The United States Department of Labor requires you to inform employees of your company policies and their rights. For many businesses, a thorough employee handbook is the best way to provide employees with this information in a way that is clear, thorough and easy to reference. If your business’s handbook has not been updated in some time, however, you might be leaving yourself open to legal issues.
Your employee handbook should reflect current employment law.
Employment law changes regularly, and those changes can leave your existing handbook unable to protect your business. Careful review will limit liability under these new laws.
Technology use may have changed since the previous version of your employee manual.
Depending on how old your handbook is, it might not have policies in place for social media or cell phone use in the workplace. Implementing clear and specific social media policies prevents your handbook from violating your employees’ rights while also protecting your business’s intellectual property and reputation.
You may have miscommunication in previous versions of the handbook.
If previous versions of your community handbook did not communicate clearly, you may have become aware of it when that miscommunication became an issue for an employee. Periodic review of your handbook allows you to avoid future concerns caused by a lack of clarity.
Your handbook may not be suited to your company as it is now.
As Forbes notes, many companies base their initial employee handbooks on the information used by other companies. While this is a good foundation for a handbook, it can be important to edit the handbook further as your company develops. Updates can reflect changing goals for your company, new business ventures that require different employee standards and other growth that you have achieved over the years.
When reviewing your employee handbook, consider speaking to an experienced business law attorney. They can support your review and advise you on changes that make your employee handbook more relevant to your workforce and protect your business from liability.