New Oregon State & Fed Laws for 2020 are now in force!
With employment laws rapidly changing and evolving, it is important for employers to annually review and revise their employee handbooks to ensure that their policies, practices, and procedures are compliant with federal, state, and local laws.
The Hot List
Does your current company handbook have the latest information on the following new Oregon laws and regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2020?
- Equal Pay Update – SB 123
- Workplace Fairness – SB 726
- Public Employees Harassment Training – SB 479
- Pregnancy Accommodations – HB 2341
- Birth Accommodations – HB 2593
- Non-Compete Agreements – HB 2992
- Paid Family Leave – HB 2005
- Required Paperwork – New OR W4 / New I-9 Form
- OregonSaves – SB 164 Mandated Retirement Savings Law
- FLSA Salary Threshold
A company handbook, in its most basic form, is a list of items that employers are legally required to address such as HR policies and best practices, employee benefits, and company requirements for those employed in your organization. An employee handbook is a critical communication resource for both the employer and the employee. It also provides guidance and information related to the company’s history, mission, values, policies, and procedures—like the company’s sick leave policy, anti-harassment policy, and company drug testing requirements.
A handbook is usually given upon hiring a new employee, but if your company handbook goes through a major rewrite, then a “re-issue” campaign should be undertaken—to make sure all employees—new or long-term, are familiar with current company policies and procedures. Why is it important to periodically have all employees review their handbook? Because company handbooks have often been used in legal cases as a protection for the employer against various types of employee claims in court. Maintaining an up-to-date company handbook that clearly and concisely outlines company policies can be your best defense.
Some employers use their intranet or internal e-mail to post their handbook electronically. Posting the employee handbook on the company intranet or via e-mail is also useful when changes to policies are made and need to be communicated to employees. However, physical copies need to be made available to employees without access to the Internet or upon request.
Employers should require every employee to sign an acknowledgment of having received a copy of the company handbook. The acknowledgment should be saved in an employee’s personnel file as a way for the organization to establish that the employee was made aware of the policies. However, the verbiage in this signed acknowledgment receipt of the handbook should not be construed as an employment agreement, which would contradict at-will employment.
Updating Handbook Content
The content of a company handbook should change only upon review by a company’s senior management (which should be performed annually) or when company policy is impacted by new laws or regulations that are mandated. Maintaining an up-to-date company handbook indicates a company is attempting, in good faith, to stay compliant with state and federal laws.
Cardinal has Updated Handbook Templates for 2020
If you co-employ with Cardinal, we can assist you in keeping your handbook up to date with the latest required changes. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need assistance in evaluating or creating a company handbook. If you do not co-employ with Cardinal, you can purchase the latest up-to-date 2020 handbook templates from Cardinal. We offer handbooks that range from a basic version to a customized version that is crafted specifically for your company or industry.