Category Archives: Employee Handbooks & Policies

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Rx for Safety: Workplace Violence Policies in Healthcare Settings

Hospitals, urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices — these are the places we go when we are sick and want to get better. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are the people who treat us, help us recover, and even save our lives in medical emergencies. Yet according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare … Continue Reading

California Employers Must Comply With Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements by July 1, 2024

A new California law taking place on workplace violence requires employers to develop and implement written plans and interactive training to prevent and respond to on-the-job threats of violence by July 1, 2024. Among other things, Senate Bill 553 requires adopting an “effective” written workplace violence prevention plan, either as a stand-alone document or as … Continue Reading

The Secret Is Out: Updates to New York’s Non-Disclosure Law

New York is closing out 2023 by ushering in sweeping amendments to its law governing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in certain settlement agreements. The amendments represent the next step in New York’s ongoing effort to regulate the use of NDAs, particularly when confidentiality is not a complainant’s preference. The changes took immediate effect on November 17, … Continue Reading

California, The Gift That Keeps On Giving: An Overview of Recently Enacted Laws That Impact California Employers

With 2023 coming to an end, now is the optimal time for employers to update their employee handbooks, policies, and procedures applicable to California workforces for the upcoming year. Here’s a roundup of several recently enacted California laws, with the majority set to take effect January 1, 2024.… Continue Reading

Jingle All the Way to the SEC: Employers (Even Privately Held) Under Scrutiny for Language in Separation Agreements Impeding SEC Whistleblower Rule 21F-17

While jingle bells have only just begun to ring, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement bells have been ringing steadily throughout year. In recent months, the SEC announced significant settlements with employers for violations of Rule 21F-17 — the SEC’s whistleblower protection rule — as a result of language in non-disclosure agreements, separation … Continue Reading

Pain and a Half: How DOL’s New Overtime Proposal Could Drastically Change Your Business

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently rocked the business world when it announced a Proposed Rule that, if implemented in its current form, would force employers around the country to increase salaries for millions of currently exempt workers or convert them to non-exempt employees eligible for overtime. The Proposed Rule would dramatically increase the … Continue Reading

Looking for Skeletons in the Closet? Avoid These Background Check Mistakes

A scary surprise is fun to encounter when you are in a haunted house at a Halloween event, but not so much fun when you are performing a background check on a potential employee. Even worse is finding out after the fact that you failed to comply with one of the many legal requirements, and … Continue Reading

Alert: The 2022 EEO-1 Collection Period Will Begin October 31

EEO-1 reporting season will soon be upon us. As we previously wrote, the 2022 EEO-1 reporting deadline has been a moving target. Almost since its founding in the 1960’s, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has collected data from employers about the demographics of their workforces as a means of ensuring compliance with equal employment … Continue Reading

As School Bells Ring, Employers Should Review School-Related Activities Leave Policies

Another school year is upon us, which means employers around the country should study up on school-related activities leave policies. While there is no federal law mandating that employers give employees time-off to attend school-related activities for their children, there are many states across the country that do. Employers who fail to do their homework … Continue Reading

Back to the Future: Employers Must Buckle Up for a Return to the NLRB’s New (Old) Standard for Workplace Rules

Employers, whether they have unionized employees or not, must navigate the aftermath of another change in the ever-evolving landscape of labor law. A recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) decision has sent ripples through the realm of employer workplace rules. The decision has prompted all employers, both unionized and union-free, to revisit and … Continue Reading

Promoting Employee Mental Health Well-Being Pays Off

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the perfect time for employers to check on the mental well-being of their employees and examine their current policies, because doing so will ultimately improve their bottom line. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have reported experiencing stress at work due to compensation not keeping up with inflation, longer … Continue Reading

Let’s “Chat-a-Bot” Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

With the rise of chatbots, such as ChatGPT (OpenAI), Bard (Google), and Claude (Anthropic), and other generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools developing at a rapid pace, employers need to consider whether, and to what extent, employees should be permitted to use them in workplace. On the one hand, there are confidentiality and privacy issues, bias … Continue Reading

Your Employee Benefit Plans May Need a Check Up: Nearing the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Where did the time go? Just a brief 1,199 days after it began, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is coming to an end. The PHE formally ends on May 11, 2023, short of any unexpected developments. And that means the time is now (or 4:50 p.m. on May 10, based on historical trends) for benefit plan … Continue Reading

New Protections for Working Mothers: The PUMP Act

Nursing mothers now have pumped up rights at work. Congress recently passed the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act which went into effect on December 29, 2022, and expands the employment protections previously afforded to nursing employees through the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law (Break Time Law). Despite American Academy of … Continue Reading

Handle With Care: Dealing With the Aftermath of Layoffs

Mass layoffs have been the topic of discussion in the technology industry over the last several months, with tens of thousands of employees laid off so far in 2023 alone. In many cases, the layoffs are tied to concerns related to the current economic environment, as companies exercise caution in reducing expenses in anticipation of … Continue Reading

Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights: New Jersey Enacts Trailblazing Protections

Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights: New Jersey Enacts Trailblazing Protections New Jersey has recently trailblazed a path in the temporary staffing market by enacting a “Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights.” In a possible harbinger for things to come nationwide – particularly in more worker-friendly states—New Jersey’s new law represents the most significant step yet that … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: The NLRB Limits Severance Agreements

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) is making waves yet again. This time the NLRB has held that certain confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements violate Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act), which is another significant step in the NLRB’s continued push to expand the protections … Continue Reading

2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection Now Set to Begin Mid-July 2023

The EEO-1 reporting deadline has become a moving target, so covered employers need to sharpen their data collection and be ready to upload. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that the collection window will open in “mid-July” 2023, not April, as initially scheduled. Covered employers should expect to have the same amount … Continue Reading

How To Be “Smart” About Using Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly revolutionizing the workplace. More and more employers are relying on algorithms or automated tools to determine who gets interviewed, hired, promoted, compensated, disciplined, or terminated. If adequately designed and applied, AI can help employees find employment, match employers with valuable employees, and advance diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace. … Continue Reading

What’s in Store for the Next Four Years? – Part Two: The EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) recently published its substantive agency enforcement priorities to combat employment discrimination and promote inclusive workspaces over the next four years. The EEOC periodically adopts a multi-year plan to guide fulfillment of its mission to prevent and remedy unlawful discrimination in employment. We discussed the EEOC’s overall … Continue Reading

What’s in Store for the Next Four Years? The EEOC’s Strategic Plan

The EEOC promises to secure greater equitable relief, to better investigate systematic discrimination, and to improve its customer service over the next four years, among other New Year’s resolutions. In its draft EEOC Strategic Plan 2022-2026 (released November 4, 2022), the agency sets forth 3 overarching goals and 15 identified performance measures for the purpose … Continue Reading

LGBTQ+: What’s the Fuss?

The Respect for Marriage Act is now law, upholding recognition of interracial and same-sex marriages, and the U.S. Supreme Court has held that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but what rights do LGBTQ+ employees have in the workplace and how inclusive must employers be? The EEOC’s attempt to provide … Continue Reading

Don’t Be Left Out In The Cold on Effective Performance Reviews: Five Tips You Need To Know

‘Tis the season for employee performance reviews! In the midst of the chaos that is the holiday season and end-of-year deadlines, employee performance reviews are often scheduled during this busy time of the year. An impending performance review may cause stress and angst for both the manager who has to issue the performance review and … Continue Reading

Saying The Quiet Part Out Loud: When Employee Talk About “Quiet Quitting” Could Become Protected Speech

By now, many employers have heard about “quiet quitting.” Though the term’s meaning varies depending on who’s using it, it generally refers to employees doing only as much work as the job requires without going the extra mile. Employers may view quiet quitting as lack of engagement or laziness, but employees may see it simply … Continue Reading
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