HR Support on Employee Communications

Editor's Note: Formulate internal communications programs to limit risks and encourage dialogue.

Marta MoakleyOverview: Employers have a broad spectrum of choices for communicating with employees. Bulletin boards, while still a viable means of communication, have long been joined by email messages, tweets and Facebook postings.

Internal and external communications should be monitored and limited by employers to ensure consistency in organizational messages and compliance with federal, state and local laws. Employers should address communications issues in a comprehensive manner, referencing such topics as: confidential business information; media contacts; Internet use; at-will disclaimers; restrictive covenants; use of mobile devices; and communications training. Employers should also focus on keeping the avenues of communication open even in challenging times, such as during a corporate merger or upon an employee's exit from the organization.

Trends: Social media policies, at-will disclaimers, and communications during internal investigations continue to be scrutinized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Union-free, partially unionized and unionized employers need to heed warnings from the NLRB regarding the unlawful restriction of employees' right to engage in protected concerted activities.

Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Employee Communications

  • Media Relations and Press Interviews Policy

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    An employer may use this policy to ensure that the employer has an effective strategy to interact with media, whether the media requests information or the employer initiates contact with the media. A written policy is helpful to inform all employees of who may speak on behalf of the employer, what information may be disclosed, and the consequences for violation of the policy.

  • Colorado Amends Distracted Driving Law: Handbook Statement Updated

    Date:
    16 April 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Effective March 26, 2015, amendments to Colorado's distracted driving law now permit a driver to use an earphone or earpiece when paired with a cell phone to allow for hands-free operation of the device.

  • Employee Communications

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Effective employee communication provides the foundation for positive and cooperative working relationships. This section assists employers in implementing a disciplined, planned approach to employee communications, and avoiding ad hoc solutions.

  • How to Communicate With Employees During the Election Process

    Type:
    How To

    Employers must be careful when communicating with employees during the union election process. The steps detailed in this How To provide best practices regarding how to communicate with employees in the time leading up to and during the actual election.

  • Employee Communications: Arkansas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Arkansas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employee communications.

  • Respond to a Workplace Incident Before Investigating - Checklist

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    This checklist is designed to walk employers through the process of responding to a complaint or allegations before actually launching an internal investigation. Employers are obligated to take quick, effective and reasonable action in responding to workplace complaints, even before they conduct investigations or collect the results of investigations, in order to guard against liability and to protect employees from misconduct.

  • Internal Investigations Policy

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    Internal investigations are crucial for employers in responding to allegations of workplace misconduct. This internal investigations policy document informs your employees as to the purpose of conducting investigations, what their rights and responsibilities are during investigations and how the employer will use the results it obtains in the course of investigating. Having an effective policy is the first step toward conducting an effective investigation.

  • Internal Investigations

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Employers are required by law to conduct internal investigations when they learn of certain types of misconduct in the workplace, including sexual harassment, unsafe work practices or violations of federal, state or local laws. This section assists HR professionals in selecting the right investigator, interviewing witnesses, documenting the investigation and concluding the investigation.

  • District of Columbia Wage Theft Laws Take Effect: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    13 April 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The District of Columbia's Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 and its emergency amendments recently took effect. Several sections of XpertHR are affected and have been updated.

  • Don't Spill the Beans: Employer's Representative's Statement May Be Admissible to Prove Discriminatory Intent in Decision to Terminate

    Date:
    06 April 2015
    Type:
    Law Reports

    In Makowski v. Smith Amundsen, LLC, No. 10-3330 (7th Cir. 2011), the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided whether an employer's representative's statement could be used to prove discrimination in a decision to terminate an employee on FMLA maternity leave.