Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item. With only four employees, the firm was so small that it didn’t think it necessary to update its employee handbook after New York City enacted the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in 2013.
A resource for San Mateo County Supervisors Revised August 2016 Employee Relations Handbook. 2016 Employee Handbook Updates include the following: Changes to the arbitration and other language throughout the employee handbook to strengthen the enforceability of the arbitration policy and class action waiver. It is important to implement an effective arbitration program that’s laid out in your employee handbook. It is the policy of the Irving Independent School District not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. A resource for San Mateo County Supervisors Revised August 2016 Employee Relations Handbook.
The statute requires reasonable employment accommodations for expectant workers. Then, when one of its employees became pregnant, the employer determined that it could not operate short-handed during her absence. By relying on its handbook, which made no reference to the city law, management apparently concluded that it had the right to fire any employee at will, and the company terminated the pregnant woman. This incident underscores the importance of regularly updating your company’s handbook, as well as your organization’s underlying policies and procedures.
Not only are state, federal and local laws changing rapidly, so too is the technology shaping how people work today. It’s now essential for HR to make handbook revisions, with the input of legal counsel, at least once a year. “The handbook is a living organism that needs to be changed constantly,” Rizzo says. An employee handbook lays out how the employer wants employees to be treated and how workers are expected to behave. But it can do more: It can make a clear statement about an organization’s brand and culture, and it can serve as a tool to attract, engage and retain top talent. “It’s an introduction to who we are,” says Julia Grafton, an HR generalist at Boston-based architecture firm. Handbooks need not include every detail of an employer’s policies or every provision of the laws impacting the workplace.
Rather, they should be worded carefully so HR isn't boxed in. For example, it’s best to leave out the nitty-gritty of the company’s severance policy and to avoid speculating on possible future changes to overtime pay rules in order to preserve flexibility. In addition, the handbook should include a disclaimer that it is not an employment contract; provisions affecting such disclaimers vary by state. Handbooks need not include every detail of an employer’s policies or every provision of the laws impacting the workplace. Rather, they should be worded carefully so HR isn't boxed in.
As we work through the early months of 2016, here are the top 10 areas where handbook updates may be needed, starting in the area of collective bargaining. In a series of cases in recent years, the has made it clear that companies must protect their employees’ free speech rights. These rights extend not only to watercooler conversations but also to discussions on social media about pay, working conditions and unpopular bosses. Tips for an Effective Handbook • Be concise. But don’t be too legalistic in wording. • Be original. Don’t borrow language from other organizations. • Be careful.
Have legal counsel review it at least annually. Many companies are concerned—rightfully so—about workers disclosing confidential business information, so they have created rules that attempt to restrict what employees can say to colleagues and people outside the organization. When these policies are overly broad, according to the NLRB, they violate collective bargaining rights—even when there has been no effort made to form a union. The agency has initiated enforcement actions against employers for this offense. Handbooks can prohibit employees from revealing confidential business information, such as data on vendors and customers, but the text should avoid any language that could be interpreted as infringing on speech and actions that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects. “Employers need to engage in a delicate balancing act here,” says Melinda Figeley, vice president of HR consulting services at in Austin, Texas. Social Media and Data Privacy Many people today perform work-related tasks on personal smartphones and tablets. They conduct personal business and participate in social media on these devices as well.