Put Your Handbook Into 20/20 Focus

Blog post from Mark Adams, EANE Director of Human Resource Services

Well, 2020 is here.  Can you believe it?  2020 is going to be a bell-weather year on many fronts for employers.

MA Handbook Updates

For Massachusetts employers, 2020 is the last year before the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law goes into effect.  Given its complexity and the robust protections that it provides, the impact of that law cannot be understated as the tentacles of that law can impact policies such as Attendance, Call-in Procedures, Leave of Absence, Discipline and more.  Are your policies as currently constituted ok?  If not, you may want to consider changing those policies now to better ease into the transition that 2021 will bring and also allow for you to iron out any kinks that you may encounter. 

CT Handbook Updates

For Connecticut employers, there is a Connecticut Sexual Harassment law that was enacted last fall.  While this law focuses predominantly on training, it nonetheless raises the awareness of that subject to greater heights as mandatory employee training goes into effect.  How do your anti-harassment and discrimination policies look?  Are they up-to-date?  Does your policy have up-to-date points of contact?

EANE has your Harassment Prevention Training needs covered! Click here for more information.

RI Handbook Updates

Rhode Island sees the full implementation of its Sick Leave Law as the transition rules associated with its implementation.  Unlike 2018 and 2019 which saw covered employees with the right to earn up to 24 and 32 hours respectively in those given years, in 2020 – covered employees have the right to earn up to (and use up to) 40 hours.  While many Rhode Island employers have leaped to the 40 hours outright at the law’s inception, for those who did not and were following the transitional rules, it may be worth a look to ensure that no additional adjustments are needed.

National Handbook Updates

Federally, employers with Department of Transportation (DOT) covered drivers need to adopt and distribute a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse Policy to these covered employees that chronicles their obligations to collect and report certain information to the FMCSA’s clearinghouse and defines employee’s obligations under this new law which took effect on January 1st.

Add into the mix the National Labor Relations Board’s continuing shift of policy interpretations on such topics as email, confidentiality and investigation policies and you have a number of subjects that may give employers pause when it comes to their current handbook that they have in place. 

Make it your company’s New Year’s Resolution to get your handbook updated in 2020.  It may be an endeavor that will help protect you and your organization in 2021 and beyond.

Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE) offers Handbook Workshops to help employers determine which policies need updating and how to layout a book that will make sense to your employees. Alternatively, EANE can develop and/or review your employee handbook for you. Click here for more information about EANE’s Handbook Services.