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Time to Toss the Pre-Covid Employee Handbook? Maybe –Maybe Not

On Tuesday, June 16, Linda Bond Edwards offered insight for employers and during a presentation for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

She outlined the importance of employee handbooks, which are a valuable tool for 1) advising employees of the organization’s  goals and expectation;  2) helping organizations to reduce liability when policies and procedures are applied consistently and 3)  explaining employing benefits.

Despite well developed pre-COVID employee handbooks, many did not contain all the information needed to guide employers through the unknowns brought about by mandated shutdowns and employee health and safety measures.

She encouraged employers to take the time to understand what they learned about their organizations as a result of COVID-19, toss out perceptions about employee distrust about remote working, embrace the opportunity to restart work-life balance efforts with creative uses of employee leave and remote working, mental health provisions, and thinking about housing and financial insecurity issues that may have affected their employees.

She also reminded employers not to disregard other events happening during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the George Floyd death and the issue of implicit bias. She suggested employers use those events to revisit social media policies that address issues of employees speaking out on social media to address issues of the day, as well as the impact of implicit bias within their organizations.  

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