If you have not updated your handbook this year you are way behind

The employee handbook is your most valuable communication tool.
The employee handbook is your most valuable communication tool.

Let’s face it we all know that the employee handbook is a valuable document to every employer there is. We also know that it is a document that, due to neglect, can get your company in trouble. If you have not updated your handbook your are behind the times.

New issues

There are a number of new issues that employers need to pay attention to now and some that are coming in the near future. According to a report written by XpertHR some of the trends that need some attention include: “LGBT protection, medical marijuana and no-fault attendance policies are just a few of the trends that employers need to consider when developing or updating their employee handbooks”.
Probably one of the more important policies that need to be addressed is BYOD (bring your own device). As companies either allow or require employees to bring their own mobile devices to work in order to do work, policies need to be put in place and communicated. BYOD is not just a matter of security, though that is a huge issue, it also includes some wage and hour issues. And what about social media use?

Old issues

I heard an attorney speak the other day and he reminded us about the importance of good EEO policies. Since some of you have last updated your employee handbook some of those have changed as well. We all had an ADA policy in the handbook, but how many of you have addressed the ADAAA changes that specifically require an “interactive discussion” that has to be conducted with every individual requesting an accommodation? And how many of you really spell out your prohibition on retaliation? Retaliation as an EEOC charge is now larger than any other area the EEOC considers, even bigger than race discrimination claims.

State issues

Unless you have been in a hole somewhere or the aliens just dropped you off back home you know that many states have now legalized same-sex marriage. If you are in one of those states you had better have that issue addressed. And in Colorado and Washington perhaps things are a bit hazy due to the fact that marijuana smoking is now legal. Have you addressed your drug testing policy in your handbook yet?

It is all about communication

Almost all federal and state laws require that you communicate important policies to employees. Some of this communication takes the form of posters, but the heavy lifting of communication needs to be done by your employee handbook. So make sure they are up to date and save yourself some pain. Hmm… guess I will need to call a couple of clients now.
If you would like more information you can download a copy of XpertHR’s whitepaper on employee handbooks. 

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