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If there’s ever a time to rethink your handbook, it’s now.  The timeliness has less to do with the 2024 year — the obvious time to roll out a replacement handbook — and more to do with the wave of changes that recently swept the workplace.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) now has submitted its new Employee Handbook changes that can make Employee Handbooks legally unlawful. The NLRB has the authority to monitor and change employee handbooks for union and non-union workplaces. The NLKRB mandates that employee handbook policies do not prevent employees from discussing with their colleagues issues about workplace issues like pay, benefits, and safety issues, and speaking negatively about the company or supervisors. This legal protection is called “Concerted Activity from Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Federal, State, and Local regulations are in place and regulatory agencies are revving up audit focus for 2023 and beyond. Many state regulations and multi-state regulations are impacting which laws supersede federal regulations.

Workers’ new expectations may clash with employers’ old policies. Policies that ban flexibilities, certain policies as per the National Labor Relations Board, and concerted activity may feel frustratingly out of date. And yet, many organizations punt on handbook refreshes. I think a lot of companies don’t update their employee handbooks as often as they should.

With the shift to hybrid work/Remote work, organizations must set clear expectations around communication, and performance. Managers and associates both play a significant role in making [hybrid work] successful within their teams, and HR teams have an opportunity to provide tools and guidelines to make it even easier.

With 2024 here, now is the time for employers to consider updating their employee handbooks. Handbooks, handed out at orientation and often afterward ignored, are an important compliance tool for employers addressing all employment issues. Handbook policies can be a helpful tool when defending a variety of employment claims, such as wage and hour violations, harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and leave disputes.

  • Learn why Employers need to follow the National Labor Relations Board and why they should care about policies that can be unlawful with new requirements.
  • Participants will learn, identify, and prepare for employee handbook violations.
  • Participants will be aware of all the new regulations that will impact their company.
  • The course will identify the most common employee handbook violations and how to mitigate them.
  • Participants will learn which regulatory agency will focus on which regulation and mitigate the risk
  • Participants will learn what policies will land them in hot water.
  • What policies are “must have” for your employee handbook?
  • Social media and the impact of penalties when employees choose to speak negatively about their Employer.
  • New paid leave laws and how Employers can manage them
  • Impact of “Ban the Box” regulations on criminal background screening regulations
  • States where asking candidates for salary history has been prohibited. This means removing the salary history in handbooks, applications, and career websites.
  • Learn What employee handbook policies will be outdated before the year is out
  • Identify the best practices that can propel your company to be compliance-savvy
  • Learn how your managers/supervisors can be your Ambassadors in workplace compliance or your downfall
  • See how training can be one of your “first line of defense” in litigation.
  • Best practice on communicating your updates to employees and having them acknowledge your employee handbook according to guidelines.

An outdated handbook, however, can be a liability, particularly for multistate employers with a widely dispersed workforce. These employers must be attuned to the myriad of different employment laws and must be aware of new developments in any state where any employee is located. These complicated compliance requirements may seem tedious or burdensome, especially in an environment where employers are already struggling with recruiting and hiring, but failure to do so can be costly. However, according to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the National Labor Relations Board’s employee handbook requirements for union and non-union employees, we are more than ever policies that Employers can violate policies that have been changed by the new administration.

  • Federal Contractors
  • Department Heads
  • Human resources professionals
  • Compliance professionals
  • Payroll Professionals
  • Managers/Supervisors & new and potential managers
  • Office Managers responsible for HR responsibilities
  • The person responsible for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Margie Faulk is a senior level human resources professional with over 15 years of HR management and compliance experience. A current Compliance Advisor for HR Compliance Solutions, LLC, Margie, has worked as an HR Compliance advisor for major corporations and small businesses in the small, large, private, public and Non-profit sectors.  Margie has provided small to large businesses with risk management strategies that protect companies and reduces potential workplace fines and penalties from violation of employment regulations. Margie is bilingual (Spanish) fluent and Bi-cultural.

Margie’s area of expertise includes Criminal Background Screening Policies and auditing, I-9 document correction and storage compliance, Immigration compliance, employee handbook development, policy development, sexual harassment investigations/certified training, SOX regulations, payroll compliance, compliance consulting, monitoring US-based federal, state and local regulations, employee relations issues, internal investigations, HR management, compliance consulting, internal/external audits, and performance management.

Margie is a speaker and accomplished trainer and has created and presented compliance seminars/webinars for over 16 US and International compliance institutes. Margie has testified as a compliance subject matter expert (SME) for several regulatory agencies and against regulatory agencies, thank goodness not on the same day. Margie offers compliance training to HR professionals, business owners, and leadership to ensure compliance with workplace and regulations.

Margie’s unique training philosophy includes providing free customized tools for all attendees. These tools are customized and have been proven to be part an effective risk management strategy. Some of the customized tools include the I-9 Self Audit. Correction and Storage program, Ban the Box Decision Matrix Policy that Employers can provide in a dispute for allegations, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Compliance Guide, Drug-Free Workplace Volatile Termination E-Book and other compliance program tools when attendees register and attend Margie’s trainings.

Margie holds professional human resources certification (PHR) from the HR Certification Institution (HRCI) and SHRM-CP certification from the Society for Human Resources Management. Margie is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE).

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