Employment and labor laws are constantly changing, whether at the federal, state, or even local level. A company’s failure to keep up with and adapt to these changes could mean serious liability and loss of reputation. Creating and adopting an employee policy and procedure handbook is a good first step to ensuring your business is being run responsibly. But it can’t be allowed to become outdated. Has it been a while since you reviewed or modified your employee policies? Count on SederLaw to advise you.
Why Should You Review Your Policies And Procedures?
Changing political landscapes can bring new administrations and therefore new laws at the federal level. The same is true at the state level in Massachusetts, where elections can alter the priorities of the legislature. As just one example, from August 2014 to July 2015, new reforms were enacted or implemented in our state that touched on the following matters (among others):
- Parental leave
- Domestic violence leave
- Sick leave
- Pay practices
These were important changes, made in a relatively short time frame. Many of the new laws that go into effect in Massachusetts do so in January, which makes this a good time to review your employee policy and procedures manual. But you should always be mindful that legislation can be enacted any time, so modification should be viewed as an open-ended process.
Further complicating the matter is the fact that many employers have offices in multiple locations, whether in Massachusetts or throughout the country. Your business could be affected by changes that take place here, in another state, in another city, or nationally. Because of the variety of laws that exist just within Massachusetts, your attorney should be well-versed in employment law.
To err on the side of caution, some employers will choose to create policies that comply with the most restrictive laws and regulations affecting their business in multiple jurisdictions. However, this may not always be the most cost-effective solution. More rules and restrictions translate to higher compliance costs, which could be unnecessary for the vast majority of jurisdictions in which the business operates. An attorney can guide you on the best approach as you review and modify your employment policies.
As suggested above, not all revisions are necessary to comply with more restrictive laws. Sometimes revisions to employment practices and procedures can help a company save money by loosening rather than tightening those rules. The objective of having an employment law attorney assist with your company’s policies is to not only ensure you’re following the law but that you are not wasting money with unnecessary compliance.
Failure to comply with the law could spell significant fines, litigation, and damages. These in turn can divert precious time and resources away from the essential task of running your business. On top of this, the bad publicity associated with these legal problems can severely damage your company’s reputation. Employees and other stakeholders can lose trust in leadership while competitors take advantage of your weakened market position.
An outdated policy and procedure manual can do more harm than simply not having one at all. At least the absence of specific policies might encourage an employee to ask what a given rule is and then receive the correct information. The real danger is an employee assuming that a policy or procedure still applies, or the company continuing to use one that should have been discarded long ago. Neglecting to review and revise rules not only exposes the company to liability but causes employee confusion.
Contact SederLaw Today For A Consultation
Has it been a while since your business updated its policies and procedures? Do you need a written manual to ensure your employees and management are on the same page and your company is compliant with the law? Turn to SederLaw. We help employers succeed by understanding their rights and responsibilities. We can schedule your consultation today.