A recent small business compliance survey by ComplyRight reports that:
Today’s workplaces are changing, and employee manuals need to reflect the shifts that are occurring. Addressing the latest workplace trends can help set clear boundaries, prevent misunderstandings and ultimately protect your business.
“In addition to communicating necessary details, written policies help promote consistency,” says Shanna Wall, Esq., Compliance Attorney for ComplyRight.
“This becomes especially important so you can’t be accused of playing favorites or treating employees unfairly.”
Depending on your business, you may need to include any number of these 7 emerging company policies for employees in your employee manual.
Included are some questions to ask yourself — and some tips on what these policies should include.
Today’s workplaces are changing, and employee manuals need to reflect the shifts that are occurring.
Sexual harassment continues to be a top, high-profile concern in today’s workplace. Informing and educating your employees through an up-to-date sexual harassment policy is critical — and some states require that your business have a sexual harassment policy in place. You must safeguard your business by communicating zero-tolerance guidelines for unwanted, unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or actions.
Questions to address in a sexual harassment policy:
Pointers for your sexual harassment policy:
Under OSHA, employers have an obligation to protect employees from workplace violence, which may include physical violence (punching, kicking, hitting, biting and slapping), harassment, intimidation and even disruption. You can address weapons and violence separately or combine them in one policy.
Questions to address in a weapons in the workplace policy:
Pointers for your weapons in the workplace policy:
Many companies allow employees to work remotely from home or some other location outside the main office. However, not all jobs and employees are well-suited for remote work, so you need to clarify the company’s position.
Questions to address in a remote worker policy:
Pointers for your remote worker policy:
As more and more employees use their own devices for business, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, you need to consider privacy and security matters. There’s also the concerns of a device being lost or stolen.
Questions to address in a bring your own device policy:
Pointers for your bring your own device policy:
Although a social media policy can help protect your company’s reputation online and beyond, you should draft it to withstand scrutiny from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Questions to address in a social media policy for the workplace:
Pointers for your social media workplace policy:
This is a hot topic due to expanding laws legalizing marijuana use for medical and/or recreational purposes. Although marijuana is still against federal law (so you can prohibit it and test for it), you must be mindful of state laws that may allow more employee rights.
Questions to address in a drug and alcohol workplace policy:
Pointers for your drug and alcohol workplace policy:
Due to closer scrutiny by the NLRB, you no longer can issue a broad policy that requires employees to keep all information confidential. Rather, you must be specific — and careful not to include items the NLRB doesn’t deem private, such as wages and working conditions.
Questions to address in a confidentiality policy:
Pointers for your confidentiality policy:
Although the specifics with these trending company policies will vary depending on your business these guidelines will get you started. More advice: “When drafting a workplace policy, it’s important to be concise, to use common, everyday language and to avoid absolutes such as always, never, must or shall,” says Wall.
For additional guidance on how to steer your company in the right direction, download our free tip sheet, 7 Top Company Policies for Today’s Changing Workplace. For a practical, online tool for creating, communicating and maintaining company policies, consider the Company Policies Smart App from HRdirect.
An employer’s right to discipline employees for actions outside the workplace is not always clear-cut. Even in states covered by … Read more
Unless you live under a rock, avoiding political discussions has become virtually impossible these days. An unconventional campaign and presidency … Read more
Political conversations have spilled into every area of our lives, including our workplaces. And while workplace discussions about the latest … Read more
As an employer or manager, you’re responsible for keeping workers safe. This includes preventing violence in the workplace. According to … Read more
Policies addressing violence and weapons in the workplace are essential for all employers. But they’re often ignored by small businesses. … Read more
As Americans, we have a right to free speech. But does that protection apply to the workplace? Many people wrongly … Read more
Get the latest news and free resources from ComplyRight delivered straight to your inbox.
You've just unlocked a wealth of FREE resources to build HR confidence.
ComplyRight provides free educational resources related to employee management, labor law and compliance. Better understand HR basics and learn how to address specific issues by browsing our knowledge center.
At ComplyRight, our mission is to free employers from the burden of tracking and complying with the complex web of federal, state and local employment laws, so they can stay focused on managing and growing their businesses.
©2019 ComplyRight, Inc.