Overview: Effectively managing employees requires many things from HR. Employee management has many areas of concern. First and foremost, it is critical to draft and implement employee handbooks as well as workplace rules and policies. This sets ground rules for employee conduct and behavior and ensures consistency and uniformity when faced with common workplace issues. With employers under constant scrutiny, it is important to maintain and enforce policies against employee discrimination and harassment and guarantee compliance with equal employment opportunity laws. Employers should also make sure that they know how to properly respond to employee request for leave and time off from work as well as evaluate employee performance and determine advancement and promotion opportunities.
Other challenges employers may be faced with when managing a workforce include monitoring employee activity while protecting the employee right to privacy, providing training to supervisors and employees at all levels, and communicating with employees regarding workplace issues, employer expectations and discipline.
Trends: Federal, state and municipal laws are expanding equal employment opportunity laws to caregivers, pregnant women, transgender workers and others. There is also a growing movement among the states to pass legislation aimed at combating workplace bullying and ensure a healthy workplace.
Further, with an increase in employee use of the internet and social media, there are two issues employers should be keenly aware of. There is a move for legislation to prevent employers from requiring that employees and applicants provide their user names and passwords to social media networks. Second, the NLRB has shown that it is willing to strike down common workplace policies regarding social media, employee communications, investigations and confidentiality claiming such policies interfere with the right of union and non-union employees to engage in protected concerted activity.
Author: Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
Posting requirements vary by statute and by the states and municipalities where an employer does business. As a result of the last legislative session, a number of additional workplace postings will be necessary for employers operating in certain states to remain compliant.
Effective December 22, 2014, New York employers must provide a leave of absence to employees performing duties as volunteer firefighters or members of a volunteer ambulance service during a declared emergency.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to performance appraisals.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to the terms of employment.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee communications.
Employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of reinstatement following active duty in the state's military forces and to demonstrate compliance with the law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook to communicate the employer's Military Leave - Reinstatement From Active Duty policy to employees.
Employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of leave for volunteer emergency responders and to demonstrate compliance with West Virginia law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook to communicate the employer's Volunteer Emergency Responder Leave policy to employees.
Employers with five or more full-time employees that seek to inform employees about the availability of leave for a public official should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook to communicate the employer's Public Officials Leave policy to employees.
Employers seeking to show their compliance with West Virginia's law regarding cell phone use and texting while driving, to promote driving safety and to limit liability from accidents involving employees who are driving and/or using electronic devices for business-related purposes or in a company-owned vehicle should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook to communicate the employer's Cell Phone Use/Texting While Driving policy to employees.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.