The professional landscape is rapidly changing especially with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and a new Presidential Administration.  Employers now more than ever need to ensure that they are following the myriad of Federal and State labor laws governing their organization.  From a policy perspective, employers need to make sure that their employee handbooks are updated accordingly.

    Top 2021 Employee Handbook Policies to Focus on:

    Workplace Safety Policies – Return to work, Office Safety and OSHA Compliance. OSHA is ramping up their guidance and enforcement efforts related to employer’s compliance with COVID-19 safety in response to the recent Presidential Executive Order on Protecting Health and Safety.  As the Executive order states: “Ensuring the health and safety of workers is a national priority and a moral imperative” and a “national program has been launched to focus on OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID-19 on violations” 

    Workplace Safety and Return to Work Policy Topics should include:

    • Coming to work safety procedures and symptoms to watch for
    • Worksite Exposure Protocols and Procedures
    • Not coming to work and isolation guidelines for employees with COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive Test results
    • Not coming to work and quarantine guidelines for employees who have been in close contact with an infected person
    • Safety and Hygiene guidelines while at work
    • Break/Meal and Communal Protocols
    • Client and Visitor Protocols
    • Paid Sick Leave under the FFCRA

    Paid Leave Laws – Paid leave is more complex than ever with Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), State and County Requirements.

    Anti-Discrimination Policies – Recent Supreme Court Rulings have expanded the protected classes.

    Remote work and Telecommuting Policies – Remote work guidelines, returning to workplace requirements and EEO and Disability compliance Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that allowing an employee to work from home could be a reasonable accommodation if an employee’s disability prevents him or her from successfully performing the job onsite, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship for the business.

    Wage and Hours, Social Media, Drug Free Workplace & Drug Testing

    FosterThomas’s senior level HR professionals specialize in drafting and reviewing employee handbooks and conducting HR Compliance Audits.  We can help review and update your employee handbook or conduct a comprehensive compliance review on your entire HR functions. For more information on how we can assist please contact an advisor today.

    For further questions, please contact a FosterThomas advisor today: