Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, June 21, 2019

Now Is the Time to Update Your Employee Handbook

Why is it important to periodically update your employee handbook?

With the new year approaching, now is a great time to review your employee handbook and make any necessary updates.  Your employee handbook serves as a vital guide to your employees.  A thorough handbook can prove essential in communicating your company’s mission and policies concerning employee behavior, compensation, and rights.  Your handbook can eliminate much confusion among employees, ward off ill behavior, and potentially even avoid litigation.  It is important to occasionally review your handbook to ensure it contains the most up-to-date information that you wish to convey to your workforce.  OurAtlanta, Georgia employment law attorneys discuss some critical updates that you should make to your employee handbook for 2019.

Ensure Your Handbook Complies With the Latest Laws

Federal and state laws can change by the year.  You will want to stay abreast of the most recent changes to employment laws in your area.  For example, in Georgia this year, the Governor signed several laws changing the requirements for background checks on certain employees.  Those who apply to work in long term care facilities, early care, and education must now undergo a comprehensive records check.  
This past year also brought many changes in the treatment of sexual harassment victims.  The #MeToo movement has led employers across the nation to enact new policies to protect employees.  You should review your handbook to determine whether you need to insert additional guidance so that employees know what behavior constitutes sexual harassment and what to do if they have been the victim of harassment.  

Address Any Ongoing Employment Issues 

Over the past year, it is likely your company dealt with some management issues.  Perhaps you had an employee file a complaint about the dress code. Maybe you had a few employees express confusion about the vacation policy. Whatever issues arose during the year, now is a good time to see whether changes could be made to your employee handbook that may eliminate repeat issues in the future.  

Your employment law attorney can assist you in reviewing your handbook to determine whether your latest version of the handbook complies with current law and meets your most up-to-date needs.  Your attorney can also advise you on how to best inform employees of changes made to your handbook, which could involve an acknowledgement and possibly training in the new policies.

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