Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of franchisors evaluating their systems and making modifications to it when necessary. Similar to the franchisor reviewing its system, the franchisee needs to regularly evaluate his or her everyday responsibilities, especially when it comes to employee policies. The employee handbook should be reviewed annually by the franchisee in order to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws and to make sure it accurately reflects the work culture the franchisee (or franchisor) is wanting to establish, as well as many other reasons. A few months ago, the National Labor Relations Board issued a report that provided guidance to employers on lawful and unlawful employee handbook policies. Shortly thereafter, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Young v. UPS that directly addressed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and when employers should provide accommodations to pregnant women in the workplace. These developments make it vital that employers, including franchisees, evaluate and update their employee handbooks and policies accordingly.
When reviewing your employee handbook, here are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Do these policies accurately reflect the culture of the organization?
- Are these policies up to date with applicable federal and state laws?
- Have there been any recent issues in the workplace that are not covered by the handbook?