Your employee handbook is an important document in your workplace, helping you meet The United States Department of Labor requirements about informing employees of your policies and their rights. It can also provide guidelines that protect your business from liability, breaches of intellectual property and other issues. However, if things have changed at your business, your handbook may need to change, too.
Has the law changed since your company wrote its handbook?
If you created your employee handbook some time ago, it may not reflect current employment law. Communicating your company’s policies can show your current understanding of the employment laws that pertain to your business and ensure that employees uphold these policies. Details to review include:
- Workers’ compensation policies
- Equal opportunity and discrimination policies
- Medical leave policies
- Meal and break policies
Because employment law can be difficult to navigate, having an attorney review your employee handbook can be essential. They can use their familiarity with new laws to protect your business from future liability?
Is your previous handbook unclear?
Miscommunication or a lack of detail can cause significant concerns for your business, especially if that miscommunication leads to different interpretations of the handbook in the event of conflict. Any issues of clarity—whether they created issues in the past or employees had questions—can be resolved in a new version of the employee handbook.
For businesses that rely on intellectual property, clearly-stated policies are especially important. Careless or unwitting employees can be one of the greatest risks to your trade secrets and other IP, but clearly-stated guidelines can limit the risk they could pose to this information.
Has your company changed since the last version of the employee handbook?
According to Forbes, many new businesses use other companies’ handbooks as a model for their own. This can help them check “writing an employee handbook” off their to-do list, but it doesn’t necessarily create a handbook that suits their business and needs. If your company’s approach changes, your business expands, or you simply want to reflect your company’s daily activities better, updating the employee handbook can help you create policies that meet your goals.
Your employee handbook is a key document in protecting your business and keeping your workforce informed about your policies. If it’s time to review and rewrite your handbook, consider speaking to a business law attorney about your business’s developments, goals, and legal strategy.