New Year, New Company Policies

business partnersAs companies grow and evolve over time, it soon becomes clear that they will outgrow their employee and operations policies–that is, if they even had any in the first place!  The best time for a CEO, COO, CFO, and Human Resources Department is to reassess these policies is at the end of the year, and to roll out new policies at the start of a new year.  Every January, there are changes that will take place anyway (such as updated IRS mileage reimbursement rates and local minimum wage rates), so it’s a good time to include policy updates when you provide this information to employees all at once.  There are numerous policies you can begin revising now to issue to your staff in January. Read further to begin your end of year action plan:

1. Employee Handbook

EmployeeHandbook_Pop_6467.jpgThe first item that should be addressed is the company Employee Handbook. If your company does not have one, or has not updated an existing one in more than a year, it’s time to speak with an attorney about creating or updating your Handbook.  In fact, for companies that have more than 5 employees, a Handbook is a no-brainer because it will have clauses in it that you are required to provide to employees (for example, Pregnancy Disability Leave is available for employees at companies with 5 or more employees, and the Employee Handbook is the best place to provide this information to employees).  Besides using the Handbook as the opportunity to explain all of the California mandatory leave-laws, paid sick leave time, and cell phone reimbursement policy, you can use this as a forum to explain the company’s social media, use of technology, dress code, tardiness, absentee, and drug/alcohol use policies. You can also outline which behaviors will result in discipline or termination. Continue reading

Advertisements

New Policy Requirements for Employers Effective April 1, 2016

EmployeeHandbook_Pop_6467Beginning April 1, 2016, California employers with five or more total employees (whether or not all of those employees live in California) must update their anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and complaint-investigation policies, and distribute them to employees for signature. These policies must be in compliance with recent amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and must be distributed to all employees.

attorney clientThe new regulations include the following:

  • Provides for additional protected classes under the FEHA;
  • Clarifies harassment liability;
  • Updates legal standards and legal remedies of discrimination;
  • Revises complaint procedures;
  • Clarifies the investigation process;
  • Expands record-keeping requirements; and
  • Expands the rights of pregnant employees and employees with service animals.

Continue reading