Update Your Employment Handbook

Rick Dacri is an HR consultant. He and I have known each other for some time now. In these times it is even more important to be sure your employment handbook and procedures are in place and up to date.

Here are some suggestions from Rick’s recent newsletter:


There have been a number of changes on the federal level that make immediate changes to your handbooks and policy manuals necessary. These include:

ADA: On January 1 changes to the definition of “disability” were enacted. Adopt a policy that makes it clear to employees that they should notify you in the event they require any accommodations.

FMLA: The National Defense Authorization Act amended the FMLA to include military caregiver leave and active duty leave. Amend your policies to include these. The Act also expands eligibility to “next of kin.” Finally, eligibility notices, rights and responsibilities and designation notices have changed.

Retaliation Claims: There have been an increase in retaliation claims. Strengthen your policy against retaliation as part of your sexual harassment and discrimination policy. Consider adding a separate policy on retaliation.

Blogs: Make sure your policies on confidentiality and computer use covers personal blogs and what employees can and cannot say about your organization, management, employees and customers.

Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA): Though not yet law, you can expect this Act will pass this year giving unions an upper hand in organizing efforts. In anticipation of that, make sure your policies on emails and bulletin boards cover the issue of solicitation. Be sure you have a separate no-solicitation policy. Finally, consider adding a policy stating your organization’s position on unions.

Amend your handbooks now and communicate the changes to your employees. If you have not reviewed your handbook in years, this may be the time for a complete rewrite. The advice above is for those who want to do it themselves. If you need outside assistance, that’s where I come in.

I have written many handbooks. I can help you move through this process in a smooth and efficient way to ensure that you are both fully compliant and your handbook communicates what you want to your employees.


You can contact Rick at 800-892-9828 or email rick@dacri.com.