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Employee Handbook

Clark: It's time to review your workplace policies

Dec. 11, 2023
Workplace regulations may need to be changed after new employment laws enacted.

It can be difficult to navigate the changing landscape of employment laws. Even something as basic as your employee handbook may need to change.

At a recent NationaLease meeting, A. Scott Ruygrok, Jackson Lewis P.C., explained the purposes of an employee handbook:

  • To ensure legal compliance and protect employer rights.
  • To serve as an effective reference tool for employees.

Your employee handbook should, among other things, include all the mandatory policies required by federal, state, and local law. It should also demonstrate best practices regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act, discrimination and harassment policies, etc., and advise employees about the company's expectations regarding their performance and set minimum standards of conduct.

On Aug. 2, the National Labor Relations Board set new work rule standards. The board adopted what Ruygrok calls "a new employee-friendly legal standard for assessing the lawfulness of work rules." You will want to review your employee handbook in light of this change if your workforce is unionized. Areas you need to check are those covering electronic communications, confidentially/non-disclosure, speaking to the media, civility/professionalism, solicitation/distribution, on-duty conduct, off-duty access, and social media.

Ruygrok told the audience, "Be aware that work rules that were once lawful may not be going forward, or they may be lawful in one workplace but not another."

See also: Truckstop partners with Carrier Assure on fleet compliance

Other areas you may want to review include personal device use and remote/hybrid work. He explained, "Allowing employees to use personal devices for work purposes can reduce technology costs for employers but presents certain security risks."

Regarding remote/hybrid work, Ruygrok says it is important to set clear job roles and work hours and standardize the recording of hours, overtime, and meal/rest periods to ensure compliance.

He also said legislative trends affect employers, and you need to become aware of those trends and their impact on your business. Trends are occurring in pregnancy policies, severance agreements, non-compete agreements, pay transparency, privacy laws, and more.

There are a lot of developments occurring in the area of employment law, and now is a good time to review your policies and practices to ensure you comply with the latest laws.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation's largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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