There aren’t rules for how frequently you should update your handbook, but given laws do change, it’s smart to be proactive so you don’t get caught off guard.
An updated employee handbook helps employees understand what’s expected of them, and helps managers ensure company policies are followed.
We’ve identified four reasons to revisit your employee handbook in 2023.
New year, new employee handbook? There aren’t any hard and fast rules that require your handbook to be updated at specific intervals. But instead of assuming it’ll get you through 2023, there are good reasons to treat it like the living document it is.
First, the implementation of updated, clear policies that both employees can understand, and managers apply consistently will help employees feel like they’re being treated fairly.
Next, having a handbook that you know is up to date with current laws (and well understood by managers) can help reduce the likelihood of a claim against your business. Plus, if an employee or former employee does file a claim, a handbook can provide valuable documentation to demonstrate that your business has equitable and compliant workplace policies in place.
Here are 4 policies we think you should pay attention to in 2023:
It’s common for employee handbooks to say that they won’t discriminate based on the federally protected classes, and then say, “and any other class protected by state or federal law”. This catch-all is a nice idea, but many employers aren’t aware of all the classes that are protected by federal and state law. As a result, they can be caught off guard – and in a lawsuit – because they simply didn’t know the actions they were taking were considered illegal discrimination.
That’s why we recommend including the full list of protected classes in the employee handbook. More knowledge is better. Also, managers have a duty to ensure that employees aren’t harassing one another based on their inclusion in a protected class. And if your managers aren’t aware of the full extent of their responsibilities, they’re going to have a much harder time keeping your workplace in compliance.
Taking steps to ensure your employee handbook reflects today’s workplace just makes sense. Your company isn’t stagnant, and the regulatory environment in which it operates certainly isn’t standing still. So, whether you review it annually, every six months, or quarterly, be proactive about updating your employee handbook in 2023. You’ll be glad you did.
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