Article originally published in The Journal Record - December 29, 2011.
For many employers, the employee handbook sits up on a shelf gathering dust. Some may not even think about company policies until there is a problem, and then it may be too late. The upcoming new year is a perfect time to make a resolution to review and revise your employee handbook to take advantage of recent changes in the law and to protect against future litigation.
Some areas to consider in your revision include the following:
• Updating drug and alcohol policy. You should take advantage of the new, employer-friendly changes in Oklahoma law that went into effect on Nov. 1. A drug and alcohol policy is no longer required to list substances. Employers only need to give employees 10 days’ advance notice before implementing new or changed drug testing policies. The act replaces the “reasonable suspicion” standard with a “reasonable belief” standard. The employer-sponsored employee assistance program requirement has been eliminated.
• Social media policy. Increasingly, your employees will use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other Internet social forums. Are your policies equipped to deal with issues that may arise?
• Updating anti-discrimination and harassment policies: Make sure your policy prohibits discrimination in health coverage and employment based on genetic information....
Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Kristin Simpen.
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