An employee handbook is an important way for a business to share important information with its employees. If you are the owner or manager of a business, your employee handbook outlines your policies, procedures and the rules that govern your company. It can cover topics such as standards of conduct, appearance, workplace bullying, safety and security, overtime, harassment, employee classifications, etc. It protects both you as the employer and the employee. But once you create an employee handbook your work is not done. This document needs to be frequently updated.
Reasons for an update
Some reasons why an employee handbook needs to be updated include the following:
- Laws change. Local, state and federal employment laws are frequently changing. It is your responsibility as an employer to make sure your employee handbook is up to date with these changes. This may include updating information about the minimum wage, gender pay gaps, family leave, equal employment and overtime regulations.
- Information is missing. When reviewing your employee handbook, you may realize that information is missing. There may be an important topics missing such as termination policies, employee classifications, etc.
- Technology changes. You know that technology in the workplace is constantly changing. The employee handbook may need to be updated to reflect new issues including data privacy, social media use, smart phone use or other issues.
- Company changes. If your company has made some major changes recently, such as rebranding or reorganization, you may want to update the employee handbook to reflect these changes.
At the very least, you should review your employee handbook every year and update it accordingly. A legal professional who is skilled in employment litigation understands the importance of an up-to-date employee handbook. They can answer their client’s questions regarding employee handbooks and make sure they are updated appropriately.