Updating the Employee Handbook

If you haven’t looked at your employee handbook for a while, it may be time to dust it off and give it an update.  Recent rulings by the NLRB have impacted the wording that should be used for policies such as Employment-at-Will, Data Protection, and Social Media. The verbiage of a non-harassment policy should include new language explaining bullying , giving examples, and proscribing the consequences of such behavior. There should be a policy forbidding retaliation, and a procedure for employees to use in reporting harassment, bullying, retaliation, and discrimination.

At a minimum, the following policies should be reviewed and updated as needed:

  • Employment-at-Will (new language required)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
  • “Not a Contract” Disclaimer
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Electronic Data Policy
  • Social Media and Blogging Policy
  • Workplace Harassment, Bullying and Retaliation
  • Confidential Information
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Employee Classifications
  • Pay issues, such as Timekeeping, Overtime, Payday, Work hours, Direct deposit
  • Safe Harbor language for improper payroll deductions
  • Performance Reviews
  • Leaves of Absence (FMLA, Medical non-FMLA, Worker’s Compensation, Military, Personal)
  • Time off from Work( Vacation, Sick, PTO, Holiday, Bereavement, Jury Duty, Voting time, Personal days)
  • Dress Code
  • Attendance Policies
  • Group Insurance Programs
  • Company Property, including computers, cell phones, credit cards, office keys
  • No Smoking
  • Workplace Safety and Workplace Violence
  • Employer’s Right to Search
  • Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • Texting while driving (All employers should forbid texting while driving on company business)
  • Rules and Standards of Conduct
  • Disciplinary Policy
  • Handbook Acknowledgment