Definition: Values, principles and basic rules that the courts and legislatures consider to be in the best interest of individuals and the general public. Employer violations of specific labor and employment laws might be called violations of public policy, instead of or in addition to violations of the specific laws. That's because it's in the best interest of all workers that all employers obey such laws. Public policy may be written or implied, and varies among states and municipalities. Consequently, whether or not an employer has violated public policy is often a matter of interpretation by a court or arbitrator.