• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly

Policies / Handbooks

States shift mask enforcement to employers

Employers are free to enforce their own mask rules. However, without government backing, conflicts are sure to emerge. Public-facing employees have expressed fears they must now enforce masking rules alone.

Remove unintended ‘promises’ from handbook

Your employee handbook probably includes a disclaimer stating that it is not a contract. But beware: A single disclaimer at the front of the book isn’t enough, especially if other handbook language appears to make promises you are not prepared to honor.

Contracts can’t rush ADA, ADEA deadlines

Check your handbook for language that sets premature deadlines for employees to file discrimination complaints under the ADA and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Anything less than the time frames set out in the laws is unenforceable, a federal appeals court has ruled. In most cases, that is 300 days.

DOL has new rules for electronic posters

The government-mandated posters that adorn breakroom bulletin boards in workplaces nationwide don’t do much good when employees are working from home. That’s why the Department of Labor just issued new field guidance on how employers should inform employees about their rights.

Develop a legal, fair and effective coronavirus vaccination policy

Employers may require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to keep their jobs, according to just-released EEOC guidance. However, they must be prepared to make exceptions.

Complicated vaccine questions for employers

As COVID vaccines become more widely available in the coming months, employers have big questions to answer: Should they require it for all employees? What if employees refuse? Are the vaccines covered cost-free under your group health plan?

In the weeds: 5 more states legalize cannabis

Voters in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota approved ballot measures last month legalizing marijuana, adding to the patchwork of laws that employers must follow. Medical use of marijuana is now legal in 36 states, while 15 allow recreational use.

Expect pressure to relax grooming standards

United Parcel Service, with 525,000 employees, just became one of the largest employers to embrace more relaxed grooming standards. The change comes as more locales enact laws based on model legislation known as the Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act.

8 questions office managers must address before return-to-work

Before a possible influx of employees back into the office, make sure you’ve begun to explore solutions to the following dilemmas.

Defeat bias lawsuits with well-crafted policies

One of the best ways to beat employee allegations that they were disciplined or fired because of discrimination: Show the court you have comprehensive policies on discipline that you enforce consistently.