A stack-agnostic Sass library providing basic components and typography intended for the Employer experience.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import employerStyleBase from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/employer-style-base';



A stack-agnostic Sass library providing basic components and typography intended for the Employer experience.

View code and component examples in the pattern library.


Add and install with Yarn:

$ yarn add employer-style-base

Now, import sass/base after any resets, Bourbon and FontAwesome, and before any grids and application sources in your main application.scss. For example:

@import 'reset';
@import 'bourbon/app/assets/stylesheets/bourbon';
@import 'font-awesome';
@import 'employer-style-base/sass/base';
@import 'some-grid-foundation';

@import 'your-app';

You may now apply the styling to your application. Note that all styling is scoped with the employer-scope class. We would have preferred leaving scoping up to the consuming application, but certain inflexibilites with Sass and some peculiar things this library is doing currently forbid this.

Using a Grid Framework

You may use any grid framework of your choosing. We have, however, built a Neat-based grid library intended for use with Employer. You can read integration instructions at employer-style-grid.

What's included

At the moment, only uncompiled Sass source files are available for consumption. That means your application will need to perform the precompilation, whether it be through Webpack, Gulp, Grunt, Rails asset pipeline, etc. Do note that employer-style-base depends upon and includes Bourbon for basic Sass mixins.

The current layout of this library is heavily inspired by Bitters, a wonderful boilerplate of common-sense Sass conventions and structure. Our outline looks a little something like this:

├── ... >> Not yet used
sass/ >> The bulk of the styling itself
├── directives/ >> Useful mixins and functions to build a site with
│   ├── 00_variables/ >> Re-usable color and sizing variables
│   ├── 01_tools/ >> Globally used mixins and functions
│   ├── 02_base_components/ >> Small components that are typically used in larger components
│   ├── 03_components/ >> Large components and features; items that make use of 02_base_components
│   └── 04_utilities/ >> Helper classes and overrides
└── selectors/ >> Classes and element selectors which implement directives

Browser Testing

Employer supports the following browsers

Browser Version
Internet Explorer 11+
Edge 13+
Chrome 52+
Firefox 48+
Safari 9+


Mixins over Extends and Classes

Our projects prefer semantic (BEM) class names that are specific to their use and which use the directives created here, over classes that are reused. For that reason, contributions should typically be added as mixins.

Adding Classes - Reusable classes are primarily buttons, tooltips, and other commonly repeated elements. That said, do include a class or element counterpart to your directives in the selectors/ directory for use by 3rd party projects that do not consume the Sass files.

Do Not Add Extends - For predictability and performance, use mixins instead.

Adding Directives

When adding a new directive, make sure to document it in the pattern library. In addition to the new code, you should have:

  • Example output
    • Your example HTML is created in a Handlebars (.hbs) file.
      • This can be very straightforward. You might only need plain HTML that uses a CSS selector from the /selectors directory, like our boxes.
      • For components that are more complex or that require multiple variations, you might need a config.js file to dictate all of the modifiers and a .hbs template for rendering each modifier, like our buttons (config.js, .hbs template)
    • Read more about creating configuration files
    • Read more about handlebarsjs.com/
  • Notes, which might include
    • Description of how to use the directive
    • Examples of where the directive is currently used
    • Notes on the source or how the pattern was created

Directives that don't have a corresponding HTML example, such as Sass functions, can be described in Markdown documentation in the /docs directory. See our Overview and Tools for examples.

After adding a new directive to sass/directives/, remember to @import it into the _base.scss file.

If appropriate, add a corresponding selector to the sass/selectors/ directory, so that the styles are available to users who are using our CSS output.

Updating the Version

After your PR is merged, update the semantic version number appropriately, add a release and publish via Yarn or npm.

Then update the package.json file in your project with the new version:

  "dependencies": {
    "employer-style-base": "=2.2.1"

Working with the Pattern Library

Employer Style Base includes a pattern library built with Fractal. The pattern library serves as a quick reference to the components that come with style base and how to use them.

If you haven't already, from within the employer-style-base repo run

yarn install

This will install Fractal and Fractal CLI.

In order to show styled components, you must first compile from .scss to .css. Run

yarn run dev

to both compile and watch the .scss files. If you've already started the Fractal server you may need to restart it.

This step will generate updated CSS. Remember to commit the updated files.

Now in a new tab, start the pattern library locally with

yarn run fractal

This will start the fractal server and give you a URL for viewing the local copy of the pattern library. It will also watch the files for changes to the documentation.

After your changes are committed and merged, update the production build of the pattern library, then push the changes to the gh-pages branch with the following commands:

fractal build
git subtree push --prefix build origin gh-pages

Fractal views are built using the Handlebars templating framework.

The current iteration of this style library has been influenced by (but does not strictly adhere to) the following: