Most companies have spent lots of hours developing their employee handbook. While the time it takes to craft an effective manual is important, it is a waste if you do not keep it updated. For 2013, there are a number of things that should be included in this year’s update. According to hr.blr.com, there are four main points that need to be updated in every company’s handbook.

1) Employee Criminal History: If you are using background criminal history for employment screening, you need to make sure your policy is in writing and is used for the position you are hiring for. An example would be for jobs that include handling cash, a company would look at fraud or stealing in the prospects background. The reason this needs to be clear, is that the EEOC said back in April that using a blanket criminal history check can violate Title VII. Basically, that if you are doing a check, while the background offense may not have anything to do with doing the job, you would still give the background weight in hiring. Make sure this policy is updated and concise.

2) Social Media Policy: We have talked about these policies in the past, and while a written policy is best, there should be a lot of latitude in a social media policy. Social media, when done as part of a marketing and advertising strategy, works best when lots of people in the company are involved and engaged in the process. Obviously, putting things that are detrimental to the company on social media sites is bad, be careful in how the policy for that is written, and leave the company some wiggle room.

3) Sexual Orientation Discrimination: This is not a Federal Law…yet.

4) Adverse Conditions Policy: As it is freezing here in the Midwest, with more snow to come, and a spring that will bring storms, it is imperative that policies concerning business closings are addressed. With the destruction of Sandy on the east coast, at the very least make sure there is a clear line for communicating procedures to employees. Also, exempt/non-exempt employees are affected by closures. The policy should be very clear on business closing situations.

You can read more about how your employee manual should be updated here. Managepoint suggest that you call us to look at your current manual and help you with these updates, as well as your human resources, payroll and benefits needs.

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