HR Management Compliance

5 Causes to Replace Your Worker Handbook in 2021


I typically inform purchasers probably the most vital paperwork they should have is an worker handbook, and it must be updated and legally compliant. Why? An out-of-date, an inaccurate, or a poorly written handbook actually can do extra hurt than good. Should you don’t have a handbook, put one in place. When you’ve got one and haven’t reviewed it up to now 12 months, now could be the time to take action.

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High 5 Causes to Replace Your Handbook

1. Key piece of proof. In nearly each employee-related lawsuit, the worker handbook—or at the least sure insurance policies from it—is a vital piece of proof. For instance, if an worker is terminated for poor efficiency, insurance policies on disciplinary motion and worker conduct can be vital for a jury or different determination maker to see.

2. Adjustments to state and federal legal guidelines. There have been many modifications to state and federal legal guidelines, new legal guidelines, and courtroom interpretations of legal guidelines that will have an effect on your present employment insurance policies. The legal guidelines are at all times evolving at each the state and federal degree, and courts’ and businesses’ interpretations of older legal guidelines evolve as effectively. Over the previous a number of years, there have been a flurry of employment legal guidelines enacted affecting employer insurance policies, and you want to be certain you could have addressed them in your handbooks.

For instance, the brand new Massachusetts Paid Household and Medical Go away (PFML) regulation requires you to tell workers that in the event that they use employer-provided paid day off (PTO) for a qualifying cause, such use will depend in opposition to their annual PFML depart allotment. Additional, you want to inform workers that in the event that they select to make use of employer-provided PTO to cowl such absences, they can’t additionally gather a paid profit from the state.

That is simply the tip of the iceberg. Since 2014, there have been various different legal guidelines that affected worker handbooks and require modifications, together with Home Violence Go away, Massachusetts Paid Sick Go away, Parental Go away, and the Pregnant Staff Equity Act. Regardless of the time that has handed since these legal guidelines have been adopted, it isn’t unusual for an employer handbook to be lacking vital modifications associated to the legal guidelines.

3. They set the tone. Even in the event you by no means face a lawsuit from a present or former worker, your handbook offers workers with vital details about your enterprise and its mission. Along with setting out guidelines (see cause #4), handbooks typically begin by offering a historical past of the enterprise and/or details about its mission. This could typically be an worker’s first introduction to the enterprise tradition and historical past.

4. They set expectations for workers. Companies have guidelines, they usually count on workers to observe them. The handbook is a superb place to speak your office guidelines to workers in order that they know what is anticipated of them and what the results will likely be for failing to do what is anticipated.

5. They convey the place to go. It’s tough for HR workers to maintain up with the entire modifications to the state and federal legal guidelines, by no means thoughts different workers. The handbook is a priceless useful resource for workers who have to know issues similar to how and the place to carry a criticism, learn how to request day off, and what depart advantages they could be entitled to. The handbook is the place to speak that info.

Backside Line

As we put 2020 behind us, now is an effective time to assessment your worker handbook and ensure it accomplishes what you need it to and is compliant with all state and federal legal guidelines. Handbooks will not be a one-size-fits-all strategy, and, because of this, we advocate you could have it reviewed by your labor and employment counsel.

Amelia J. Holstrom is a accomplice on the agency of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., in Springfield, Massachusetts. Amelia may be reached at [email protected].

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