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Time to revise those handbooks!

November 29, 2011

The turkey is done, the tree is up, the lights are hung. Time to turn to that other year-end festivity: revising your employee handbooks to track new laws. And the stockings are pretty full for California employers this year. So pull the policies off the shelf, dust them off, and get them updated. Pronto.

Here’s the rundown:

Most of these changes are effective January 1, 2012. Some have already happened. The clock is ticking, and I’m not talking about the ball dropping in Times Square.

While you’re doing all these revisions, give some serious thought to training, too. A handbook or procedure manual is useless if your supervisors and HR personnel don’t know what’s in it and how to apply it properly. In fact, one of the things the plaintiffs’ bar likes best is pointing out how the real-world practice in the workplace differs from the policies the employer has imposed. An investment in an annual refresher course would be money well spent. Or better yet, hire someone (like, ahem, your humble author), who includes a training session with each handbook or policy revision project. Heck, while we’re plugging, might as well point out the risk management benefits of an annual employment practices audit, to confirm what you’ve got right and improve what you could do better — hopefully before the class action gets filed and you’ve got two sets of lawyers (yours and the plaintiffs’) to pay.

Give your business the year-end gift that keeps on giving — employment liability mitigation. (Sure, jewelry sounds better, but believe me, the exposure is much more expensive if you don’t keep a lid on it.) Get your policies updated, and your managers trained on the changes, as soon as possible.

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  1. Good Information… Thanks for posting…

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  1. Policies & Procedures Acknowledgment Form « Lavoce

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