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April 23, 2012

And Even More Mistakes That Can Lead You to “Employee Handbook Betrayal”

Filed under: General HR Buzz7:00 am

This is the last in a series of blogs on writing employee handbooks and policy manuals.  Although not a favorite thing on our “to do” list, they can become critical when faced with employee relations issues or an HR audit.  In our series of blogs, hopefully you have been reminded of some of the items which can lead to “employee handbook betrayal” – a place we don’t want to end up!

  • Maybe I Will Or Maybe I Won’t—Being Inconsistent.  If the language in your handbook conflicts with other documents or your actions, you have a problem. Inconsistent actions can create nasty discrimination claims.
  • They’re On Their Own—Lack of Training. Failing to train managers and employees regarding handbook policies wastes the effort you put into developing those policies in the first place. It also can start you down a road that you don’t want to travel.
  • Forgetting That You Really Do Have Employees in North Dakota and Rhode Island. If you are a multi-state employer and you have responsibility for the handbooks for employees in all locations, you have my sympathy. State law varies considerably. Remember, employees in each of those states are subject to the laws of those states. Therefore, you’ve either got to write handbooks specific to each state or create one master that would comply with all the states in which you are located. Whichever poison you choose would be dependent upon the number and in which states you are located. Good luck with that one.
  •  Something Old, Something New. By now I think that most everybody knows how important it is to include policies that address sexual and other forms of harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) issues, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, confidentiality, etc. But don’t forget to include policies that may now be necessary because of the electronic revolution in the workplace, involving the internet, email, voicemail, IM, iPods, cell phones, monitoring, blogs and computer usage. That list seems to be growing and growing.
  • Avoiding The Lawyers. Nobody likes to pay the lawyers. But ensuring that your handbook is well written and compliant may be an instance where a few dollars spent now will save you many down the road. You can save time and money by creating a first draft of your handbook yourself.

Did you know that HRN Performance Solutions offers a product to assist you in staying up-to-date and ensuring your policies are current?  We do – as part of our HR Suite product.  In today”s fast paced world, human resource management is one of the most rapidly changing and expanding fields.  Click to learn more…and stay tuned for future blogs with some important tips for employee handbooks!


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