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The Importance of Updating Employee Handbooks

We recommend an annual review of your company’s employee handbook. Why is this important? First, let’s review the importance of Employee Handbooks in general.

A thorough, concise, and legally sound Employee Handbook is imperative for your business. Employee Handbooks are the guide for your employees in which expectations of conduct and the tone of culture is conveyed. Upon hire, new employees should be expected to read your Employee Handbook and sign an acknowledgment form, agreeing to abide by its policies. This signed acknowledgment form protects you, as the employer, from many possible legal risks when defending your policies after employee missteps, and in the worst-case scenario - during a potential lawsuit. In short, a comprehensive and compliant Employee Handbook is essential to your business.

So why should you update your Employee Handbook annually? Your employee handbook should be geared to the employment laws of the state(s) your business is in. State statutes addressing employment issues can change from year to year. There could be changes in voting laws, drug and alcohol testing laws, privacy-related laws prohibiting recording, etc. Even city ordinances can impact policies within your handbook. Additionally, federal laws are added or amended frequently; for example, the new PUMP Act, HR 3110, requires virtually all employers to provide nursing mothers with a private space to express breast milk.

An annual review of your Employee Handbook is critical to keep you and your business out of legal trouble. If you need assistance updating your Employee Handbook, reach out to McGroarty & Co. today.


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