You'd think with a name like Secret Service, that agents would already know the meaning of discretion, but apparently not.

USA Today recently reported that the recent scandal in Colombia involving hookers and lots of drinking seems to just be the tip of iceberg.  In fact, it looks like such bad behavior is fairly common according to the investigation launched after the incident.

The Secret Service's response has been to issue formal rules governing the drinking of alcohol and using social media.  Those rules, as summarized by the Washington Post ban the drinking of alcohol more than 10 hours before reporting for duty, prohibit certain social media disclosures, and ban agents from bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms.  According to the Secret Service, these formal rules merely put in writing informal rules that have long been policy.

So, the question is, do you think your employees are smart enough to behave themselves when traveling on a business trip or should you also have similar rules?  We have blogged several times about the importance of having a social media policy, but what about a rule on drinking?  Does it seem a little too Big Brother of you to tell employees what should be common sense?

Before implementing such rules governing off duty behavior, you should check state laws.  New York's Labor Law §201-d prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee for engaging in lawful recreational activities off work time.  The law does give employer's an out where the legal off-duty conduct conflicts with the employer's business interest or, in the case of drinking rules, where there is an employer policy on substance and alcohol use.