As you look forward to the year ahead, you should be taking the time to evaluate your existing systems and processes. This is particularly important if you have not updated your HR policies within the last year and are not keeping up with the changes in NJ law as they apply to your business and your employees. Beware, there have been and are going to be a lot of big changes in the rules that govern how you employ and manage your workers.
Here are some Best Practices to think about implementing for 2020, to give your workplace a tune-up:
- Review and revise your employee handbook to make sure that it complies with the law and effectively communicates your workplace expectations. This is extremely important if you have not updated your policies recently as there have been significant changes in the law as well as in the types of behaviors that employees are now able to engage in. For instance, the use of smartphones and smart watches may be an issue in a medical practice or with customer facing employees. Training and retraining employees on your expectations allows you to maintain a professional, efficient workplace, thereby fulfilling your vision for your business.
- Review your policies to ensure compliance with the Earned Sick Leave Act, minimum wage changes, and proposed changes to the independent contractor analysis. Failure to comply with the changes in the law will ensure that you fail the Department of Labor audits, exposing you to fines and penalties. Make sure that your HR and payroll departments properly understand these laws and are maintaining the proper records to ensure that you can prove compliance in an audit.
- Ensure periodic trainings for your employees on these workplace policies and your expectations regarding electronics usage, phone usage, social media/internet usage etc. Trainings are the best way to ensure that your employees have been advised of your expectations of them in the workplace. You must assume that employees will not read and digest the employee handbook and if sued, a court will look for proof that your workplace had periodic employment policy trainings.
- Review your interview questions and intake procedures to ensure that you are complying with recent changes in NJ law. Your business is exposed to liability from interview to termination and you must ensure that you are in compliance every step of the way. Make sure that your policies and decision making are applied uniformly and without regard to any protected characteristics.
- Use the start of the year to implement and enforce your workplace policies even if you have been lax in the past. A fresh start is a great way to get everyone on the same page!
Rather than making New Year’s resolutions, focus on these small changes and steps that will improve efficiency, ensure compliance and protect your company.
Happy New Year! I wish you every success for 2020!
Disclaimer: The statements contained in the Blog are for informational purposes only and are not designed to provide specific legal advice to any specific individual and/or entity.