You’re the boss! Staff doesn’t pick which rules to follow

Employers get to set the workplace rules and, generally, employees have to follow them. As long as you can show you explained the rules to employees, they can’t later argue they didn’t know which rules applied to them.

Recent case: Ronnie was a respiratory therapist. His supervisor insisted that hospital rules required him to document the size and placement of all tracheal tubes and provided specific training explaining why the rule was mandatory. Yet, Ronnie repeatedly failed to document this information because he didn’t think the rule should be applied. He was disciplined and, when he again didn’t document tube sizes, he was fired.

Ronnie sued, alleging age discrimination. The employer produced the rule and proof Ronnie knew what he was expected to do. That was enough to get the case tossed out. (Ordona v. Memorial, No. 4:15-CV-0166, SD TX, 2017)