If you don’t have a detailed employee handbook, or if it has been more than a year since you reviewed your handbook, now is the time to work on it. Clear and specific guidelines about employee policies help protect you legally and help prevent employee disputes (and potential lawsuits).
The Society for Human Resources Professionals, a national HR organization, recently issued some advice for updating employee handbooks to reflect current employment law. Just a few of those recommendations include:
- Social media use. Smartphones and tablets issued by the company, or employees who do business on their personal devices, can bring up questions about social media use and privacy. Your handbook should spell out in detail if employee social media use will be monitored on those devices and/or on company time.
- Sick leave, family leave and disability leave. Your leave policies should be clear, and they should comply with all state and federal leave laws. Review the Family Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, in addition to other federal and state regulations, and ensure that your policies are in compliance.
- Marijuana and smoking. Legalized marijuana and the advent of vapor cigarettes necessitates a review of your company smoking policies. Marijuana use can be treated the same as most other controlled substances that could impact job performance, but be sure to review your state’s laws on the subject of drug testing and termination.
- Marital benefits. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling that states recognize same-sex marriage means that employers should offer the same retirement and health benefits to married same-sex couples as other married employees.
- Other state updates. It is important to review any new state regulations annually, and your business attorney can help you do so. Ensure that your employee policies are always up-to-date with the latest information.
To learn more about developing employee policies and contracts, in addition to all the legal documentation your business needs, contact EmergeCounsel today.