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How to Update an Employee Handbook for 2016

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

There have been a number of significant changes in the law on the federal, state and local level that have or will have a substantial impact on workplace policies and employee handbooks. As a result, it is critical for an employer to take the time to review, amend and properly update its handbook for 2016* so that it reflects the latest legal requirements and is in legal compliance.

It is important for an employer to understand what the legal update is; how it affects employers, HR and the workplace; and how to develop and implement policies and procedures to comply. Further, other updates may be needed based on internal changes (e.g., benefits, performance management) that are not fueled by legal changes. To update an employee handbook for 2016, an employer should take the following steps:

*Note: These legal developments and steps outlined cover laws passed between January 1, 2015, and December 1, 2015 and/or with effective dates from January 1, 2015, forward. An employer may not wish to include a specific policy reflecting a specific law until its effective date, but should be prepared for the upcoming changes.