Policy Updates

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Paid Maternity Benefits

We have retitled the former Maternity Leave policy in the Benefits section of your Handbook Builder. The new title is Paid Maternity Benefits, which better describes the policy content.

This policy is optional and provides for pay during a period of maternity leave. If this optional policy is used, it should be modified to match Company practices and integrated with any existing salary continuation or short-term disability policies.

While the paid maternity benefits policy is optional, certain state laws require employers to provide employees with time out of work due to pregnancy-related disabilities. To the extent state law mandates employers to provide maternity leaves (separate and distinct from Family and Medical Leave), the Employee Handbook Builder contains state-specific policies.

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New York City Pregnancy Accommodations

Please note, we recently corrected a technical issue in this policy and suggest you update the policy in your handbook builder.

This policy has been added to the New York Handbook Builder. It applies only to employees located in New York City. The policy is optional but we strongly recommend including it in your handbook due to enforcement guidance issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

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UPDATED: San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Benefits

We updated the advisory notes (Explain this to me) to include new guidance related to the SF Paid Parental Leave Ordinance. See second paragraph under “Eligible Employees” in advisory notes. No policy content was changed.

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UPDATED: Washington: Family and Medical Leave

We added an interview question that asks users if they have 75 or more employees within a 50-mile radius in Washington. A “yes” response generates the Washington Family and Medical Leave policy that combines national and Washington provisions. A “no” response generates the national FMLA policy (assuming the user has 50 or more employees nationally).

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UPDATED: California: Family and Medical Leave

We added an interview question that asks users if they have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius in California. A “yes” response generates the California Family and Medical Leave policy that combines national and California provisions. A “no” response generates the national FMLA policy. In addition, we updated the “Eligibility” section of the policy.

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UPDATED: Santa Monica Paid Sick Leave

We added an interview question that allows users to choose a grant or accrual method for providing leave. The advisory notes and policy content were updated accordingly and some additional edits were made for consistency with recently updated sick leave policies.

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UPDATED: San Diego Earned Sick Leave

We added an interview question that allows users to choose a grant or accrual method for providing leave. The advisory notes and policy content were updated accordingly and some additional edits were made for consistency with recently updated sick leave policies.

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UPDATED: Los Angeles Paid Sick Leave

We added an interview question that allows users to choose a grant or accrual method for providing leave. The advisory notes and policy content were updated accordingly and some additional edits were made for consistency with recently updated sick leave policies.

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UPDATED: Emeryville Paid Sick Leave

We added an interview question that allows users to choose a grant or accrual method for providing leave. The advisory notes and policy content were updated accordingly and some additional edits were made for consistency with recently updated sick leave policies.

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UPDATED: California Paid Sick Leave

We added an interview question that allows users to choose a grant or accrual method for providing leave. The advisory notes and policy content were updated accordingly and some additional edits were made for consistency with other recently updated sick leave policies.

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UPDATED: Illinois Sick Days

Illinois enacted the Illinois Sick Leave Act effective January 1, 2017. The new law requires employers to allow employees to use employer-provided personal sick leave to care for an ill or injured family member or to attend to a medical appointment with a family member. For employers who operate in Chicago and/or Cook County and will be covered under the paid sick leave ordinances that will go into effect in those localities on July 1, 2017, the provisions of this policy will no longer apply once the local ordinances go into effect. In other words, the Chicago and Cook County ordinances will permit employees to use any amount of sick leave to care for covered family members.

Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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South Carolina Cover Pages

It is the public policy of South Carolina (SC) that a handbook, personnel manual, policy, procedure, or other document issued by an employer shall not create an express or implied contract of employment if it is conspicuously disclaimed. A disclaimer in a handbook or personnel manual must be in underlined capital letters on the first page of the document and signed by the employee.

In the conversion to BILD 2.0, the SC-mandated acknowledgement may have failed to transfer to your SC handbook. We have corrected this oversight and ask that you republish your handbook and ask employees to sign the cover pages. Employees should sign and keep the first cover sheet and the second should remain with the printed handbook.

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UPDATED: Vermont Earned Sick Time

We have updated the advisory notes and policy based on recent clarification from the Vermont Department of Labor regarding the ability of employers to impose a cap on annual accrual of sick time. The current maximum accrual is 24 hours each year; beginning on January 1, 2019, the annual cap on accrual must be increased to 40 hours.

This handbook policy is optional if other written notice of the provisions of the sick time law is provided at the time of hire to new employees (or effective date of the law for current employees, who are presumably, though not explicitly, covered as part of the law’s notice requirements), but we strongly recommend including the policy in the handbook.

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NEW: California Safe Harbor Policy for Exempt Employees

We have added this policy to the California Handbook. While the federal safe harbor policy is lawful in California as drafted, this new policy spells out some of the small differences between California and federal law.

Please be sure to answer the new interview question regarding the contact for escalating the issue.

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UPDATED: Oakland Paid Sick Leave (Oakland Ordinance only)

The policy and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) have been updated for best practices.

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UPDATED: Oakland Paid Sick Leave (Integrated Policy)

The policy and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) have been updated for best practices.

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UPDATED: San Francisco Paid Sick Days

The policy and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) have been updated to more closely align with state law. The amendments to the ordinance, and consequently, the revisions to this policy, are effective January 1, 2017.

Please review all of the interview questions that precede the policy. In addition, be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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UPDATED: San Francisco Paid Sick Leave (Integrated Policy)

The policy has been updated, based on amendments to the ordinance, effective January 1, 2017, to include bone marrow and organ donation as covered reasons for taking paid sick Leave. In addition, the policy and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) have been expanded for best practices.

Please review all of the interview questions that precede the policy. In addition, be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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NEW: Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave

This policy, effective 1/1/2017, applies only to employers having a permanent location and at least one (1) employee in the City of Spokane. The maximum accrual, annual usage and maximum carryover amounts depend on the number of employees in Spokane. Note that this ordinance is only in effect until the statewide paid sick leave law in Washington takes effect (currently slated for 1/1/2018).

Be sure to answer the interview question that precedes the policy, and read the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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UPDATED New Jersey: Plainfield Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy..

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UPDATED New Jersey: New Brunswick Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Jersey City Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Montclair Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: East Orange Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Trenton Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Paterson Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Passaic Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Newark Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Irvington Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Elizabeth Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED New Jersey: Bloomfield Paid Sick Time

We have updated policy content and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) for best practices. Please answer all of the interview questions that precede the policy.

Note that the Handbook Builder now includes a universal New Jersey Paid Sick Time policy. If you have employees in multiple NJ municipalities, you may wish to consider using the universal policy.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: Maryland-Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave

The policy has been updated, based on an amendment to the ordinance, to include the birth, placement and care of a newborn or newly adopted child as covered reasons for taking ESSL. In addition, the policy and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) have been expanded for best practices.

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UPDATED: Massachusetts Parental Leave

This policy has been updated to clarify the parameters of the leave.

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NEW: Morristown NJ Paid Sick Time

This policy, effective January 11, 2017, provides paid sick time to employees who work at least 80 hours in the Town of Morristown in a year. This handbook policy is optional if separate written notice containing all required information is given to current employees (as soon as practicable after the effective date of the ordinance) and to new hires, but as with all paid sick time policies, we strongly recommend including it in the handbook.

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NEW: New Jersey Paid Sick Time - "Universal" Policy

This “universal” NJ policy complies with all of the locality ordinances to date. This is a “lowest common denominator” policy incorporating requirements of jurisdictions with paid sick time ordinances. You may use the “universal” policy as an alternative if you have employees in more than one NJ locality but do not want to maintain multiple policies. Note, however, that the universal policy may extend rights to some degree, but not to a substantial degree. Please review the Explain this to me advisory notes for a complete explanation.

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NEW: Paid Sick Leave for Covered Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Executive Order 13706 established Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors. It requires certain parties that contract with the Federal Government to provide their employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave annually.

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UPDATED: Vermont Sexual Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Sexual Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Sexual Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

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UPDATED: Rhode Island Sexual Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Sexual Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Sexual Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

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UPDATED: Massachusetts Sexual Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Sexual Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Sexual Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: Maine Sexual Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Sexual Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Sexual Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

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UPDATED: Sexual Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Sexual Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Sexual Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: New Jersey Non-Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Non-Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Non-Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: Non-Harassment

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation. Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) which also contain new information.

Given the changes to the Non-Harassment policy, we suggest you print and ask employees to sign the updated Non-Harassment Acknowledgement. This also can be accomplished as part of your annual training on employee policies.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: Utah Equal Employment Opportunity

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation.

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UPDATED: Minnesota Equal Employment Opportunity

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation.

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UPDATED: New Jersey Equal Employment Opportunity

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation.

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UPDATED: Equal Employment Opportunity

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

UPDATED: California Equal Employment Opportunity

We have updated the policy to reflect recent EEOC guidance on retaliation.

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Updated: All Family and Medical Leave Policies

Following an extensive review of all Family and Medical Leave policies, we have updated the policies to include content changes and also to link policy content to interview questions. Be sure to answer the interview questions that precede the policies.

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NEW: Florida Domestic Violence Leave

We have added Domestic Violence Leave to the Florida Handbook Builder. This policy applies to Florida employers with 50 or more employees. Including this policy in your handbook is optional.

Be sure to answer the questions that precede the policy and read the advisory notes that accompany the poicy (Explain this to me).

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NEW: Illinois Child Bereavement Leave

Illinois employers with at least 50 employees must provide employees who suffered the loss of a child with up to two weeks (10 work days) of unpaid leave under the new Child Bereavement Leave Act. The new law took effect immediately upon Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature on July 29, 2016.

This policy applies to all employees working in Illinois who are covered by the FMLA. Including the policy in the handbook is optional.

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NEW: Wisconsin Leave for Emergency Responders

At our subscribers’ request, we have added Leave for Emergency Responders to the Wisconsin Handbook Builder. Including this policy in your handbook is optional.

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Colorado: Pregnancy Accommodations

A Pregnancy Accommodations policy has been added to the Colorado Handbook Builder in compliance with Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-34-402.3 et seq. and is effective August 10, 2016. The policy applies to all Colorado employers.

This handbook policy is optional if other written notice of employees’ right to be free from discriminatory or unfair employment practices is provided to new employees at the start of employment and to existing employees within 120 days after the effective date of the law (which is December 8, 2016).

Be sure to answer the question that precedes the policy and also read the “Explain this to me” advisory notes.

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Colorado: Overtime

We have added a Colorado-specific Overtime policy to the Colorado Handbook Builder.

Be sure to read the “Explain this to me” advisory notes.

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New York City Supplemental Gender Discrimination

This policy has been added to the New York Handbook Builder. It applies only to employees located in New York City. The policy is optional but we strongly recommend including it in your handbook due to enforcement guidance issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Be sure to read the “Explain this to me” advisory notes.

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Confidential Company Information

We have updated the Confidential Company Information advisory notes (Explain this to me) and policy content.

The revised advisory notes highlight the importance of a stand-alone agreement and provide specific language an organization should include in its policy to maximize its rights to seek damages under the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.

We also used this update as an opportunity to further safeguard the policy from potential NLRB challenge.

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Use of Social Media

We have updated the Use of Social Media policy and advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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California: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention

We have added the California: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention policy and Acknowledgement Receipt to the California Handbook Builder. This policy replaces both the Non-Harassment and Sexual Harassment policies for California and it sets forth the Company's commitment to a harassment-free workplace based on new regulations effective on 4/1/2016 for California employers. It is mandatory to include this in your Handbook.

Please answer the interview questions that precede the policy.

In addition, you must accept the new Receipt of California: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention and ask employees to sign and return the Receipt. This Receipt is vital because the employees' signature is an acknowledgment of their receipt of the California: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention policy, their obligation to comply with its terms and their acknowledgment of the reporting mechanisms the company provides for policy violations. Procedures should be implemented to ensure that this and all other acknowledgments are collected and retained in employees' personnel files.

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Wisconsin: Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave

We have added an Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave policy to the Wisconsin Handbook Builder. This law applies to employers operating in the state of Wisconsin with at least 50 employees on a permanent basis. There currently is no per se requirement to include a policy in the employee handbook, but  the law does impose a posting requirement for covered employers, and a model poster will soon be available for this purpose by the state’s Department of Workforce Development.

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Montana: About This Handbook/Disclaimer and General Handbook Acknowledgement

We have added a Disclaimer that applies to Montana only. The Disclaimer for Montana differs from all other states as Montana is the only state in the nation where employees are not at will for the duration of their employment (absent a collective bargaining agreement).

In addition, you must accept the new General Handbook Acknowledgement for Montana and ask employees to sign and return the Receipt. This document is vital because the employees' signature is an acknowledgment of their receipt of the handbook, their obligation to comply with its terms and their acknowledgment of their at-will status, subject to the provisions of the Montana Wrongful Discharge Act. Procedures should be implemented to ensure that such signed acknowledgments are collected and retained in employees' personnel files.

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New York City Earned Sick Time

The policy has been updated to reflect recent amendments to the administrative rules. Be sure to review the advisory notes (Explain this to me) on the policy page for detail on accrual and usage.

NOTE that employers must provide a city-issued model notice and are also required to maintain a separate policy, which can be included in an employee handbook or otherwise made accessible to employees.

Be sure to answer the interview questions that precede the policy.

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California: Time Off For School Related Activities

This policy has been updated to reflect recent amendments to the Family-School Partnership Act (SB 579). This law expands the reasons for which an employee may take job-protected leave under the Family School Partnership Act.

Employers with 25 or more employees working at the same location must allow employees to use up to 40 hours of unpaid time to participate in certain school or childcare related activities. Now, employers also must allow employees to take job-protected time off to find, enroll or reenroll their children in a school or licensed day care.

Be sure to answer the interview questions that precede the policy.

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Philadelphia Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking Leave

This is an optional policy that Philadelphia employers may wish to include in their handbook. All employers are covered under the ordinance, regardless of size. The ordinance requires employers to provide leave for this purpose, but the leave entitlement depends on the number of employees. The entitlement is eight (8) workweeks if an employer has 50 or more employees nationally (currently or in the prior calendar year). If the number of employees is less than 50 nationally, in both the current and the prior calendar year, the entitlement can be reduced to four (4) workweeks.

Be sure to answer the interview questions that precede the policy.

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Oregon Sick Time

This law went into effect on January 1, 2016. The requirement to provide PAID sick time applies to employers with an average of 10 or more employees per day in Oregon. It also applies to employers with an average of six (6) or more employees per day in Oregon if the employer maintains a location in Portland during each of at least 20 workweeks in the calendar or fiscal year immediately preceding the year in which an employee’s sick time is to be taken. All other employers not otherwise exempted from coverage must provide UNPAID sick time under the same terms as stated in the policy.

The handbook policy is optional if written notice containing the information required by the State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) is provided to all employees by either: (1) distribution to each employee personally by regular mail or email or by including it with a paycheck; or (2) by posting the written notice in a conspicuous and accessible location in each workplace. However, as with all paid sick leave policies, we strongly recommend including the policy in the handbook.

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Washington: Tacoma Paid Leave

This policy complies with the paid sick leave ordinance in Tacoma, which went into effect on February 1, 2016 and provides paid leave to employees who regularly work in Tacoma and employees who occasionally work in Tacoma and perform 80 hours or more of work there in a calendar year.

Including the policy in the employee handbook is optional. There is a required notice that must be posted in a conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where employees are employed or otherwise distributed to employees, but as with all paid sick leave policies, we strongly recommend including the policy the handbook. Distribution may be accomplished electronically.

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Minnesota: Family Military Leave

At the request of subscribers, we have added Minnesota Family Military Leave to the Thompson Handbook Builder. There is no per se requirement to include this policy in the employee handbook; however, we are providing this as a model policy for employers that wish to include it.

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Maine: Family Military Leave

At the request of subscribers, we have added Maine Family Military Leave to the Thompson Handbook Builder. There is no per se requirement to include this policy in the employee handbook; however, we are providing this as a model policy for employers that wish to include it.

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Indiana: Family Military Leave

At the request of subscribers, we have added Indiana Family Military Leave to the Thompson Handbook Builder. There is no per se requirement to include this policy in the employee handbook; however, we are providing this as a model policy for employers that wish to include it.

Log in to read additional information. Not a Handbook Builder User? Click here to start building your handbook and receiving state law updates.

Connecticut: Family and Medical Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor requires that the following sentence be included in the policy regardless of whether or not the employer is an airline: Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.

We have added that sentence in the Eligibility section.

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Wisconsin: Family and Medical Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor requires that the following sentence be included in the policy regardless of whether or not the employer is an airline: Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.

We have added that sentence in the Eligibility section.

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Rhode Island: Family and Medical Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor requires that the following sentence be included in the policy regardless of whether or not the employer is an airline: Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.

We have added that sentence in the Eligibility section.

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Maryland: Family and Medical Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor requires that the following sentence be included in the policy regardless of whether or not the employer is an airline: Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.

We have added that sentence in the Eligibility section.

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Camera Phones/Recording Devices

We have updated the Camera Phones/Recording Devices provisions to reflect issues concerning such policies raised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB has taken the position that such a policy can restrict protected concerted activity. The model policy builds in confidential information protections to help defend against any argument brought by the NLRB, but it is not a fail-safe.

While an employer may wish to have the policy for business reasons there is a major risk with NLRB, especially if the employer cannot support legally and practically a total ban on cell phones and other recording devices on premises.

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NEW - Pay Transparency Policy Statement

The Pay Transparency Policy Statement is a required policy for federal contractors that enter into new contracts after January 11, 2016. Per guidance from the government, the language should not be modified.

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UPDATED - Rhode Island Overtime

We have updated the Rhode Island Overtime policy to provide guidance pertaining to retail and non-retail establishments. Be sure to review the “Explain This To Me” content.

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NEW - Rhode Island: Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added a Rhode Island Pregnancy Accommodations policy to reflect provisions of a new law requiring Rhode Island employers to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant workers. The new law obligates employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for any condition related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

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Updated - Massachusetts Overtime

We have updated the Overtime policy in the Massachusetts Handbook Builder to provide guidance pertaining to retail establishments. Be sure to review the “Explain This To Me” content.

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NEW - DC Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added a Pregnancy Accommodations policy to the District of Columbia Handbook Builder to reflect provisions from the Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 ("PPWFA" or "Act").

While there is no per se requirement to include a policy in your employee handbook, we are providing this policy for employers that wish to include it in their handbook.

The PPWFA covers all employers in the District of Columbia regardless of size. It prohibits employers from requiring an employee to take leave if it is possible for the employee to continue working with reasonable accommodation.

The PPWFA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions. Under its provisions, employees needing a pregnancy-related accommodation — such as limited time on their feet and frequent restroom breaks — are entitled to those accommodations.

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New & Updated California Sick Leave Policies

Effective July 1, 2015, California employees are eligible for paid sick leave under the California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act.

In addition, the following cities have instituted paid sick leave policies, which differ in some instances from the state paid sick leave:

  • Emeryville
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco

We have included all of these policies in the California Handbook Builder.

Employers who have employees located in California should include the California Paid Sick Leave policy in their Handbook. If employers also have employees in Emeryville, Oakland and/or San Francisco, those policies should be included in the Handbook as well.

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NEW: Massachusetts Earned Sick Time

This policy has been added to the Massachusetts Handbook Builder. The provisions reflect new legislation, effective July 1, 2015, that requires Massachusetts employers to permit the accrual of up to 40 hours of earned sick time each calendar year to all employees whose primary place of work is in Massachusetts. For employers with 11 or more employees nationally, sick time must be paid; for employers with 10 or fewer employees nationally, the sick time may be unpaid.

The advisory notes (accessed via the "Explain this to me" tab) have been updated extensively as well. Please be sure to review these notes as they suggest changes employers may want to make to the model policy to reflect their own company practices.

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NEW: California Pregnancy Disability Leave

We have added Pregnancy Disability Leave provisions to the California Handbook Builder to reflect recent changes to the California Rights Act effective July 1, 2015.

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Revised: California Family and Medical Leave

We have updated Family and Medical Leave provisions in the California Handbook Builder to reflect recent changes to the California Rights Act effective July 1, 2015.

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Paid Sick Time for Six New Jersey Cities

In response to local New Jersey ordinances, we have added seven Paid Sick Time policies to the New Jersey Handbook Builder. The policies are provided for those employers who have the requisite number of employees who work at least 80 hours a year in these jurisdictions. Note that these policies apply solely to the extent they provide greater benefits/rights on any specific issue or issues than the general Paid Sick Time policy.

Paid Sick Time provisions are provided for the following jurisdictions:

  • Bloomfield, effective June 30, 2015;
  • East Orange, effective January 6, 2015;
  • Irvington, effective January 7, 2015;
  • Montclair, effective March 4, 2015;
  • Passaic, effective December 31, 2014;
  • Paterson, effective January 7, 2015; and
  • Trenton, effective March 4, 2015.

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D.C. Sick & Safe Leave

We have updated the Sick and Safe Leave provisions in the D.C. Handbook Builder based on new guidance from the District of Columbia.

The 2014 amendments removed language regarding the statutory cap on annual usage of sick leave and an annual carryover requirement, without replacing the language or offering any guidance on how the removal impacts employers. Recently issued FAQs covering the law maintain the original language regarding capping usage and carryover, and the currently mandated poster indicates that an employee’s accrued paid sick leave carries over from year to year. We hope that regulations will be issued to further clarify, but the impact of the change remains unclear. This policy is drafted based on currently available agency guidance, which permits a cap on annual usage and requires carryover.

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NEW Philadelphia Paid Sick Time

Effective May 13, 2015, the City of Philadelphia, Pa., requires that employers provide paid sick leave to their employees. The law applies to Philadelphia businesses with at least 10 employees. Employers with fewer than 10 employees for at least 40 hours in a calendar year are covered, but sick time can be unpaid. Until further guidance is received indicating otherwise, we assume that the ordinance requires paid leave if an employer has at least 10 employees nationally.

Employers are not required to provide sick leave to seasonal workers (i.e., workers hired for a temporary period of not more than 16 weeks during a calendar year), adjunct professors, employees hired for a term of less than six (6) months, interns and pool employees.

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New FMLA Rule Updates Definition of Spouse

We want to alert you to a new final rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The rule updates the regulatory definition of “spouse” to reflect a “place of celebration” approach to same-gender marriage. As a result, an eligible employee in a legal same-gender marriage will be able to take FMLA leave for his or her spouse, regardless of the state in which the employee resides. The U.S. Department of Labor rule will become effective March 27, 2015. The new definition is a departure from the FMLA’s current regulatory language, which does not include same-gender spouses under the definition of “spouse” if an employee resided in a state that did not recognize same-gender marriage (the “state of residence” approach).

We will not be updating the FMLA policies in our Handbook Builder because “spouse” is not defined in the provisions. Therefore, the term “spouse” as used in your Handbook is inclusive and meets the new definition.

This regulatory change was spurred by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. That ruling struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” to be limited to opposite-gender marriage for federal-law purposes. Post-Windsor, DOL adopted the “state of residence approach to same-gender marriages.

In a Feb. 23 fact sheet, DOL noted that because of the final rule, eligible employees will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their lawfully wed same-gender spouse, regardless of where they live, when:

  • caring for their same-gender spouse with a serious health condition;
  • taking qualifying exigency leave due to their same-gender spouse’s covered military service; or
  • taking military caregiver leave for their same-gender spouse. (Here, the DOL approach is consistent with U.S. Department of Defense policy, which uses a place of celebration approach to determine if a military member is in a valid marriage.)

The fact sheet did note, however, that the new regulatory definition of spouse does not substantively alter the FMLA. For example, it does not change the FMLA’s eligibility requirements.

DOL also made clear that the regulatory change will benefit employers by reducing “the administrative burden on employers that operate in more than one state, or that have employees who move between states with different marriage recognition rules. Such employers will not have to consider the laws of the employee’s state of residence in determining the employee’s ability to take FMLA leave.”

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UPDATED Montclair Paid Sick Time

Based on recent guidance provided by the Montclair Township, we have updated the Montclair Paid Sick Time provisions in the New Jersey Handbook Builder. The update pertains to accrual and usage of paid sick leave. Updates were made in the “Usage” section in the policy and in the “Explain this to me” advisory notes.

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New York City Earned Sick Time Update

Based on recently issued guidance provided by New York City regarding what must be in the policy, we have updated the New York City Earned Sick Time provisions in the New York Handbook Builder.

The New York City Earned Sick Time provision is only applicable if the employer has five or more employees who are hired to work more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City.

We provide this as a sample policy for employers that wish to include it in the employee handbook. NOTE that although employers must provide a city-issued model notice, there is no per se requirement to provide a separate policy.

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Updated Passaic Paid Sick Time

Accrual and usage of paid sick leave provisions have been updated to reflect recent guidance provided by the city of Passaic, New Jersey.

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NEW Delaware Pregnancy Accommodations

The state of Delaware passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, effective Sept. 9, 2014. The statute requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees and employees who have recently given birth. The new law covers employees working in the state of Delaware.

Delaware does not require employers to include a policy in the employee handbook, but it does require employers to distribute a notice. One way to satisfy the notice obligation is through a handbook policy. There also is a separate posting requirement.

Note that Thompson does not offer a separate Delaware Handbook Builder, so we are offering employers who have employees working in the state of Delaware the option to include the Delaware Pregnancy Accommodations provisions in their Multi-State Handbook.

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Updated Smoking Policy

We have updated the Smoking Policy to prohibit e-cigarettes.

Employers that wish to allow e-cigarettes may do so as they are not expressly prohibited nationally; they are, however, prohibited in several jurisdictions. Further, nowhere in the country is the right to use them expressly protected.

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Updated Massachusetts Parental Leave

We have changed the title of Massachusetts Maternity Leave policy to Massachusetts Parental Leave and updated the provisions to ensure compliance with an amendment to the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), effective April 7, 2015.

The amendment extends leave to males as well as females. Further, the MMLA now also covers leave for the placement of a child with an employee pursuant to a court order.

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Updated Use of Communications and Computer Systems

We have updated the Use of Communications and Computer Systems provisions due to the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in Purple Communications, Inc. in which the NLRB held that an absolute prohibition of personal usage of e-mail during non-working time is unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. A policy cannot prohibit an employee’s right to use e-mail to engage in protected concerted activity, including but not limited to organizing activities, during non-working time.

The policy can be modified to expressly state that any personal usage is only permitted during non-working time. It also can be modified to provide that personal usage is limited to protected concerted activity but most employers choose not to highlight the issue.

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Updated Seattle Sick and Safe Leave

The provision has been updated to clarify: 1) who is a covered employee, and 2) what supporting documentation employees must provide.

NOTE: While employers must advise employees of their rights, there is no per se requirement to publish a Seattle Sick and Safe Leave policy in the handbook. As such, this requirement can be covered by a poster or separate notice.

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NEW Illinois Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added Pregnancy Accommodations provisions to the Illinois Employee Handbook Builder in response to the new pregnancy discrimination and accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA). These amendments, effective Jan. 1, 2015, afford expectant mothers specific workplace protections during their pregnancy and childbirth. The amendments define pregnancy to include “pregnancy, childbirth or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.”

The amendments apply to all Illinois employers and virtually all employees, including full-time, part-time and probationary employees. Employers that maintain handbooks must include a pregnancy accommodations policy.

The Illinois law goes beyond the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance in that the amendments impose an affirmative legal obligation to accommodate pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions. For more information about the amendments, please review the “Explain this to me” advisory notes on the Pregnancy Accommodations policy page in the Illinois Employee Handbook Builder.

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Updated Connecticut Paid Sick Leave

We have updated the Connecticut Paid Sick Leave provisions to align the advisory notes (the content contained in the “Explain This to Me” section) and the policy content with amendments to the Connecticut law effective January 1, 2015. Specifically, the paid sick leave law was amended to:

  • allow an employer to determine whether it is covered due to having 50 employees on payroll in Connecticut by using the payroll week containing the October 1 date;
  • include radiologic technologists within the law's coverage; and
  • allow accrual of time on any annual basis (i.e., effective January 1, 2015, an employer no longer has to use the traditional calendar year but rather can use any pre-defined 365-day period). NOTE: Until January 1, 2015, it must the traditional calendar year.

The changes are effective January 1, 2015.

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Updated Massachusetts Sexual Harassment

We have updated the Massachusetts Sexual Harassment provisions to allow employers to include the work address and telephone number of the person or persons to whom complaints about sexual harassment should be made. Massachusetts technically requires employers to include this information in their sexual harassment policies.

Accordingly, we have added an interview question allowing employers to automatically add this information. Companies with multiple locations may insert contact information for headquarters or main office.

In addition, we added a new paragraph (second to last) to maximize an employer’s ability to implement a zero tolerance policy.

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Updated Operation of Vehicles

The advisory notes (behind the “Explain it to me” tab) for the Operation of Vehicles provisions have been updated to provide guidance about cell phone usage. The current policy is recommended nationally.

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Updated: District of Columbia Sick and Safe Leave

This update reflects the 2014 amendments to the District of Columbia Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.

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Updated New York Jury Duty Leave

The NY Jury Duty Leave provisions have been updated to standardize the content in the advisory notes (the text behind the “Explain this to me” tab) and in the policy.

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Updated Illinois Jury Duty Leave

The Illinois Jury Duty Leave provisions have been updated to standardize the content in the advisory notes (the text behind the “Explain this to me” tab) and in the policy.

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Updated Jury Duty Leave

The Jury Duty Leave provisions have been updated to standardize the content in the advisory notes (the text behind the “Explain this to me” tab) and in the policy.

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Updated Massachusetts Jury Duty Leave

The Massachusetts Jury Duty Leave provisions have been updated to standardize the content in the advisory notes (the text behind the “Explain this to me” tab) and in the policy.

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Updated District of Columbia Jury Duty Leave

The DC Jury Duty Leave provisions have been updated to standardize the content in the advisory notes (the text behind the “Explain this to me” tab) and in the policy.

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Updated Business Expense Reimbursement

The advisory notes (behind the “Explain this to me” tab) for the Business Expense Reimbursement provisions have been updated to provide guidance about the reimbursement of business expenses to exempt and nonexempt employees. The guidance results from a recent California court decision.

In addition, we have updated the first sentence of the policy to state that: “employees will be reimbursed for reasonable approved expenses incurred in the course of business.”

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NEW Massachusetts Domestic Abuse Leave

This new policy has been added to the Massachusetts Handbook Builder. The provisions reflect new legislation that requires Massachusetts employers with 50 or more employees (nationally) to permit an employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence (or who has a family member who is a victim) to take up to 15 days of unpaid leave from work in any 12-month period — as long as the employee is not the perpetrator of the violence.

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Updated D.C. Sick & Safe Leave

In June 2014, the Sick and Safe Leave (SSL) provisions in the District of Columbia Handbook were updated to reflect 2013 amendments to the District of Columbia Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, including elimination of the one-year waiting period to accrue SSL and the extension of the Act to tipped restaurant employees (previously those workers were excluded from the law).

We have been advised by our legal staff that the new provisions will not be implemented in 2014 due to D.C. budget issues (see explanation below).

As a D.C. Handbook subscriber, you either can choose to keep the new provisions in your handbook (Provision “B”), or revert to the prior policy (Provision “A”). The decision depends on what is best for your business.

Background on the Sick & Safe Leave Act

The 2013 amendments to the Sick & Safe Leave Act became effective on February 22, 2014; however, the law also stated that the amendments would not “apply” until the statute was included in an approved budget and financial plan, which was not expected to occur before 2015. Apparently, there were insufficient funds in the existing D.C. budget for the D.C. Department of Employment Services to implement the new law.

Our legal partner, as well as SHRM and many HR policy consultants advised employers to take steps to comply, because the difference between “effectiveness” and “applicability” of the amendments was not clear, particularly because employees now could sue to enforce the law and no D.C. funds were required for that type of enforcement.

The “amendments” have not yet been incorporated into the “official” D.C. Code, which makes it clear that all of these changes are not yet part of the law. Although the D.C. Code acknowledges and refers to the amendments under “legislative history,” it still defines an eligible employee as someone who has worked for the employer for one year and has worked 1000 hours during the preceding 12 months. The Code still excludes from eligibility for sick and safe leave “restaurant wait staff and bartenders who work for a combination of wages and tips.” The Code still states that “paid leave accrued during a 12-month period shall carry over annually” and that “an employee shall not use in one year more than [his maximum annual accrual.]” In short, the official D.C. Code does not reflect the amendments slated to take effect in February. However, the D.C. Department of Employment Services has issued a poster that is at odds with the current D.C. Code as to the Sick & Safe Leave Act requirements because it incorporates the new amendment. Should you decide not to apply the amendments until the “official” D.C. Code is updated (or until the law is included in a passed budget, which has yet to occur) retroactive accrual to February 22, 2014 likely will be required because that was the “effective” date of the amendments.

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Updated Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace

The Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace provisions have been updated to address medical marijuana. In addition, the provisions for federal contractors or grantees covered by the Drug-Free Workplace Act have been revised.

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Updated: MN Family and Medical Leave (for Small Businesses)

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. This provision has been updated to reflect the statute, which expands parenting leave to 12 weeks and now covers pregnancy, prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth or related health conditions for female employees.

Please note that this update only applies to employers who have 21 or more or fewer than 50 employees. A general policy that also incorporates the FMLA is required only if the company has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. Those provisions were updated in the Minnesota Handbook in July.

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Updated: CA Time Off for Volunteer Firefighters, Reserve Peace Officers & Emergency Rescue Personnel

The updated provisions reflect that -- as of January 1, 2014 -- the California law was amended to include reserve peace officers and emergency rescue personnel. Consequently, the policy has a new title and updated content in the policy and behind the “Explain It to Me” tab.

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Updated: Minnesota Equal Employment Opportunity

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. As a result of the new statute, this provision has been updated to include familial status.

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Updated: Minnesota Family and Medical Leave (for businesses with 50+ employees)

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. This provision has been updated to reflect the statute, which expands parenting leave to 12 weeks and now covers pregnancy, prenatal care or incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth or related health conditions for female employees.

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Updated: Minnesota Lactation Breaks

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. This provision has been updated to reflect the statute, which requires employers to provide a private area shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public. Further, the legislative change mandates that the private areas include access to an electrical outlet for expressing breast milk and allows employees to bring a civil suit to enforce their rights and requires employers with at least 22 employees to provide reasonable minor accommodations.

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Updated: Minnesota Sick Days

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. As a result of the new statute, this provision has been updated to include expanded allowances for sick leave and language allowing employees to use earned sick leave under certain circumstances related to sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, as well as for illnesses of mother-in-law, father-in-law and grandchild.

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New: Minnesota Crime Victims Leave

This model policy has been requested by subscribers; there is no per se requirement to include this policy in the employee handbook.

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New: Minnesota Domestic Abuse or Harassment Leave

This model policy has been requested by subscribers; there is no per se requirement to include this policy in the employee handbook.

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New: Minnesota Right to Review Personnel Records

This new provision covers a Minnesota statute requiring employers to provide employees with an opportunity to review their own personnel records upon written request. The statute applies to current and former employees. The notice can be issued separately from a handbook.

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New: Minnesota Wage Disclosure Protection

In May 2014, Minnesota’s governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act. The new law is aimed at improving working conditions for women. As a result of this statute, this provision has been added. The provision prohibits employers from requiring non-disclosure by an employee of his or her wages as a condition of employment and then taking adverse action against employees for disclosing their wages. If an employer maintains a handbook, this provision must be included.

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NJ: Newark Paid Sick Time

We have included a NEW provision – Newark Paid Sick Time – in the New Jersey Employee Handbook. We offer this provision as a sample policy for employers that wish to include it in the employee handbook.

This provision took effect June 21, 2014, and is only applicable if the employer has 10 or more employees working in the City of Newark. Employers with fewer than 10 employees working in the City of Newark (other than employees who are child care workers, home health care workers and food service workers) also must comply with the requirements, but the maximum accrual can be decreased to 24 hours. Covered employers must comply with this provision with regard to any employee who works 80 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of Newark.

By June 21, 2014, employers must notify employees of their rights and obligations under the ordinance in two ways: (1) by providing individual written notice to each employee; and (2) posting notice of such rights in a conspicuous location around the workplace. With respect to the posting requirement, the City of Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being recently prepared a &ldquo Frequently Asked Questions ” document about the ordinance. Employers should post the notice for employees by June 21, 2014. In terms of the written notice requirement, the Department has not issued a model notice, but recommends that employers prepare a written notice that incorporates the key terms of the ordinance and adopt the key provisions of the ordinance into their employee handbooks.

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Updated: California Paid Family Leave Benefits

The provisions have been revised to reflect that, as of July 1, 2014, California workers may be eligible to receive Paid Family Leave benefits when taking take time off work to care for a seriously ill parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, in addition to a child, spouse, parent or registered domestic partner.

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Rhode Island Paid Temporary Caregiver Insurance Benefits and Leave

This new provision reflects Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance law (effective January 5, 2014), which provides employees with an additional leave benefit and wage replacement benefits during that leave.

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Michigan Your Paycheck

The provisions have been updated to delete reference to final payments to employees who resign or are discharged. Although the statements previously provided in the policy are accurate and consistent with the governing statute, we believe it is in an employer's best interest to not include this level of detail in an employee handbook.

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New: NJ Family Leave Insurance Benefits

This new policy provides information about employee eligibility for family leave benefits, administered by the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Benefits are available to employees taking time off to care for a child, spouse, partner in a civil union, registered domestic partner, or parent with a serious health condition, or to bond with a newly born or adopted child.

These benefits are financed solely through employee contributions to the state. The state is responsible for determining if an associate is eligible for such benefits. There generally is a waiting period during which time no family leave benefits are available. The Division of Temporary Disability Insurance can provide additional information about any applicable waiting period.

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New: NJ Safe Act Leave

The New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE Act”), provides that certain employees are eligible to receive an unpaid leave of absence — for a period not to exceed 20 days in a 12-month period — to address circumstances resulting from domestic violence or a sexually violent offense. To be eligible, the employee must have worked at least 1,000 hours during the immediately preceding 12-month period. Further, the employee must have worked for an employer in New Jersey that employs 25 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the then-current or immediately preceding calendar year.

NOTE: The statute requires employers to post a notice in a conspicuous place in the workplace, advising employees of their rights and obligations under the Act. The statute also requires employers to “use other appropriate means to keep its employees so informed.” Although the NJ DOL has not clarified what is considered “other appropriate means,” it is recommended that employers should be taking some other action, in addition to posting the notice, to keep employees informed of their rights and obligations under the Act. As this language is similar to that found in the New Jersey Family Leave Act, employers could include a written policy on the NJ SAFE Act in the employee handbook or distribute a copy of the notice to all current employees and to new employees upon hire.

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New York City Earned Sick Time

The New York City Earned Sick Time provision, which took effect April 1, 2014, and is only applicable if the employer has five or more employees who are hired to work more than 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City, demonstrates the Company's compliance with this legal requirement imposed by New York City.

Covered employers must comply with this provision in regard to any employee who works more than 80 hours in a calendar year, whether on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis, within the geographic boundaries of New York City.

We provide this as a sample policy for employers that wish to include it in the employee handbook. NOTE that although employers must provide a city-issued model notice, there is no per se requirement to provide a separate policy.

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California Working Hours and Schedule

The Working Hours and Schedule provisions in the California Handbook have been updated. These revisions were prompted by the California legal climate two years after the 2012 decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court and the experiences of our legal advisors regarding developing policies and defending claims.

In addition, the content behind the “Explain this to me” tab has been updated and contains information pertinent to the provision and to employers. For example:

  • The California Wage Orders require that employers maintain accurate time records of when non-exempt employees begin and end each work period, including meal periods.  Employers may want to consider also requiring non-exempt employees to record rest breaks.
  • All employers should carefully review the California Wage Order which applies to them for any exceptions to the general rest break and meal period rules.
  • California’s rest break requirements also provide that each day a non-exempt employee is not provided with a required rest break, the employee is entitled to receive premium pay equivalent to one hour of the employee’s regular rate of compensation.

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CA: Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking

The policy formerly titled Time Off for Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault has been updated to cover victims of stalking, specify the length of allowable unpaid leave as 12 weeks, and include provisions with respect to discrimination, retaliation and accommodations.

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San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace

This new provision is provided as a sample policy for employers that wish to include it in the employee handbook. NOTE: Although employers must post a model notice, there is no per se requirement to provide a separate notice or policy.

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Safe Harbor Policy for Exempt Employees

This provision has been updated to clarify reference to payments for jury duty and military pay.

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Washington Family and Medical Leave

This updated provision reflects the Washington Family Leave Act (WFLA) as well as the revised regulations to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These regulations incorporate new servicemember leave provisions passed by Congress, as well as other technical changes to employee and employer rights. NOTE: A general FMLA policy is required only if the company has 50 or more employees. Provisions pertaining to Washington are only applicable if the company has 75 or more employees within a 50 mile radius in the state.

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Washington Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence

This new provision pertains to Washington’s Domestic Violence Leave law, which allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to take reasonable paid or unpaid leave from work to take care of legal or law enforcement needs and obtain health care. Family members of a victim also may take reasonable leave to help the victim obtain treatment or seek help.

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Washington Pregnancy and Child Birth Leave

This new provision clarifies a leave requirement under Washington law, including that such leave does not run concurrently with WFLA.

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Portland Protected Sick Time

The Oregon Handbook Builder has been updated to include a new provision: Portland Protected Sick Time. This provision is provided as a sample policy for employers that wish to include it in the employee handbook. NOTE: Although employers must post AND provide a notice to employees of their rights, there is no per se requirement to publish a policy in the handbook.

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NJ: Jersey City Paid Sick Time

This provision took effect January 24, 2014, and is only applicable if an employer has 10 or more employees. Nonetheless, employers with fewer than 10 employees also must comply with the requirements, but the time can be unpaid. Covered employers must comply with this provision in regard to any employee who works 80 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of Jersey City, NJ.

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Sick Days

This provision has been updated to clarify the policy with reference to the applicability of any state or local law. Note: Include this policy in all handbooks except California and the District of Columbia which have provisions specific to the State and District respectively.

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Oregon - FMLA & OR Family Leave Act

The consolidated federal and Oregon Family and Medical Leave policy has been updated to add bereavement related absences as a basis for leave under state law.

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Maryland: Pregnancy Accommodation

A recent Maryland law requires that employers with 15 or more employees include in any handbook, information concerning an employee’s rights to reasonable accommodations and leave for a disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy. Accordingly, we suggest that any such employers include the Maryland Pregnancy Accommodation Policy as a separate provision in the Multi-State Handbook.

To include the policy in your handbook, log in and access the update for the Maryland Pregnancy Accommodation provisions. Follow the instructions for including the provision in your handbook.

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Maine Update: FMLA & MFMLA (ME Family & Medical Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Minnesota Update: FMLA & MPLA (MN Parental Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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New Jersey Update: FMLA & NJFLA (NJ Family Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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California Update: FMLA & CFRA (CA Family Rights Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Connecticut Update: FMLA & CFMLA (CT Family & Medical Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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District of Columbia Update: FMLA & DCFMLA (D.C. Family & Medical Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Hawaii Update: FMLA & HFLL (HI Family Leave Law)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Rhode Island Update: FMLA & RIFLA (RI Family Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Nov. Update: Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

This update applies to all Multi-State Handbook subscribers and subscribers who have handbooks for Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.

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Oregon Update: FMLA & OFLA (OR Family Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Vermont Update: FMLA & VPFL (VT Parental & Family Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Wisconsin Update: FMLA & WFMLA (WI Family & Medical Leave Act)

The policy has been updated to reflect new guidelines pertaining to leave and eligibility for leave.

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Update: Family and Medical Leave

The U.S. Department of Labor has published final regulations clarifying several amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act that expand the law’s military family leave provisions. We have updated the Family and Medical Leave policy in the Multi-State Handbook accordingly.

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Updated At Will Statement of Employment

We have updated the At Will Statement of Employment Disclaimer, liner notes (Explain it to me tab), and General Handbook Acknowledgement that employees sign. The revisions account for best practices in relation to National Labor Relations Act compliance and related issues.

If you have not yet done so, you must designate a specific company representative who has the authority in writing to modify the terms of this Handbook for an individual employee or provide an employment contract.

We suggest you reissue the Acknowledgement and ask employees to review and sign it. Generally, anytime the Handbook or a policy for which there is a specific Acknowledgment is modified it is good policy to obtain a new Acknowledgement.

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Washington State At Will Statement of Employment

At Will Disclaimer and Acknowledgement: Handbook Builder no longer has a separate At Will Disclaimer and Acknowledgement for the state of Washington. The national Disclaimer now covers any specific Washington considerations. To ensure you have the latest Disclaimer and Acknowledgement, please update your Handbook as explained on the Update page.

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Updated Liner Notes (Explain this to me) for California EEO Policy

The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012 expands the definition of religion to include religious dress and grooming practices. Under the Act, employers may not segregate an employee from the public as a reasonable accommodation to the employee’s religious attire or grooming. An employer that claims reasonable accommodation must demonstrate “significant difficulty or expense” — the same standard applied to disability accommodation challenges.

The liner notes (Explain this to me) have been updated to include this paragraph. No changes have been made to the policy, but subscribers may wish to update their content as appropriate.

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California EEO Policy - Updated Liner Notes (Explain this to me)

The liner notes (Explain this to me) of the California EEO policy have been updated to include the paragraph shown below. No changes have been made to the policy, but subscribers may wish to update their content as appropriate.

The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012 expands the definition of religion to include religious dress and grooming practices. Under the Act, employers may not segregate an employee from the public as a reasonable accommodation to the employee’s religious attire or grooming. An employer that claims reasonable accommodation must demonstrate “significant difficulty or expense” — the same standard applied to disability accommodation challenges.

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Updated California Policy

We have updated the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Policy with respect to recent amendments to California’s pregnancy anti-discrimination regulations.

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New Illinois Policy

Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave Policy

We have included a Leave for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave Policy in the Illinois Handbook.

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New Connecticut Policy (August 2012)

We have included a Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Policy to reflect recent changes in the Connecticut state law.

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August 2012 Updated Policies

Six policies have been updated to keep policy content current with today’s norms, including more stringent NLRA requirements.

  • At Will Statement of Employment
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Non-Harassment
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Travel Time for Non-Exempt Employees
  • Statutory Short-Term Disability Benefits

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Updated California Policy: Working Hours and Schedule (August 2012)

The California Working Hours and Schedule Policy has been updated to reflect recent changes in the California state law.

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Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

The introduction/interview to the Equal Employment Opportunity policy now includes detailed language that subscribers may use to expand the disability accommodation in their EEO policy or to create a stand-alone policy.

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Updated Policies

Twelve policies have been updated to keep policy content current with today's norms, including more stringent NLRA requirements.

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New Optional Policies

Three new optional policies have been added to the Handbook Builder: Job Postings, Transportation Reimbursement Program and Employee Referral Awards.

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New & Updated California Policies

New policies have been added to the California Employee Handbook, including optional coverage for San Francisco commuters and guidelines for providing lactation breaks to new mothers.

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