Employee handbooks are often outdated and consist of nothing more than a generic template that is not tailored to the California business.
Worse yet, the handbook is used as exhibit A in litigation because the employer implemented the right policies, but then did not follow them.
For example, electronic communications and use of various devices in and out of the workplace to conduct work is one of the greatest dangers facing businesses nowadays. So a generic policy on electronic communications is not going to do the trick. No two businesses communicate the same way, so how can a broad-based policy truly protect an employer? It doesn’t.
At Sherman Law Corporation, we represent California employers in just about every type of workplace issue – from lawsuits brought by disgruntled employees to investigating workplace claims to helping ensure your handbook serves you best.
California Family Rights Act Applies to Employers with 5 or More Employees
In California, the state legislature quietly passed a bill that became effective on 1/1/21 that requires California employers who employ 5 or more part or full-time employees to now provide 12 workweeks of unpaid leaves of absence for serious health conditions for oneself or family members with a serious health condition, or for birth of a child under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”).
CFRA previously only covered 50 or more employees.
CFRA’s rules on designating and administering CFRA leaves are onerous such that many small employers will unknowingly violate it.
A well-drafted handbook not only addresses all of the leaves of absences – which can be complex as many of them run concurrently – but it is also used as a tool to train management and human resources to administer leaves correctly.
Why is a California employee handbook necessary?
Employee handbooks, written policies, procedures, and agreements constitute an employment contract that sets forth the terms and conditions of employment.
If any of these documents contain terms that are unlawful, not tailored to your Company’s actual practices, or are not consistently enforced, then the written documents can be used against the Company to not only prove liability, but also to seek punitive damages.
How do I ensure my Business and Employee Handbook are Fully Compliant with California Law?
The answer is NOT to purchase the inexpensive one-size-fits all template where the only change made is to insert the name of the employer and distribute.
Sherman Law Corporation has developed over 26 years a template Employee Handbook that is over 100 pages with hundreds of policies that we then tailor to the needs of the employer.
The template costs $2500 and includes 3 hours of attorney time at $375/hour with all additional hours billed at the reduced rate.
When the handbook is completed, the employer is fully versed on their policies and requirements under the law.