Policy Updates

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NEW: New York Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Form

Effective October 9, 2018, every employer in New York State is required to adopt the Sexual Harassment policy and Complaint Form. The New York Department of Labor and New York Division of Civil Rights issued their final guidance last week, and after review of the new guidance, we have added the policy and complaint form to the New York Employee Handbook Builder.

There also is a new Receipt of Sexual Harassment for the New York policy. We suggest you have employees print and sign this new Receipt.

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UPDATE: Illinois Lactation Breaks

The Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act requires employers with six (6) or more employees to provide nursing mothers reasonable break time to express breast milk during the workday unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer. Amendments to the Act, which took effect August 21, 2018, clarify that the break time “may not reduce an employee’s compensation for time used” to express milk, and so the break time generally should be paid. Employers also must make reasonable efforts to provide a private room or location other than a toilet stall in close proximity to the employee’s work area. The Act further requires that break time be provided for at least one (1) year after the birth of a child, but the policy does not impose a time limit to support working women who continue breastfeeding for longer periods.

Including the policy in the Employee Handbook is not required but is recommended.

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UPDATE: Connecticut Family and Medical Leave

This policy has been updated to correct a grammatical error.

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NEW: New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Leave

We have added Earned Sick and Safe Leave to the New Jersey Employee Handbook Builder because of the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, which takes effect October 29, 2018.

The Act requires all private employers in New Jersey to provide eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year to be used for their own illness or a family member’s illness, for absences related to domestic or sexual violence, for school or workplace closings related to a public health emergency and for school meetings.

This new policy will replace and supersede the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave policy as well as the city-specific Paid Sick Leave policies for Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield and Trenton.

All previous NJ paid sick leave policies have been removed from the New Jersey Employee Handbook Builder as have the New Jersey cities from “Number of Employees” in the Interview section of the Handbook Builder.

This handbook policy is optional but strongly recommended.

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NEW: South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the South Carolina Handbook Builder. The South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions to job applicants and employees and prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. The Act applies to employers with at least one employee in South Carolina and 15 or more employees nationally.

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NEW: New York City Temporary Schedule Change

New York City’s Temporary Schedule Change Law provides covered employees the right to temporary changes to their work schedule for certain “personal events," which are explained in the policy. This law applies to all employers who have one (1) or more employees in New York City.

Including this policy in your handbook is optional, but  employers’ policies must meet or exceed the requirements of the Temporary Schedule Change Law. In addition, employers must post a notice in the workplace explaining rights under the law.

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NEW: Washington Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the Washington Handbook Builder. The Washington Healthy Starts Act requires workplace accommodations for pregnant employees. The Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees nationally and at least one (1) employee in Washington.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional. Although the Act also does not require employers to provide notice of employee rights under the law, employers are advised to do so. Please be sure to review the advisory notes behind the "Explain this to me" tab.

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NEW: West Virginia Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added Pregnancy Accommodations to the West Virginia Handbook Builder. The West Virginia’s Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act requires a covered employer to make a reasonable accommodation for health conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions of a job applicant or employee, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the Company.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional. The Act applies to employers employing 12 or more employees within West Virginia for 20 or more calendar weeks in a calendar year.

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NEW: Vermont Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the Vermont Handbook Builder. According to Vermont law (21 V.S.A. § 495k) effective January 1, 2018, Vermont employees with pregnancy-related conditions have a right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace to perform their job. The law applies to all Vermont workplaces and all pregnant employees.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional. Employers must post notice of the law in a place conspicuous to employees at the employer's place of business.

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NEW: Utah Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the Utah Handbook Builder. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees in Utah, and requires covered employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee for pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding or a related condition upon the employee’s request unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

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NEW: Nevada Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the Nevada Handbook Builder. This policy applies to employers with 15 or more employees nationally and at least one (1) employee in Nevada.

Under the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (the “Act”), effective October 1, 2017, Nev. Rev. Stat § 613.335(2) - (8), employees have the right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional. The Act requires employers to provide notice to all new employees at the time of hire and also requires employers to post a notice in the workplace and give notice within 10 days after employees report to an immediate supervisor that they are pregnant.

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NEW: New Jersey Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the New Jersey Handbook Builder. New Jersey law prohibits all employers from treating an employee affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding in a manner less favorable than the treatment of other persons not affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding but who are similar in their ability or inability to work. Employers also are required to provide reasonable accommodation to women affected by pregnancy unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the business operations of the employer.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional.

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NEW: Nebraska Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added this policy to the Nebraska Handbook Builder. The law covers employers with 15 or more total employees and at least one (1) employee in Nebraska. Nebraska law requires reasonable accommodation to the known physical limitations of any individual who is pregnant, has given birth or has a related medical condition unless the employer can demonstrate doing so would pose an undue hardship.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional.

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NEW: Minnesota Pregnancy Accommodations

We have added a Pregnancy Accommodations policy to the Minnesota Handbook. The Women’s Economic Security Act, Minn. requires a covered employer to make a reasonable accommodation for health conditions related to an employee’s pregnancy or childbirth upon the employee’s request, with the advice of her licensed health care provider, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the Company.

Including this policy in the employee handbook is optional. Provisions regarding pregnancy accommodations are only applicable if the employee is employed in Minnesota and the Company has 21 or more employees at any single work site.

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UPDATE: Maryland Pregnancy Accommodations

This policy has been updated to correct a grammatical error.

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UPDATE: Colorado Pregnancy Accommodations

We have updated the Pregnancy Accommodations policy in the Colorado Handbook Builder. We added an interview question to identify the contact for requesting an accommodation.

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UPDATE: Delaware Pregnancy Accommodations

We added an interview question for this policy that allows you to identify a contact for questions or accommodation requests.

Also, please note that this policy applies to employers with four (4) or more employees in Delaware. Please make sure that the number of employees in Delaware is correct in the Interview section of the Handbook Builder.

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UPDATE: Hawaii Pregnancy Accommodations (formerly Maternity Leave)

We updated the former Hawaii Maternity Leave policy to:

  • Include pregnancy accommodations, resulting in significant content changes to the policy and new advisory notes behind the “Explain this to me” tab;
  • Change the title to Hawaii: Pregnancy Accommodations;
  • Add an interview question about the contact for questions or accommodation requests; and
  • Relocate the policy from the “Leaves of Absence” section of the Handbook Builder to the “Governing Principles of Employment” section.

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UPDATE: Rhode Island School Involvement Leave

We have updated the advisory notes (Explain this to me) to clarify that the law applies only to private employers with 50 or more employees and at least one (1) employee in Rhode Island.

Please make sure the Rhode Island employee counts in your handbook are up-to-date in the Interview section (“Number of Employees”). If the “Number of Employees” is 0 for Rhode Island and if "Total Number of Employees" is 49 or less, the updated policy will not be generated.

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UPDATE: San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Policy

The San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance applies to employers with one (1) or more employees in San Francisco and 20 or more total employees, regardless of location.

Please make sure the San Francisco employee counts in your handbook are up-to-date in the Interview section (“Number of Employees”). If the “Number of Employees” is 0 for San Francisco and if "Total Number of Employees" is 19 or less, the updated policy will not be generated.

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UPDATE Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time (For Employees Also Covered Under Washington Paid Sick Leave)

We have updated this policy based on recent guidance from the Seattle Office of Labor Standards. This provision is applicable if the employer has one (1) or more employees in Seattle.

Accrual rates and maximum carryover of paid sick and safe time (PSST) are based on number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). An employer's FTEs nationally are counted toward determining its size, defined as Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 as explained in the chart below.

Employer Size Based on
Total Employees Nationally

Accrual Rate

Maximum Carryover

Tier 1: 1-49 FTEs

1 hour for every 40 hours

40 hours

Tier 2: 50-249 FTEs

1 hour for every 40 hours

56 hours

Tier 3: 250+ FTEs

1 hour for every 30 hours

72 hours

Note that PSST will be populated automatically based on an employer’s FTEs both in and out of the Seattle city limits. Therefore, it is critical that you make sure both the Total and Seattle employee counts in your handbook are up-to-date in the Interview section (“Number of Employees”). If the “Number of Employees” is 0 for Seattle, the updated policy will not be generated and the old policy will be deleted.

We also made some content changes to the policy, particularly in the “Explain this to me” advisory notes, so please be sure to read them.

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UPDATE: Illinois Leave for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

We have updated Leave for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence in the Illinois Handbook Builder.

A recent amendment to the Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) expanded the eligibility for unpaid leave for victims of domestic or sexual violence. Under the amended Act, the number of weeks of unpaid leave provided in the policy is based on the number of employees you indicate you have nationally and in Illinois. So please make sure both the Total and Illinois employee counts in your handbook are up-to-date in the Interview section (“Number of Employees”). If the “Number of Employees” is 0 for Illinois, the updated policy will not be generated and the old policy will be deleted.

We also made some editorial changes to the policy and added an interview question that will allow you to specify how employees on leave will pay for any applicable health insurance premiums.

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UPDATE: New York Jury Duty Leave

We have updated Jury Duty Leave in the New York Handbook Builder.

The payment requirements (in the first sentence of the last paragraph) now link to the number of employees in New York, such that:

  • Employers with 10 or more employees will see the text: The company will compensate the juror with a fee of $40 or the juror’s regular wage (whichever is lower) for the first three (3) days of jury service.
  • Employers with nine (9) or less employees will see the text: The company will not compensate non-exempt employees for time off while on jury duty leave.

Of course, you can edit the text to match your company policy.

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NEW: Rhode Island Earned Sick and Safe Leave

We have added Earned Sick and Safe Leave to the Rhode Island Handbook Builder.

Effective July 1, 2018, the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act requires all employers with employees in Rhode Island to provide either paid or unpaid Earned Sick and Safe Leave (ESSL).

The law requires employers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island to provide paid ESSL for personal illness, family care, business closures and domestic violence. Employers with 17 or fewer employees in Rhode Island must provide comparable unpaid ESSL.

Employees must be allowed to accrue and use up to:

  • 24 hours of ESSL in calendar year 2018;
  • 32 hours in calendar year 2019; and
  • 40 hours each calendar year thereafter.

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UPDATED: California: Family and Medical Leave

We corrected a typo in the policy.

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UPDATE: Massachusetts Earned Sick Time

This policy has been updated to correct a grammatical error.

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UPDATE: Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave

As of May 1, 2018, Small Necessities Leave was deleted from subscriber handbooks if a subscriber was not FMLA-eligible.

The policy only is applicable if an employer has Massachusetts employees who are eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), i.e., they work at worksites with 50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius.

In the past, some employers included this policy in their handbooks even though they did not meet the FMLA criteria. Please revisit the Interview section of the Handbook Builder and confirm or update the total number of employees in your company and the number in Massachusetts to ensure the right policy content is generated in your Employee Handbook.

If you wish to keep Small Necessities Leave in your handbook even if the Company does not have any Massachusetts employees covered by the FMLA, you must create a custom policy (Add Provision) that includes the Small Necessities Leave policy language. Please contact Technical Support at 844-687-0479 or techsupport@blr.com if you need help creating a custom policy.

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UPDATE: New York State Paid Family Leave

As of January 1, 2018, eligible employees are entitled to up to eight (8) weeks of paid family leave within any 52-consecutive-week period. PFL benefits are financed solely through employee contributions via payroll deductions.

NOTE that this policy has been updated to reflect recent guidance. Most significant is the addition of a final paragraph in the policy dealing with questions or complaints about Paid Family Leave.

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UPDATE: New York City Supplemental Gender Discrimination

This New York City policy has been updated to include the expanded definition of gender that takes effect May 11, 2018.

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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UPDATE: New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time

This policy was updated to comply with the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time ordinance, which was amended effective May 5, 2018. Note that “Safe” has been added to the title, and the policy and advisory notes now include significant new content addressing the need for safe leave if the employee or a family member is the victim of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking. So be sure to read the content behind the “Explain this to me” tab.

We also added an interview question that allows subscribers to provide leave via accrual or a grant (front-loading). The upside of the grant is that accrual is not tracked based on hours worked and the unused safe/sick time does not carry over year to year; also, some employers find it administratively easier to apply. Possible downsides include potential for increased employee absences and higher sick leave costs since employees will have earlier access to (i.e., can take and be paid for) more safe/sick time than they would under the accrual system and could exit the organization before time is accrued/recovered.

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UPDATE: California Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention

At the advice of Jackson Lewis P.C., we have added the following sentence as the penultimate paragraph in the policy:

In addition to being a violation of this policy, harassment, discrimination or retaliation can also be against the law. Employees who engage in conduct that rises to the level of a violation of law can be held personally liable for such conduct.

Note that the Receipt of California: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Prevention also has been updated. All employees should 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. It also shows the employer's compliance with the law's requirements. Procedures should be implemented to ensure that this and all other acknowledgments are collected and retained in employees' personnel files.

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UPDATE: Job Postings

We corrected a grammatical error in the policy.

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UPDATE: Washington Family and Medical Leave

We have adjusted the method for generating the Washington Family and Medical Leave in the Washington Handbook. The policy is generated if a company has 50 or more employees working in the State of Washington. Depending on the number of employees in your Washington offices, the policy may appear in your Handbook Builder as a new addition. If that is the case, please review the interview questions and the policy and save the policy in your handbook.

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UPDATE: MD Montgomery Co. Earned Sick & Safe Leave (For Employees Covered Under MD Healthy Working

We have updated Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave based on the preliminary guidance recently issued by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

The requirement for whether leave must be paid or unpaid is based on the number of employees in Maryland and in Montgomery County. Note too, Montgomery County employers only need the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave policy and may delete the Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave policy.

Please revisit the Interview section of the Handbook Builder and confirm or update the number of employees in Maryland and in Montgomery County to ensure the right policy text is generated in your Employee Handbook. We also updated the guidance provided behind the “Explain this to me” tab, so be sure to read this as well.

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UPDATE: Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave

We have updated Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave based on the preliminary guidance recently issued by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

The guidance says that employers with 15 or more employees in Maryland must provide paid ESSL; employers with 14 or fewer employees in Maryland are required to provide unpaid ESSL. Previously, the policies considered total number of employees, whereas now the trigger is number of employees in Maryland. In addition, the guidance specifies that the accrual date is based on the effective date of the law, which is February 11, 2018.

Please revisit the Interview section of the Handbook Builder and confirm or update the number of employees in Maryland to ensure the right policy text is generated in your Employee Handbook. We also updated the guidance provided behind the “Explain this to me” tab, so be sure to read this as well.

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NEW: Massachusetts Pregnancy Accommodations

Massachusetts Pregnancy Accommodations has been added to the Massachusetts Handbook Builder. This policy reflects the provisions of the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that takes effect April 1, 2018. The Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions and requires reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.

This policy applies to Massachusetts employers with six (6) or more employees and to other employers with six (6) or more employees nationally that also have one (1) or more employees in Massachusetts.

Please revisit the Interview section of the Handbook Builder and confirm or update the number of employees in Massachusetts to ensure the right policy text is generated in your Employee Handbook. Also, please answer the new interview question for the policy and read the guidance provided behind the “Explain this to me” tab.

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NEW: Connecticut Pregnancy Accommodations

Connecticut Pregnancy Accommodations has been added to the Connecticut Handbook Builder. It reflects the provisions of Public Act No. 17-118 Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace that took effect October 1, 2017. The Act prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant workers and requires reasonable accommodation of their pregnancies. Employers are required to provide notice of the Act as of January 28, 2018.

The policy applies to Connecticut employers with at least three (3) employees in Connecticut and to other employers with at least three (3) employees nationally and one (1) or more employees in Connecticut. This handbook policy is not required but is considered a good practice to inform employees of their rights and obligations under the Act.

Please revisit the Interview section of the Handbook Builder and confirm or update the number of employees in Connecticut to ensure the right policy text is generated in your Employee Handbook. Also, please answer the new interview question for the policy and read the guidance provided behind the “Explain this to me” tab.

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DELETE: Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave

We will remove the Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave policy from the Employee Handbook Builder effective March 6, 2018. The Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance expired on December 31, 2017, and the Washington paid sick leave law now applies to Spokane employers instead. 

Spokane employers should implement the Washington Paid Sick Leave policy and may choose to allow employees to carry over paid sick and safe leave accrued under the Spokane Earned Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance for use under the Washington Paid Sick Leave policy, but are not required to do so.

Please refer to the new Washington: Paid Sick Leave policy for further information and to create a new policy. 

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UPDATE: Equal Employment Opportunity

The Handbook Builder has been enhanced to allow users to easily add the disability accommodation—Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities—into the EEO policy. The language can be added during the interview process by checking the box to confirm that you wish to “add expanded language to the standard EEO policy.” The content is now coded to populate your EEO policy with the company term and contact that you identify in the interview.

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NEW: Washington Paid Sick Leave

This new policy, effective January 1, 2018, includes the paid sick leave requirements created by Washington Initiative 1433. This new policy applies to all non-exempt employees in the State of Washington. The new State law also prompted changes in the sick leave policies for Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane. Please see the posts for those cities if you have employees in the cities.

Be sure to answer the interview questions associated with this policy and also read the advisory notes behind the Explain This to Me tab.

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UPDATE: Tacoma Paid Leave

Tacoma Paid Leave has been updated to reflect changes made to the Tacoma paid leave ordinance to incorporate the new State requirements, but the Tacoma ordinance also covers exempt employees. Tacoma employers should maintain the updated policy and if there are employees in other parts of Washington, add the Washington policy.

Be sure to review and answer the interview questions for the policy, and review the guidance provided behind the “Explain this to me” tab.

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NEW: California New Parent Leave

The California New Parent Leave Act (CANPLA) applies to employers with 20 or more employees (nationally), and technically requires a handbook policy for all covered employers. However, since there must be 20 employees within a 75-mile radius for any California employees to be eligible, if this is not the case, potential risks of not including this policy in the handbook are minimal. This policy does not apply if there are 50 or more employees within 75 miles of all California employee worksites as these employees are covered by FMLA and CFRA.

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NEW: San Francisco Lactation Accommodation

This policy: 1) must be distributed upon hire, 2) must be included in any handbook, and 3) must be provided to any employee who inquiries about or requests pregnancy or parental leave.

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NEW: Berkeley, CA Paid Sick Leave

This new policy, effective 10/1/2017, has been drafted to comply with California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. This handbook policy is optional, although we strongly recommend including it in the handbook. The model notice was not yet available when this advisory was drafted. Check the city's minimum wage ordinance web page for updates.

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UPDATED: Oregon Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking Leave

We have updated this policy to clarify that all employers who employ six (6) or more employees in Oregon are obligated to provide leave to an employee regardless of how many hours that employee works.

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UPDATE: Minnesota Crime Victims Leave

The policy was updated to clarify that leave is unpaid.

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UPDATED: San Diego Earned Sick Leave

The agency enforcing sick leave ordinances recently clarified that sick leave is intended only to apply to non-exempt employees in San Diego. Accordingly, we have updated the chart listing all California sick leave policies and, where applicable, we have updated the San Diego interview questions, policy text and the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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UPDATED: Emeryville Paid Sick Leave

The agency enforcing sick leave ordinances recently clarified that sick leave is intended only to apply to non-exempt employees in Emeryville. Accordingly, we have updated the chart listing all California sick leave policies and, where applicable, we have updated the Emeryville interview questions, policy text and the advisory notes (Explain this to me).

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NEW: Chicago/Cook County Earned Sick Leave

NOTE that the list of Cook County municipalities that opted out of compliance with the ordinance was updated on 7/7/17.

We have added Chicago/Cook County Earned Sick Leave to the Illinois Handbook Builder. This policy is effective July 1, 2017. This policy can be used for purposes of compliance with both the Chicago ordinance and the Cook County ordinance.

Note that more than one-third of the municipalities within Cook County have “opted out” of complying with the ordinance. The “Explain this to me” advisory notes contain a list of the municipalities that have opted out to date.

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NEW: St. Paul, MN Earned Sick and Safe Time

This new policy applies to all employers, but the effective date is dependent on the number of employees in St. Paul. For employers with 24 or more employees in St. Paul, the effective date is July 1, 2017; for employers with 23 or fewer employees in St. Paul, the effective date is January 1, 2018.

Additionally, the ordinance permits delayed implementation for employers who are “new” to this city. Review the “Explain it to me” notes for further information.

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NEW: Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time

As a result of recent local legislation, this new policy has been added to the Minnesota Handbook Builder and is effective July 1, 2017.

Employers with six (6) or more employees (nationally) must provide paid Sick and Safe Time (SST); employers with five (5) or fewer employees must provide unpaid SST unless they choose to provide a greater benefit.

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

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UPDATED: Los Angeles Paid Sick Leave

Effective July 1, 2017, employers in the City of Los Angeles are covered under the ordinance regardless of the number of non-exempt employees they have.

As a reminder, we also drafted this policy to comply with California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (in addition to the Los Angeles ordinance) for eligible (non-exempt) employees. NOTE that the agency enforcing this ordinance recently clarified that it is intended only to apply to non-exempt employees. We have updated the policy text and the advisory notes (Explain this to me) to address this clarification, so be sure to read both carefully. In addition, please re-answer the interview questions that precede the policy.

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NEW: Arizona Earned Paid Sick Time

This policy is effective July 1, 2017. It applies to all employers, but the amount of earned paid sick time for which employees are eligible depends on the size of the employer’s workforce in Arizona.

Please be sure to read the advisory notes (Explain this to me) and answer the interview questions.

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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: 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: 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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UPDATED: Massachusetts Parental Leave

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: 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: 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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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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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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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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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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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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Minnesota: Family Military Leave

At the request of subscribers, we have added Minnesota Family Military Leave to the Employee 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 Employee 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 Employee 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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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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