Nicole Zwieg Daly, J.D, Ed.D.
The terms “Code of Ethics” and “Code of Conduct” are often used interchangeably – this is a mistake. These are two unique documents.
- A code of ethics governs employee decision-making.
- A code of conduct governs employee action(s).
Businesses should have both a code of ethics and a code of conduct to reasonably ensure an organization’s ethical and compliant workplace processes. These documents help prevent problems, but if a violation occurs, they can also help show that the company made an effort to train employees. That effort can result in reduced penalties.