Dust Off That Handbook – It’s Time for An Update

Dust Off That Handbook – It’s Time for An Update

By Christina M. Reger, Esq. and Tatiana Cook

Wow! It has been quite a year for employers! Not only have you toiled through a pandemic but you have had to endure the endless litany of new laws, rules, regulations and guidance from federal, state and local governments and agencies.

As we approach the final months of 2020, updating employee handbooks should be on every employer’s radar. This year, more than ever, employers need to consider updating their handbooks to comply with applicable laws and protect against employee claims.  

 In addition to the FFCRA and the PPP, here are a highlight of just some of the other changes occurring nationwide:

  • City Specific Sick Leave Policy: Employers who have an employees that work in Philadelphia should be aware of the new public health emergency leave bill and heath care workers bill which amended the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplace Ordinance.
  • Hair Discrimination: Several states have amended laws regarding race discrimination to include traits associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles (braids, locks, twists, etc.). Employers should update their anti-discrimination statements and grooming policies to ensure compliance with various state laws.
  •  Pregnancy-Related Reasonable Accommodations: The U.S House of Representatives passed HR 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The purpose of this legislation is to eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by the pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

       These are only a few examples of the changed landscape of employment laws. If your employee handbook has collected dust or is being used to prop open a door, now is the time to consider revising it. Trust me, you will need it sooner than you ever expected.  

If your handbook has seen better days, or just needs a review, contact my office and we will work with you to either do a complete overhaul, or just a freshen-up to make sure you are current.

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