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Policies / Handbooks

Are we allowed to tell women they can’t wear pants at work?

03/22/2018
Q. I am an HR director for a traditional, conservative company and have run into a new issue. When onboarding employees, I always explain our preferred dress code: we prefer women to wear skirts and dresses with pantyhose to work because many of our senior partners are old-fashioned. A new female employee said she would prefer to wear pants. Can we require her to wear a skirt instead?

Update your plan for preventing violence

02/16/2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is aggressively going after employers that don’t take seriously their responsibility to provide a safe workplace—especially those that don’t have a specific violence prevention program in place.

Make your complaint process retaliation-proof by limiting access

02/07/2018

Access to internal complaints should be on an as-needed basis. Restricting access to those files limits the number of staff members who can be accused of retaliation.

Anti-harassment policies a mystery for many

02/06/2018

Ninety-four percent of surveyed HR professionals told the Society for Human Resource Management that their organizations have anti-harassment policies. Yet, 22% of nonmanagement employees did not know for sure that these policies existed.

Make arbitration agreements separate documents, not part of your handbook

01/31/2018
If, like many employers, you have neglected updating your employee handbook, now is a good time to do so. That’s particularly true for Texas employers that use arbitration agreements to keep employment law disputes out of court.

Ensure harassment reporting policy is clear

01/31/2018

If you require employees to report alleged harassment, you have some legal protection if you take prompt action to stop the misconduct. However, if the reporting process is confusing, contradictory or otherwise ineffective, it may not benefit you at all.

M, F or X: How to deal with ‘nonbinary’ genders

01/23/2018

Some HR professionals are facing a new record-keeping hurdle: employees who identify as “nonbinary”—that is, neither male or female.

Using GPS to monitor staff? Know legal risks and 5 best practices

01/18/2018

With the rise in GPS technology, employers have unprecedented access to their employees’ whereabouts. However, before an employer begins using GPS to monitor employees, it should consider the related legal ramifications and employee privacy issues.

Court: Drug testing is not an inherent invasion of employee privacy

01/02/2018

Employers can drug test employees as part of a safety program. The mere existence of a properly designed testing program does not invade a worker’s right to privacy.

Enforce rules fairly and even-handedly, document any differences in discipline

01/02/2018

Good employers discipline everyone who violates work rules, without regard for protected characteristics. That may seem obvious, but sometimes supervisors get sloppy and decide that a particular employee should be punished for a violation another employee got away with.