Ever since the NLRB changed the rules about work rules early this year, we’ve had a lot of conversation about what should and should not be included in our customers’ handbooks.  We’re seeing a lot of traditional rules go by the wayside as we work towards compliance with the new directives.  This got us thinking.  How different are our work rules today compared to those of past generations?

Here’s a sample from a bank in Clare, Michigan.  Hopefully none of you are actively using any of these:

 Citizens Bank of Clare — Rules for Employees        

March 10, 1909

  1. Office employees will daily sweep the floors, dust the furniture, shelves and counters.
  2. Each day fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week.
  3. Each clerk will bring in a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.
  4. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to suit your individual taste.
  5. The office will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. daily except on the Sabbath, on which day it will remain closed. Each employee is expected to spend the Sabbath by attending church.
  6. Men employees will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or two evenings off a week if they go regularly to church.
  7. Every employee should lay aside for each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden upon the charity of his betters.
  8. Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses liquor in any form, gets shaved at a barber shop, or frequents pool or public halls, will give us good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity of honesty.
  9. The employee who has performed his labor faithfully, and without fault for a period of five years in our service, and who has been thrifty, and is looked upon by his fellow men as a law abiding citizen, will be given an increase of ten cents per day in his pay, provided a just return in profits from the business permits it.

Most every organization has a work rule that was prompted by a specific employee or event.  What quirky rules does your organization still have on the books?

Let us know your favorite!

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