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.
Raise your hand if you have been “taking care of business” by updating your company's employee handbook within the last year? For those of you with your hands down - and we're guessing that's the majority - how many dread this task and wish you could just implement policies like the ones that follow?
Topics: HR Policies
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.
In what year did Congress pass the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which is believed by many to be the start of the path to Workers’ Compensation?
Our knowledge is your knowledge! That is the common expectation in the HR world, right? It's all about sharing resources, training, updates, and knowledge with employees, clients, and even other human resource professionals in our network. We do it because everyone in this role knows what a constant challenge it can be to keep up with changing legislation, benefit offerings, trends, policies, and compliance requirements. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox of HR information.
Do you agree with the majority of your generation when it comes to legalization of Cannabis?
As states continue to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, public support grows. According to Pew Research Center, in 2018, 62% of Americans believed Cannabis should be legalized. This is double what it was in 2000 (31%). The study also shows there are differences in generational views on legalization:
- 74% of Millennials
- 36% of Gen X
- 54% of Baby Boomers
- 39% of Silent Generation
Is cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana)* legal or illegal?
The answer is yes.
At present, cannabis is legal for medical use in 34 states and the District of Columbia. In 10 states and the District of Columbia, it is legal for recreational use. And yet it is illegal everywhere and for all purposes as far as the federal government is concerned. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to categorize it as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it is perceived as having high potential for abuse. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ascribed no accepted medical use to it, is not proceeding with any clinical trials, and offers no oversight for it.
Yet while governments may be confused, there's no need for your workplace to give your employees mixed messages.
- Can and should we screen social media accounts as part of the hiring process?
- We have good reason to believe an employee has been stealing from the register. What should we do?
- How do we keep an employee at-will but require them to give notice before leaving?
- Can we ask an applicant why they are leaving their current job?
Where do you turn for answers to these and other HR questions? Google? Colleagues? A coin flip?
Businesses spend an average of 25 hours per month trying to understand and resolve HR issues, and in too many cases much of that time is spent guessing or following poor advice. There's a better way to get reliable information faster, and we're inviting you to see how it works.
State versus federal, recreational versus medical, CBD versus THC. Since 1996, 33 states have approved medical marijuana/cannabis programs in some form, while 11 states have implemented recreational marijuana programs. Yes use of these substances is still considered a federal offense. So what does all of this mean for employers? If you're an employer asking this or one of many other related questions, we are here to help provide insight and guidance with our May HR theme: Marijuana & Other Substances in the Workplace.