If you think your employee handbook is in great shape, think again. The average company handbook contains more than a dozen outdated, incomplete, or illegal policies which could provide ammunition for a lawsuit.
So, pull out that dusty handbook. If it hasn’t been updated in the past year, it is definitely time for review. Because of the dynamic nature of labor laws, employee handbooks must be updated regularly. Fresh changes in federal and state laws for 2019 must be considered.
The goal of an employee handbook is to outline clear, consistent, and legal policies which serve to inform and protect. Handbooks must change with the times; An out-of-date handbook may be more dangerous than no handbook at all. This is especially true when manuals reinforce corporate cultural norms that are at odds with current discrimination laws.
Tips to Update Your Handbook:
- Begin with a self-review of your employee handbook to spot major issues like outdated and insensitive language.
- Take advantage of PIASC Insurance Services’ complimentary Handbook Review by a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
- Follow up with a review by an attorney.
- Distribute updated versions of the handbook to all employees.
- Obtain a signed receipt from employees.
- Consider providing updated employee handbooks in digital format.
Not Sure You Need a Review? Ask These 15 Questions:
- Does your handbook accurately reflect changes in labor law?
- Do the employee benefits comply with current federal, state, and local laws?
- Does your attorney review the handbook annually to ensure its cohesiveness with the newest federal, state, and local laws?
- If your handbook lists reasons for disciplinary actions, does it clarify that the examples shown are illustrative rather than exhaustive?
- Does your handbook encourage employees to bring complaints to their union or to management?
- Does your handbook clarify that no amount of harassment will be tolerated?
- Are there clear procedures for addressing harassment complaints?
- Do all employees receive copies of the handbook? And sign receipt of doing so?
- Do employees receive revised copies of the handbook? Do they actually read it?
- Is your handbook up to date in all areas?
- Is it written clearly and simply?
- Is the language respectful to all employees?
- Are the rules consistently enforced?
- Is the language free from political statements, including opinions about labor organizing?
- Does your handbook clearly state that it may be changed at any time, and does it clearly state that it is not a contract?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it would be wise to review your employee handbook right away. To save time and money, please contact PIASC Insurance Services at (323) 400-6705 for a free employee handbook review. Our certified SPHR’s are here to help.