In our recent post addressing the need for and benefits of an employee handbook, we mentioned the importance of having employees sign off on having received and read an organization's employee handbook. This is a vital step in creating and distributing a handbook because it encourages employees to read the document, ask questions about its contents, and signal that they understand the information provided. We also noted that sign-off should occur when each new edition of the handbook is given out.
Are all employers required to have an employee handbook? If you answered "no" to this question, you are technically correct. There are no federal or state laws that specifically require companies to create and maintain employee handbooks. HOWEVER, we strongly suggest doing so since, regardless of your company's size, having an employee handbook is a good business practice. There are many laws requiring employers to notify employees of workplace rights (e.g. EEO, sexual harassment, ADA, FMLA), and this document can help with that. In fact, a well-crafted employee handbook helps protect both employer and employees. Following are five specific reasons why having a handbook might be a good idea for your organization.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final ruling today for overtime pay when employees work more than 40 hours in a week. Employees who make less than $35,568 will be eligible for overtime effective January 1, 2020. This is expected to affect approximately 1.3 million American workers.
As an HR professional or manager, employee terminations are something that will need to be addressed, whether frequently or infrequently - and we all hope it end up being less frequent. However often it happens, the resulting turnover can end up being a very costly expense to organizations. A look inside the numbers illustrates how important retention really is.
Terminating an employee may be the worst task that HR professionals are required to undertake. Even if they occur only infrequently, the meetings almost always have the potential to be unpleasant or, in the worst cases, contentious. The best approach is to put your head down and just get through it, right?
There are actions you can take in advance of a termination meeting to increase the possibility of the relationship ending calmly and perhaps even amicably, with minimal disruption to your business. Follow these tips, approach the situation confidently, and you may be surprised at how well things actually go.
The research* provided by The Aberdeen Group on successful approaches to managing a workforce has so far focused on automation of employee management tasks and integration of workforce management systems.
The final and least technical practice is for an organization to always be improving an its approaches and methods of managing their overall workforce. Such improvement is a long-term proposition that takes place gradually. It requires persistence and a commitment to merging modern HCM tools with a consistently advancing workplace culture. As both become more developed and in aligned with one another, an organization's workforce shifts from a practical cost to a strategic and competitive advantage that provide the business with a true edge in the marketplace.
This four-part series takes research* done by The Aberdeen Group on successful approaches to managing a workforce and presents it in graphical form. Businesses that practice all of these behaviors tend to function efficiently and reduce - or eliminate - the wasteful costs involved in managing people.
Integration is the second beneficial practice. Many organizations still manage time and attendance with one automated system, payroll with another, and human resources with no intelligent business system at all. The systems that are in place tend not to communicate well, which is unfortunate, since they all fulfill critical functions with regard to workforce management and coordination, and miscommunication just means more time and more cost spent on otherwise simple tasks. Implementing a unified Human Capital Management system can store all of your employee information in a single location and transform your workforce from an expense to a strategic asset. Here are just some of a unified system.
“At-Will” Employment State
Oregon, along with most of the U.S. (with the exception of Montana), is an at-will employment state. At-will employment means employers can terminate employees at any time without reason, explanation, or warning (except for wrongful termination reasons, like race, religion, and disability). It also means an employee can quit at any time for any reason...or no reason at all. Typical exceptions to this include the following: Employment Contracts, Implied Contracts, Good Faith and Fair Dealing (i.e. employers terminating employees to avoid their duties like paying for healthcare, retirement, or commission-based work), and Public Policy.
I was talking to a friend the other day about our September HR topic, which is all about the correct approach to employee terminations. I knew this person's job history was quite extensive and varied, and I asked if they would summarize it for me. Following is what I heard: