Employment law requires some working knowledge of the ins and outs of a functional employee handbook and your potential role at Lester Aldridge may find you advising clients on edits to their handbook or creating a new one. For your answer, speak to the legal aspects of what should to be included in an employee handbook to help protect employers from legal action against their employees.
"While federal law doesn't require employers to have a formalized handbook for their employees, I will always advise clients to create a handbook for existing staff and new hires that is available in both hard copy and electronic versions for easy access. The first key area I will focus on is a section for local, state and federal fair labor laws and this section of the handbook also includes collective bargaining agreements, when applicable. The next sections, often the most important to protect against legal action down the road, include things like at-will employment clause, FMLA, EEO, drug free workplace policy and time and attendance policies. Throughout my career, I've helped many employers create new and highly functional handbooks and consider myself a great resource in this area."
"While the standard legal issues surrounding attendance, leaves of absence and benefits are fairly standard in today's age, my inspection of existing handbooks really tries to nail down overly broad statements that can cause legal issues for organizations. A great example of this was with a client a couple of years ago that had a policy prohibiting photos or videos being taken by employees during their work hours. Their broadly painted policy in the handbook didn't get to the root cause of the issue: no cameras or video recording devices were allowed on premise. I helped them rewrite the policy to include this language and also added additional language on prohibited phone usage during work."