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Time to Review Your Employee Handbook?

Many issues face a company when they are bringing on employees. These include basic pay, family and sick leave, as well as general employee welfare.

These are critical issues but having and reviewing an employee handbook is also important. Largely how often you review your employee manual is a function of how large your firm is. The more employees you have, the more often you should review it. (Make sure it is relevant and accurate to your company’s current situation.)

In fact, one of the key things you need to do is to ensure your employee manual is customized to fit your company and that it is truly useful to employees.

As you examine your manual be sure you take current (and new) laws into consideration. New legislation that works in the employee’s favor should be brought to the attention of the worker.

At a minimum, you should review and update your employee handbook at least once a year. And if you’ve let your employee handbook lapse for a longer period than that, you may need the help of a specialist. For example, a lot of changes have taken place with regard to overtime tracking and payments. With changes at the state and federal level, keeping track of these details will keep you out of trouble.

(Another area of concern is in hiring… for example some states have barred companies from investigating a prospective employee’s criminal history…)

Some other recommendations include:

Be sure there is a mechanism in place for employees to sign verifying receipt of the manual including the date of receipt.

Electronic versions of employee handbooks should be made available with updates also being issued electronically. For these, incorporating a digital signature to confirm receipt (and to log the date signed) is also important.

Complete a review mid year and at the end of the year to ensure your company is maintaining compliance with the Fair Labor Act. Also be certain your basic pay and overtime policies are clear and compliant. And be sure you are actually providing employees with the requisite family and sick leaves.

Hopefully this has given you some great ideas. Please definitely reach out to us if you have questions about your business insurance to be sure you are taking care of things like EPLI risks as well as general business risk exposures. We’ll answer your questions and be sure you have an affordable policy in place designed to meet your unique risk profile.