When is the last time that you reviewed your company’s Employee Handbook? If it has been awhile, this recent news story may cause you to move that item up the priority list.
The article discusses how T.G.I. Fridays has come under fire as a result of having policies that were found to be out-of-date or missing key information.
Due to the investigation by the Department of Labor, the restaurant chain has needed to pay fines and devote significant time to update their policies.
Compliance Requirements and Your Employee Handbook
Near the end of the story, there is a quote that should make companies of all sizes take note: “These agencies (DOL, NLRB, EEOC) do have the authority to issue investigative subpoenas, so one way or the other they may ultimately have access to the handbook.”
Has the thought of handing your company’s employee handbook over to an agency today sent a slight shiver up your spine? For many, I’m sure the answer is yes. Here are three key steps that you may take to resolve potential violations:
- Review Existing Policies: There have been many changes over the past couple of years to long-standing laws, including HIPAA, FMLA, COBRA, and others. Work with the members of your compliance team (internal and external) to identify which areas need to be updated in your handbook.
- Identify and Add New Policies: Items such as mobile technology and social media are having a significant impact on the world of Human Resources and employee communications. If your company does not have policies that address those areas, it certainly may be time. Also, spend time researching other new policies that may need to be added.
- Communicate Clearly with Employees: Once you’ve updated your Employee Handbook, it’s critical that you clearly communicate with employees. Whether you are distributing printed or electronic copies of the handbook, make sure to notify employees via email, your intranet, departmental meetings, and at other relevant opportunities.
Additional Resources For You
I hope that you find this information helpful as you seek to meet your compliance requirements. At CBG Benefits, we actively provide guidance and resources to assist our clients.
One such resource is a comprehensive online HR library, which contains a sample Employee Handbook, full of new and updated policies that can easily be repurposed.
To learn how CBG Benefits can help your company, please call us at 781-759-1222 or leave a message via our online contact form.