When Should We Update Our Employment Handbook and Policies?

It is important for all Texas businesses to have employment handbooks and policies, and to ensure that these materials are updated regularly. You might initially assume that once your company’s employment handbook and workplace policies are created, they only need updating when there are obvious changes to be made. However, a smarter strategy is to review and if necessary, update these materials on an annual basis at the very least, and sometimes with more frequency. So, when should you update your business’ employment handbook and policies? Our firm has some tips to guide you.

Review Your Employment Handbook and Policies on an Annual Basis (at a Minimum)

At the very minimum, you should plan to review your employment handbook and policies on an annual basis. Texas state employment laws can change quickly, and employers are required to be in compliance. For example, in 2021, Texas employment laws pertaining to sexual harassment in the workplace were amended, and employers were required to be in compliance with the new laws as of September 1, 2021. Federal employment laws and guidance can also shift, and employers must have up-to-date practices and policies in place.

An employer’s lack of knowledge about a change in state or federal employment law is not an excuse for failing to comply. As such, it is critical to ensure that you know about any changes to the law and that you update your employment handbook and policies accordingly.

Consider More Frequent Reviews and Updates

Given that your business must be in compliance with all federal and state employment laws, it may be prudent to review your employment handbook and policies more often than annually, especially when you know changes to the law are coming. And it’s not just employment laws that you must be concerned with.  For example, when the Texas Firearm Carry Act went into effect on September 1, 2021, it became important for employers across the state to understand their rights and responsibilities under the new law, and to update their employment handbooks and policies to ensure compliance, and to keep their workplaces safe.

Make Updates Designed to Help Your Employees Understand Their Rights and Responsibilities

Beyond reviewing and updating your employment handbook and policies based on changes to state or federal laws, you should also regularly review these materials to ensure your employees understand their rights and responsibilities. You should also be certain that the handbook and workplace policies are easily accessed by your employees.

When you are updating an employment handbook or workplace policies, you should always have an employment law attorney review any changes before you make them final. Your employment handbook and policies should be tailored to your business while meeting any requirements under state and federal law.

Contact an Employment Law Attorney in Texas

If you have questions about updating or reviewing your employment handbook or policies, an experienced Texas employment lawyer at our firm can assist you. Contact Simon Paschal PLLC for more information.

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