It's Time to Review and Update Your Employment Policies

A flurry of recent changes to state employment laws, some in effect and some going into effect in the coming months, means it is time to update your policies and handbooks.  In addition to the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the Massachusetts Pay Equity Law, both of which will need policy updates, your handbook may also be affected by the following:
  • The MA Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) regulations were amended in 2017, adding numerous regulations and updating definitions. It is recommended employers who conduct CORI checks review and update policies.
  • The federal Whistleblower Protection Act was amended in 2017 to give further protections to employees against retaliation. It is recommended employers have a policy specifically prohibiting retaliation.
  • The MA Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2017 that employers must consider whether a reasonable accommodation can be granted to employees who use medical marijuana. It is recommended that employers have a written policy detailing processes for requesting accommodation and detailing how those requests will be evaluated.
  • A growing number of cities and states are enacting paid leave legislation. Employers need to ensure their policies comply with paid leave laws in the states in which they operate.
  • Employers should review their Anti-harassment policies to ensure the policies are both detailed in their prohibition of harassment, and that they advise employees on what to do if they experience or witness harassment. This includes not only sexual harassment, but all forms based on a protected characteristic (for instance in MA this includes gender identity discrimination).
HR Knowledge can update or create your company handbook with an efficient and effective process.
  • Complete review process: We begin our process with a comprehensive review of your current handbook to guarantee compliance with federal and state regulations. Don't have a handbook? We will create one for you.
  • Protect your business: Your employee handbook can help prevent liability by being comprehensive and reflective of actual practices. We can help you properly write your handbook so it is easily understood by both your management and your staff.
  • Collaborative Process: Your feedback is an indispensable part of creating an employee handbook that is tailored to your organization's specific needs.
  • Multi-state Capability: If your organization operates in multiple states, we can customize your handbook to reflect each state's regulations, ensuring you're in compliance no matter where you conduct business.
  • Employer Branding: We'll help you brand your employee handbook to reflect your organization's brand and culture by incorporating your company's mission, goals, and values along with your branding standards.
  • Concierge-level service: Enjoy our unparalleled "concierge-level" client service, which helps make HR Knowledge a leader in our industry.
Let us ensure that your company's employee handbook is comprehensive, known, and respected. Contact us for more information.

This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable law in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this advisory please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us .
About HR Knowledge, Inc. 
Founded in 2001, HR Knowledge, Inc. provides integrated outsourced HR services tailored to our clients' needs. Our full array of offerings includes managed payroll, employee benefits administration, and HR consulting and support services, such as training, compliance, and Hiring Process Managementâ„¢, our comprehensive recruitment service that takes you from finding to onboarding new talent. Our major markets are fast-growing small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which are venture-capital-backed; foreign companies expanding into the states; and charter schools.  Partnering with HR Knowledge can reduce your administrative costs, minimize your legal risk, help you find and develop talent, and alleviate the HR burden so that you can focus on your core business.

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