Managers often seek out books that can help them improve their leadership skills. However, there is one book that, if you haven’t read it recently, it’s time to sit down for a careful review. Rereading the employee handbook at least once a year is critical. Not only do employment laws change regularly, but so does technology. Additionally, employee expectations can shift frequently, and you may need to adjust this essential document based on changing mindsets and preferences.
Effectively, your employee handle is a vital point of communication with your staff. It reflects an employer’s expectations and standards, as well as how it addresses certain issues that may arise. Plus, it asserts that an organization is attuned to all applicable laws and regulations, which is also incredibly important.
If you haven’t reread your employee handbook in the past year, taking a moment to do so is a must. While every company’s needs are different, there are specific topics that nearly all organizations have in common. Here are a few policies that can serve as excellent starting points for your review, particularly since laws relating to these areas change frequently.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policies
Many states and cities have EEO protections that go far beyond the federal standards. Failing to adhere to the regulations means a company that commits certain acts against employees could be subjected to discrimination lawsuits and various other repercussions.
At least once a year, it’s wise to review your company’s EEO policies. Then, you can make sure they are aligned with current law and, if they aren’t, that changes are put through in a timely manner.
Paid leave laws can also vary dramatically from one locality to the next. Regulations may dictate which workers should be eligible for certain kinds of paid time off as well as mandatory minimum leave offerings. In some cases, the legislation also requires specific details to be published in employee handbooks. Failing to meet any of the requirements can lead to various noncompliance penalties, so it’s important to review your leave policies regularly to ensure compliance.
Smoking, Drug, and Alcohol Policies
Many existing smoking policies don’t have verbiage discussing the rules surrounding the use of e-cigarettes. While some employers may assume that smoking or tobacco restrictions would automatically be extended to vaping, that isn’t always the cause. Often, if a company wants formal restrictions regarding vaping, they need to be clearly outlined in the policy. Otherwise, employees may have ground to fight against the limitations as they aren’t technically part of the handbook.
Medical and recreational marijuana use may also need to be addressed by employers in their drug and alcohol policies. If the use of each form of marijuana isn’t covered in the handbook, it needs to be added to ensure that workers have a clear understanding of what is and isn’t permitted.
Ultimately, by rereading your company’s employee handbook, you can make sure that the content is up to date and that it respects any new laws. If you’d like to learn more about effective policy update procedures, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our specialists today and see how our workplace policy expertise can benefit you.