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Is Your Handbook Up-to-Date?

Posted in News & Events, News Articles on 04/02/2013

While many companies consider an employee handbook a minor necessity in the new-hire process, these days nothing could be further from the truth.  In today’s fast-paced world, laws change, technology changes, and your company changes.  Your policies need to change along with them.  A detailed and up-to-date employee handbook is your company’s best defense against employee grievances, potential lawsuits, and liability. 

Your firm’s internal policies regarding standards of conduct, safety and security, employment benefits, and other related matters need to be defined and detailed as clearly as possible.  It is essential to include updated guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), as well as those regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

A comprehensive policy on email, social media and electronic resources is important in our technology centered society.  Specify the rules regarding email, internet, and social media usage on company time and equipment.  Make your employees aware that their use of these resources will be monitored.  In drafting your policy, be sure to review the NLRB’s recent guidance regarding social media policies as it relates to employee handbooks.

Anti-harassment and discrimination policies need to be detailed in your employee handbook, including full reporting procedures.  Supreme Court decisions have shown that a strong, well-documented harassment and discrimination policy can mitigate employer liability.

Companies with 50 or more employees are required to adhere to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions.  If you qualify, your handbook must spell out eligibility requirements, leave request procedures, and return to work guidelines. 

These are but a few of the areas to keep in mind when updating your employee handbook.  Once modified, submit your draft to your legal counsel to ensure your company is in compliance and fully protected.

Once your company’s policies and procedures manual is updated, check your screening program to make sure that they match.  We’ll cover this topic more detail in upcoming articles.  For more information, contact BackTrack @ 800-991-9694.