How Your Business Benefits From Uniform Employee Policies
Especially in recent years, many employers have trended toward running more casual workplaces. And while there can be certain benefits to this approach — especially for small businesses — it also presents numerous risks and complications. Employers must take these into account when choosing this type of management style. Even if employers do choose this approach, they should still consider some basic steps to protect themselves from legal and regulatory liability.
Creating and distributing among your workforce and managers some simple employee policies can increase productivity and be used to bolster your legal defense in discrimination, whistleblower, unemployment, wage & hour and other types of labor law cases.
While employers should tailor these policies to meet their individual needs, a number of basic areas should be covered:
- Lunch and break periods
- Call off policies
- Unexcused absence policies
- Harassment reporting
- Disciplinary procedures
- Union relations policies (if applicable)
Of course, simply having these policies on the books is often not enough. Policies must be uniformly enforced among your employees and managers for them to provide any benefit or protection. Likewise, these policies must be concrete — more than mere platitudes. They must set definite and applicable rules that are not subject to arbitrary interpretation.
An experienced Washington, DC employment law attorney can work with you and your human resources team to draft policies that allow you flexibility without appearing arbitrary. By putting such policies into place, you can show your company’s commitment to maintaining compliance with applicable labor laws. You also present a compelling rationale for any adverse employment action you take against individual employees should that action be challenged administratively or in court.