POLICIES / HANDBOOKS

OK to reference handbook in employment contract

07/27/2015

Employee handbooks aren’t contracts. In fact, to preserve at-will employment status, we usually recommend including a disclaimer that specifically states: “This handbook does not constitute a contract.” But some key employees do work under the terms of employment contracts, and occasionally it may make sense to incorporate your employee handbook rules into those agreements. Referring to the handbook makes its terms and conditions binding on your contracted workers.

Policies are worthless if they're not communicated

07/24/2015
An accountant for the state Depart­­ment of Health will get his job back after Commonwealth Court determined that, contrary to the given reason for his firing, his e-mail was not “combative”, “antagonistic”, or “accusatory.”

15 questions to ask when auditing your handbook

07/15/2015
It’s good business to review your handbook once a year and revise it as necessary. Answer these questions to gauge its thoroughness and reliability.

How to limit damage from an employee-turned-competitor

07/03/2015
It happens more often than you might think: You find out that one of your employees is preparing to go out on her own or jump ship to join a competitor. Your fear: There go our trade secrets. Here’s how to prevent the problem, or respond to it if it happens.

Provide clear rules on promotions to prevent failure-to-promote lawsuits

06/26/2015

Employers that provide clear rules on what employees must do before being considered for promotions can reduce the possibility of failure-to-promote lawsuits. That’s because employees who don’t follow those clear rules can’t argue they weren’t promoted on account of their membership in a protected class. They lost out because they didn’t follow the rules.

Workers: Don't monitor me!

06/23/2015
More than half of working people polled don’t want their bosses snooping on them. Asked how important they considered not being monitored at work, here's what respondents said.

Recipe for a lawsuit: No reporting policy, name-calling

06/09/2015
You’re risking trouble if you don’t have an anti-harassment and discrimination policy that allows employees to report discrimination and harassment.

Nip harassment suits in the bud: Establish clear system for lodging complaints

06/09/2015

Employers that create and implement clear, well-publicized policies for reporting sexual and other forms of harassment can defeat many co-worker harassment claims. The key is to come up with a specific process featuring more than one avenue through which employees can complain. Then let employees know it’s there for their use.

Do nonexempts really need noncompetes?

04/22/2015
In recent years, a few employers have begun requiring even nonexempt employees to sign noncompete agreements. It may well be a short-lived trend.

What constitutes an essential job function?

04/21/2015
Q. I hand a brochure titled “Job Information and Requirements” to each new hire I bring on board to my construction company. With the addition of new positions, I need to draft new brochures with job descriptions, but am having trouble determining the essential job functions. Is there a specific method that I can use to decide whether a job function is essential?

How should we provide required posters for employees who work from home?

04/13/2015
Q. We have a number of employees who work solely from home. For them, is electronic delivery or posting of the notice required by the new Women’s Economic Security Act sufficient? Do we need to have the employee acknowledge receipt?

Vodafone maternity leave policy sets gold standard

04/01/2015
Starting April 1, Vodafone employees may take up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave—and be able to work 30-hour weeks at full pay for six months after they return to work.

Do we need to accommodate smokers?

03/11/2015
Q. We currently have a designated smoking area outside our building. Recently, an employee who is extremely sensitive to certain odors complained that smoke was drifting through our ventilation system into her work space. May we prohibit smoking in certain areas outside our building? If so, do we need to provide another location for our employees to smoke?

Avoid the pitfalls of social media: The FCRA and EEOC angle

03/09/2015
You may think you're using social media for quite innocent puposes, but the law may state otherwise.

It's spring, so love must be in the air ... and at the office

03/09/2015
Hone your workplace relationship rules now before spring romance brings September grief.
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