POLICIES / HANDBOOKS

Benefits: Should we put details in the employee handbook or the Summary Plan Description?

11/27/2014
Q. Should a small business employee handbook include a safe-harbor clause under the benefits section for their 401k plan? In the past, the benefits information in the handbook has been limited because it can change so often. Instead, the handbook just points the employee to the summary plan documents.

Bring Your Own Disaster? Delete legal risks with a smart BYOD policy

11/24/2014
Surveys consistently show that employees who work in a flexible workplace are happier and more productive. As a result, BYOD programs have taken off. BYOD programs do, however, come with greater information security concerns and legal risks.

How to weather winter, HR's busiest season

11/19/2014
From establishing inclement weather policies to rethinking year-end bonuses, check out our guide to surviving the cold and the unexpected.

Unwritten rules: Flex benefits depend on informal policies

11/19/2014
Most employers allow some kind of flexible working arrangement. However, that’s often due to casual agreements between bosses and workers. Informal flex deals are more common than formal policies.

Study: Men value work flexibility, too

11/10/2014
For years, conventional wisdom held that women far more than men took advantage of flexible working arrangements to balance work/life responsibilities. Now comes a new study revealing that male employees feel equally empowered to use programs that allow flexibility in how, when and where work happens.

Replace Ebola panic with solid plan to deal with epidemics

11/05/2014

The threat of an Ebola outbreak has dominated the news for months. With the possible exceptions of health care-related organizations, it’s unlikely that most employers will ever have to deal with the disease. However, it’s a timely reminder that even relatively common maladies (such as the flu) can wreak havoc on business operations.

Should your no-smoking policy ban e-cigarettes?

10/31/2014
While they differ from traditional cigarettes in some fundamental ways, many employers are faced with a dilemma in terms of how to treat e-cigarettes in policy and in practice.

How do we rein in our staff on social media?

09/19/2014
Q. What are the rules and laws about social media? We have employees who have generated Facebook pages with our company name. They are also posting information that we are not ready to publish—such as the opening of another store in a new city.

Drug tests: What to do about 'watered down' results?

09/12/2014
Q. We have a couple of workers who keep getting “negative dilute” results of drug tests. Our policy is to not accept the result and to retest. Can we require the retest to be an observed collection?

Politics at work: 3 tips to limit election-year distractions

09/05/2014
Some employers try to quell this distraction by putting a gag order on political speech. That’s not a smart move. No-political-talk policies are almost impossible to enforce, plus they can choke morale and could expose you to a lawsuit.

Bring Your Own Device policies: Risks and rewards

09/01/2014
Employees are increasingly using their personal electronic devices—laptops, smartphones and tablets—for work purposes. The trend, dubbed “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD,” has redefined what it means to be “at work.” Employers jumping on the BYOD bandwagon face several challenges.

The latest from the NLRB on employment-at-will

08/14/2014
The news from the Board is generally pro-employer, but it's time to carefully review your handbooks, applications and offer letters.

How far can I go to ban guns at work?

07/31/2014
Q. As the owner of a Texas company, I want to institute a policy that strictly forbids employees from bringing guns to work—both into the office building and in the parking lot outside. Can I legally draft such a policy?

Policies can protect you from liability for employee torts

07/31/2014
Employers occasionally become dejected over the prospects of defending against tort and other civil claims in state courts. However, a recent case out of Houston reaffirms that employers can and do win these kinds of cases—if they have implemented the appropriate policies.

Can we ban employee appointments during work?

07/18/2014
Q. I have an employee who is constantly scheduling appointments during work hours and having to leave. In the past two weeks alone, she missed 27 hours due to appointments. If we cannot restrict appointments outside of work, can I require documentation of appointments?
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