I see a lot of employment contracts which seem to be very broad with things the employee cannot do. Are the terms always interpreted in context, and only enforced when the employer can show damages?

For example

Employees should never use a Company’s client’s name in a blog post without written permission to do so.

So if the employer works with Coca cola you can't mention "Coca cola" incidentally?

Can they say if you list your occupation on social media, then all rules that apply to communications on the job then apply:

If the employee chooses to list their work affiliation on a social network, then they should regard all communication on that network as they would in a professional network.

Does it matter that these are in a document titled "policies" which means they aren't material terms of a contract?

  • 2
    Policies included by reference in a contract are just as material as any other terms of the contract. If a term says "never" you're going to struggle to find an interpretation that means "sometimes"...
    – Nij
    Oct 6 at 7:07
  • Specific policies for all topics (Health and Safety, Quality, Internal Controls, Social Media, Code of Conduct, etc.) are enforced through the disciplinary system. They'll become items of the contract through application of said system when dealing with misconducts (minor or gross) Oct 6 at 7:23
  • The touchstone of interpretation of all contracts is the "intent of the parties."
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 6 at 21:27

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