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 employment 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 requests 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
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced an award of more than $10 million to a whistleblower. The award is the largest made by the agency to date.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to the Protecting Guardsmen's Employment Act.
A new handbook statement has been added and the table of contents has been updated in the Utah employee handbook as a result of an amendment to the Utah Antidiscrimination Act requiring an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related conditions, effective May 10, 2016.
Utah employers seeking to inform employees of the availability of reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related conditions and to demonstrate compliance with the Utah Antidiscrimination Act should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming San Francisco paid family leave ordinance.
Updated to reflect forthcoming discipline concerns under the Workplace Privacy Act.
Updated to reflect employee communications protections in forthcoming Workplace Privacy Act.
Updated to include notice-posting requirements under forthcoming amendments to unemployment insurance law.
Updated to reflect release of new version of the poster in April 2016.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.