is not a guideline, it's not a recommendation, it's actually the law.
Additionally, federal employees cannot mention their title or position when they're on social media as well. They should go to the Office of the Special Counsel website, to learn more about the regulations.