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Policies / Handbooks

Prepare to drop or rewrite these handbook rules

National Labor Relations Board rulings can affect the very rules you write into your handbook. The board’s Stericycle decision, issued in August, calls for a wholesale reexamination of the handbook rules that any private-sector employers seek to enforce, whether or not they operate in a union environment.

Train supervisors to spot the signs of drug impairment

Before you require an employee to submit to a drug-screening test, make sure your front-line supervisors really know how to spot the signs of impairment. The key: They must be able show that they have a reasonable suspicion that an employee may be under the influence of drugs. If they can’t, you may have a hard time defending the test if the employee decides to sue you.

6 tips for writing a mobile phone policy for your workplace

Have you been tasked with writing mobile device workplace policies for your organization? If so, you need to know what and what not to include to ensure the policy is not only effective but also lenient enough that your staff will want to go along with it. Here are six useful tips for developing a cell phone policy that will improve productivity without sacrificing morale.

Review work rules in light of NLRB’s new pro-employee ruling

As political winds shift, so do National Labor Relations Board rulings. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the realm of cases addressing worker rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

CROWN Act spreads among the states in effort to prevent race discrimination

Texas recently became the 21st state to add natural hairstyle protection to its laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. It’s part of a legislative trend to enact what are called CROWN Acts.

How to protect against the coming explosion of anti-DEI lawsuits

When the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down Harvard University’s affirmative action admissions plan, it wrote that “[e]liminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.” Now employers with diversity, equity and inclusion programs worry that their efforts to achieve a diverse workplace will come under attack, too.

California might mandate workplace violence policies

The California State Senate just passed SB 553, legislation that requires all employers with at least one employee to develop workplace violence-prevention plans and policies.

Avoid retaliation lawsuits with these 4 best practices

Retaliation claims brought by unhappy employees—or really, really unhappy former employees—continue to trouble employers nationwide. Here are four recommendations for setting up systems that can help prevent retaliation claims in the first place and—acknowledging that no system can prevent all such claims—at least help the organization establish and prove possible defenses to claims of retaliation that do arise.

Ensure records-retention rule covers work files stored on employees’ personal devices

You probably have a policy that calls for disposing of records after a certain period of time. Having a routine protocol to shred, delete or burn documents helps control clutter and make it easier to locate documents you don’t dispose of. However, every employer needs another automatic rule that calls for retaining documents that may relate to legal matters that may arise.

Checklist: Make sure your handbook includes all these elements

Are you sure your handbook includes every crucial provision? From a legal perspective, there are certain must-have elements that belong in every handbook. Here’s a checklist that will help you sleep well knowing you didn’t miss something important—and keep you out of court.