Keeping up with employee policies can be overwhelming because they are consistently evolving and changing. However, it is necessary to review employment policies so that your company is not exposed to legal risks.
Here are 5 employment policies to review this year:
Pay transparency is when employers are open about pay-related information with prospects and current employees. Because of the increase in demand for pay transparency, some states have passed legislation and required employers be transparent about wages and salary.
Some of the states that currently have pay transparency laws include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, Washington, New York City, Jersey City, and Cincinnati.
If you are not in one of these states or cities that requires pay transparency, it is important to note that around 80% of employees want some form of pay transparency from their employer. So, it can be beneficial to consider pay transparency in your company.
Since 2022, many states and cities have enacted paid leave laws. These laws ensure that employees get paid a portion of their wage during certain circumstances when they are not able to work.
Here are some states with active paid leave laws:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
Because there has been an increase in paid leave laws among many states and cities, employers need to review their policies and make sure they comply with local laws.
Marijuana use and testing
Recreational use of marijuana is currently legal in 21 states, and medical use of marijuana is legal in 37 states. Many of these states protect employee rights from being denied a job or being terminated due to their personal use of marijuana outside of work.
If you have employees that live in a state that has legalized the use of marijuana, make sure policies comply with state regulations. If you employ people in a state where marijuana use is illegal, you need to decide if you want to test for use of marijuana and what the next steps will be if an employee has a positive test result. Some contacts with federal agencies and some workers’ compensation policies may have certain requirements related to drug testing and marijuana as well.
The drug test information and outcome if there is a positive result should be clearly stated in the employee handbook.
Federal law requires employers to reimburse their employees for expenses that cause an employee’s pay to drop below federal minimum wage. Some states also require by law that employers reimburse their employees for work-related expenses like office supplies and internet fees.
Employers should go through their reimbursement policies and make sure it covers what expenses are reimbursable, who owns the equipment, etc. It is important for employers to review their reimbursement policies, so they comply with state and local laws.
Hybrid and remote work arrangements
Many employers have remote or hybrid workers. Setting clear policies for these workers is essential. Clear policies can help hybrid and remote workers understand the rules and expectations and will help clear up any confusion that may arise.
When updating your employee handbook, consider adding work availability expectations, communication, technology guidelines and privacy and monitoring laws.
Having outdated policies exposes your company to legal risks, so it is important to frequently review your employee policies and ensure they meet federal and local laws. If you need help, reach out to our HR team at firstname.lastname@example.org