join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Total Articles: 45

NLRB Returns to Common Law Standard for Classifying Independent Contractors

A new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision has restored the standard for determining independent contractor status to one based on the traditional common-law test. In its decision, the NLRB emphasized the role that a worker's entrepreneurial opportunities play in determining independent contractor status.

Employers’ New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Ways to Update Your Employee Handbook by Year’s End

How long has it been since your organization updated its employee handbook? It’s time to brush off any layers of dust that have accumulated over the years and make it a priority to conduct a review prior to the year’s end. This article highlights five evolving areas employers can focus on now to start the quickly-approaching new year off on the right foot.

9 Ways to Recognize Risk in Your Employee Handbook for 2019

Having an employee handbook is essential as it can set forth various workplace rules and policies and also deal with myriad employee issues that arise time and again. Additionally, it can promote fairness and consistency across the board while showing courts, plaintiffs and government agencies that an employer is legally compliant.

PODCAST: What's the Deal with Employee Handbook Rules?

Recent cases and guidance from the National Labor Relations Board signal a shift in the standards for determining the legality of employer work rules. In this episode, Ruthie Goodboe from our Pittsburgh and Detroit (Metro) offices discusses the current state of the law and what all employers—unionized and non-unionized—need to know about employee handbook policies and practices.

HR Intel: Your New Employee Handbook is Already Old

Let’s be fair and assume that when you did your most recent handbook update – historically that would be end of 2017 or early 2018 – you prudently accounted for the dozens of laws that would change around the country on January 1st. Good news: you were ahead of the curve when you did that as many companies do not even perform an annual handbook review. It’s quite horrifying.

Keeping Your Employee Handbook Current When Laws Change Rapidly

“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”

New Year, New Employee Handbook: Rethinking Your Policies in the Wake of 2017

2017 has been quite a year, with ever-changing regulations, trends, and employee expectations at the local, state, and federal levels. In this environment of constant flux, an outdated employee handbook can leave an employer unnecessarily susceptible to potential claims. Reviewing and updating handbook policies to reflect the latest legal developments and best practices, however, can help your company avoid unnecessary exposure. Below are just a few of the areas in which you may want to consider revisions based on the happenings of 2017.

A New Years’ Resolution for Your Handbooks: Keep Your Arbitration Agreements Out

s the new year quickly approaches, it is a good time to review your company’s handbook and policies. One important issue to look for is whether your arbitration agreement is part of the handbook.

Handbooks – NLRB Gives Some Control Back to Employers

Executive Summary: On December 14, 2017, in a 3-2 decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) overruled the “reasonably construe” standard it established in Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia, 343 NLRB 646 (2004), to determine whether a facially neutral rule or handbook policy violates an employee’s Section 7 rights. See The Boeing Company and Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFTPE Local 2001, Cases 19-CA-090932, 19-CA-090948, and 19-CA-095296.

New NLRB Majority Calls off the War on Employee Handbooks

On December 14, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued an important decision in The Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (2017), where the Board’s new three-member majority established a new standard for evaluating the validity of employer rules, policies, and handbook provisions under the National Labor Relations Act ("the Act").

Making the Most of Your 2018 Employee Handbook

The end of the year is a perfect time to assess what is working and what is not when it comes to employee handbooks. It is also a good idea to run a compliance check and make sure your employee handbook is up to date with the latest laws and trends. Well just in time, XpertHR recently hosted a webinar with Littler attorney Deidra Nguyen entitled “Is that in Writing? Making the Most of Your 2018 Employee Handbook.”

Leaving Defenses On The Table In Drafting Employee Handbooks And Posting Notices

While off-the-shelf employee handbooks can be cost-efficient in the short-term, sometimes they leave important employer defenses on the table. This is particularly true for state-specific defenses.

10 Employee Handbook Mistakes Your Organization May Be Making

An employee handbook is an important communication tool between an employer and its employees and a valuable resource for setting forth workplace standards to guide employee behavior and performance expectations.

eLABORate: Second Circuit Hits the Pause Button on Employee Handbook Policies Banning Employees from Recording Conversations

In the modern workplace, where every employee’s cell phone is a recording device, a recent court ruling may cast serious doubts as to the validity of employer policies banning recording in the workplace.

Mid-Year Employee Handbook Checkup: Get Ready for 2018

If things get quiet around the workplace this summer, it may be a good idea to revisit your employee handbook and check out policies that may need to be reviewed and/or revised based on recent changes in federal, state and municipal law. With the first half of 2017 under our belts, some areas have been extremely busy in terms of legal developments affecting handbook policies.

HR’s Critical Role in Shaping Employment Policy

Most organizations would agree that their people are among their most important assets. So why is it that so few organizations believe that their HR department is one of their most important divisions? At a time when the President of the United States is calling for building America again, buying American again, and creating those great-paying American jobs again, Michael Lotito, co-chair of Littler's Workplace Policy Institute and a Littler shareholder, explores many of the reasons why HR is not just critical to this endeavor, but will be the driving force behind it.

New Hope for Employee Handbooks?

During the prior Administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scrutinized employment policies contained in handbooks and policy manuals, and found many of the policies unlawful under the theory that they “chilled” the exercise of employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Virtually no category of policy was immune from challenge—the NLRB invalidated policies ranging from confidentiality, cameras, and e-mail usage to media relations, just to name a few.

Update Your Employee Handbook for 2017

With 2017 around the corner, it’s time to review and update your employee handbook, if you haven’t already done so, to ensure it is legally compliant and reflects the latest developments affecting HR.

Does Your Company Handbook Prohibit Recording Work Conversation Without Management Approval – Time to Rewind

Does your Company Handbook prohibit recording conversations at work without management approval? If so, your policy is unlawful in light of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).

Employee Handbooks Can Help Retailers Meet Unique Compliance Challenges

As if high turnover rates, seasonal demand and supply chain management weren’t difficult enough, retail employers face a variety of compliance challenges that are unique to their industry.

Five Reasons Why New York Restaurants Should Have an Employee Handbook

Executive Summary: For a foodie, there’s no greater place to be than in New York.

eLABORate: NLRB Continues Aggressive Crackdown on Employee Handbooks

As first reported in the March 24, 2015 eLABORate, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has taken a highly aggressive position against many commonly utilized employee handbook policies. The NLRB alleges that overbroad employment policies could have a chilling effect on employees’ concerted activities protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “the Act”). This applies whether or not employees are members of a union. Under the NLRB’s 2015 interpretive guidelines, an employer’s policy will violate the NLRA if it could simply be “construed” as restricting Section 7 rights.

How Do Municipalities Affect Your Employee Handbook?

Municipalities are leading the way in expanding employee rights. So, if updating an employee handbook is not challenging enough, employers now find themselves trying to keep up with municipalities stretching their own legislating power to carve out rights and benefits for those residing or employed in their city.

New Year's Resolution for Employers: Review Employee Handbooks and Agreements

A Nov. 24, 2015, decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the Carolinas, about an arbitration provision included in an employee handbook serves as a warning to employers to review employee handbooks and agreements for the new year.

Your Employee Handbook in 2016: Top Seven Updates

With 2016 fast approaching, an employer should be sure to take the time to review and update its employee handbook so that it remains legally compliant. There have been a number of significant legal changes on the federal, state and local levels that have or will have a substantial impact on workplace policies.

An HR To-Do List for 2016: Handbooks, Posters and More

With the holiday season well underway, here are six items we think should be on every HR department’s to-do list for the new year.

New Year's Resolution for Employers: Review Employee Handbooks and Agreements

A Nov. 24, 2015, decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the Carolinas, about an arbitration provision included in an employee handbook serves as a warning to employers to review employee handbooks and agreements for the new year.

How Employee Handbooks Can Keep You Out of Court

An employee handbook can be a critical tool not only in setting forth the company’s values and culture, but in helping an employer stay out of court. In a recent XpertHR webinar, Littler Mendelson employment attorneys Christopher Cobey and Marissa Dragoo offered the following key tips to ensure your company’s handbook is in shape for 2016:

Arbitration Provisions in Employee Handbooks? If Done Right, Employees may be Compelled to Arbitrate

Many employers prefer to arbitrate employment disputes to save on legal expenses and bad publicity. Employees, however, often want to litigate in court in hopes of receiving a sympathetic jury. So how does an employer get an employee to agree to arbitrate when they do not have a written employment agreement? The 9th Circuit has held that if a mandatory arbitration provision is contained in your handbook and an employee knowingly consents to it, arbitration may be compelled.

Is Your Employee Handbook a Ticking Time Bomb?

When it comes to drafting employee handbooks and policy provisions, the stakes are high and employers who make mistakes, whether they be big or small, may cause confusion and potentially face costly litigation.

Distracted Driving: What's In Your Policy?

Long before cell phones, drivers faced various distractions: eating, grooming, attending to children, changing the radio, rubbernecking someone else’s accident, becoming absorbed in a conversation, or arguing. These distractions created safety hazards and, of course, still do. So, just what is “distracted driving”? Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the task at hand, driving safely, results in distracted driving.

Dealership Handbooks Are Being Picked Apart

Whether your dealership is unionized or you’ve never had to deal with organized labor, your employment policies are more likely now than ever to be targeted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Over the past two years, the board has been increasingly aggressive in striking down auto dealership employment policies that had been legal for years.

Why Your Company Needs A Handbook

The days of believing that a handbook can cause more harm than good are long gone. In today’s business environment, a handbook serves both as a sword to carve out your legal rights as well as a shield to protect them.

Why Your Company Needs A Handbook

The days of believing that a handbook can cause more harm than good are long gone. In today’s business environment, a handbook serves both as a sword to carve out your legal rights as well as a shield to protect them.

HR Answers: Creating a Great Employee Handbook

By Jennifer Sandberg Given the myriad government regulations applicable to credit unions and the need for strict financial controls, a credit union might perceive that an employee handbook is low on its list of priorities. However, no credit union can function without a strong team of employees and, oddly enough, employees like to know the rules. No matter the industry, no matter the company size, any company with even a few employees benefits from an up-to-date, lawful employee handbook.

Does Your Employee Handbook Work For You or Against You?

Employee handbooks are a great tool for management. A good handbook can help ensure consistent application of rules, save time by making policy decisions that don’t need to be reinvented every time the issue arises, guard against employees’ claims of ignorance of the rules (and help you win an unemployment claim), satisfy legal posting requirements, and even “sell” the company as a great place to work. Unfortunately, a bad handbook can set the wrong tone at your company, be too specific or not specific enough to be useful, unintentionally create an employment contract, or violate the law by maintaining unlawful policies even if they are never enforced. If you do not have a handbook, it was written a very long time ago, or it was written by anyone other than a competent labor and employment attorney or HR expert, you should strongly consider changing that.

Did Your DUI Lawyer Draft Your Employee Handbook?

Of course not. I just wanted to get your attention. The real question is when is the last time you reviewed your employee handbook to ensure, not only that it is legally compliant, but also to ensure that it accurately reflects your current policies and practices? That long, huh? If your handbook (along with your sense of fashion and hairstyle) is stuck in the 80s, 90s or early 2000s, it may be time for an update. An outdated handbook can create potential risks for employers and convert what should be your best friend into your worst enemy.

Writing An Employee Handbook Your Employees Will Read – And Heed, Part 2

In Part 1 of this article (Labor Letter March, 2011) we looked at some of the important points to keep in mind when writing an employee handbook. In this conclusion, we'll cover ten of the most important policies that should be included.

Writing An Employee Handbook Your Employees Will Read – And Heed, Part 1

Not complying with current law can be expensive in today's legal climate. Employers should review their employee handbooks and employment-related policies to make sure they are up to date. More importantly, employers should draft their handbooks so their employees actually read them and follow their policies.

Handbook/Policy Reviews - A Labor Law Necessity.

In the whirlwind surrounding the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), it might be easy to ignore the basic need to ascertain that employee handbooks and policy manuals pass National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) muster in the event of union organizing or concerted activity. Nevertheless, the changing of the guard at the NLRB under the Obama Administration makes this basic exercise even more important.

Put Handbook Review on Your 2009 "To Do" List.

Not complying with current law can be expensive in today's legal climate. One of your New Year's resolutions should be to review your employee handbook and employment-related policies to make sure they are up to date. When doing so, remember to draft your handbooks so that your employees actually read them and follow your policies. In this article we'll offer advice on how to write handbooks employees will actually read, and also identify 10 important policies that every employer should have in place to minimize the risks of employment-related litigation.

Provisions of an Effective Employee Handbook (Part II) (pdf).

The following is the second of a two-part series.

Provisions of an Effective Employee Handbook (pdf).

There is no law that requires you to have an employee handbook. Additionally, if you have a handbook, it does not necessarily follow that you will be in a better position to prevent or defend a lawsuit. So why go to the trouble?

Recent Cases Impact Common Workplace Policies (pdf)

Under recent case law, policies about common workplace issues such as confidentiality, complaints, solicitation, and fraternization may violate employee rights protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) - regardless of whether the employees belong to a union.

Employee Handbooks -- Protecting A Valuable Company Asset.

Employee handbooks can be great tools for employers, but like mutual funds and automobiles, they need periodic checkups and maintenance. A well-written and up-to-date employee handbook can be a litigation lifesaver, but an out-of-date handbook can be your worst nightmare. Recognizing and treating employee handbooks as important HR assets will pay off in the long run by providing consistency and guidance in day-to-day operations, and legal protection in the event of a lawsuit.
  • No Subtopics.