Creating & Updating a Policy Manual

  • Thursday, July 19, 2012
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Greylock Partners, 2550 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, CA 94025


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Creating &
Updating a
Policy Manual
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Employee Handbooks

Today’s workplace is fraught with legal dangers as employees find more opportunities to escalate complaints into lawsuits. An employee handbook can be your friend or your foe. Careless wording may create a contract promising employees advantages you don’t mean to promise, but on the flip side, a carefully worded handbook can help shield your organization from liability.

Recent changes to the ADA Amendments Act and FMLA, new NLRB posting requirements, and the EEOC’s credit report restrictions – not to mention changes in California law, like FEHA’s expanded definition of “gender” – mean an employee handbook overhaul is in order. Your handbook also needs to reflect the changing influence of technology in the workplace so it keeps pace with current trends. For example, what does your current handbook say about employee Facebook use? Do you have a policy about using cell phones at work?

Learn the ins and outs of creating, updating, and maintaining an effective employee handbook when you participate in this seminar. You’ll get use-it-today advice on what to change, what to add, and what to drop from this essential workplace communication document.

You will learn:

  • The necessity of an updated handbook 
  • Avoid litigation 
  • Minimize agency investigations 
  • Reduce time spent resolving employment issues 
  • Simplify communications 
  • Include new laws and regulations that just became effective 
  • Handbook development tips 
  • The difference between flexible and absolute language 
  • How to avoid the legal creation of a promise or a contract between your organization and your employees 
  • Who should be involved in developing the handbook 
  • Special handbook considerations for California employers
  • Essential handbook components and policies you MUST include and some you may consider, including cell phone and social media usage, dress codes, paid time off, and much more 
  • Recent laws and regulations – both state and federal – that may affect your handbook, including the ADAAA, FMLA, and the new NLRB posting requirement 
  • Handbook housekeeping essentials 
  • How to communicate handbook changes to your employees 
  • When to get a signed acknowledgment and what to do if you don’t receive it 
  • How long you should keep older versions of your handbook 
  • New trends in workplace policy-making, including social media 
  • And much more…

About Our Speaker

Lisa Barnett Sween is a Partner in the Employment practice group in Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith’s San Francisco office.

Since 1997, Lisa has represented employers in all aspects of employment law and litigation, including state and federal employment harassment and discrimination litigation, wrongful discharge litigation, FMLA, CFRA, ADA, and wage and hour litigation.

In addition to her litigation expertise, Lisa regularly counsels employers on preventive employment policies and practices involving all areas of federal, state and local employment law, including recruiting and hiring, employee handbooks, leaves of absence, discipline and termination, workforce reductions, discrimination and harassment, reasonable accommodation and wage and hour. Lisa has also performed over 200 hours of harassment prevention training in various jurisdictions throughout the United States.

In addition, Lisa’s counseling practice includes strategic human resources advice in preparation for mergers and acquisition, preparing executive and other employment agreements, offer letters, proprietary information agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.

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