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This holiday season, we brought you 12 developments in labor and employment from 2023 that employers should be mindful of when updating their handbooks. Because an employee handbook sets expectations for performance and behavior, outlines employees’ rights, and communicates legal obligations, it is an important tool for managers and employees. It can also be the first line of defense for employee disputes and litigation. 

Some new laws and regulations to note for employee handbooks in 2024 are:

  1. The CROWN Act: Approximately 24 state laws and 40 local ordinances have passed laws prohibiting race-based hair discrimination. 
  2. PUMP Act: Employers should ensure their lactation policy and lactation space are compliant.
  3. Leave Laws: There are significant paid leave laws going into effect this year. An addendum is usually recommended if employers have employees in multiple states.
  4. Labor Laws: This is a good time to check if an employee could reasonably interpret a handbook policy as having a chilling effect on the employee’s right to engage in concerted activities under a new National Labor Relations Act legal standard.
  5. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA): Consider including a policy that specifically discusses the PWFA – and look for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) final PWFA regulations.
  6. Harassment Policies: Make sure harassment policies are up to date and look for the EEOC’s final guidance.
  7. Non-competes: A non-compete agreement should be tailored to the state where the employee works. As a best practice, these need not go in your handbook.  
  8. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exemptions: In light of a 2023 proposed rule awaiting finalization, consider how the FLSA changes could affect your business.
  9. Form I-9 Changes: Employers who are hiring should look at the Department of Homeland Security’s alternative procedure for remote examination of Form I-9 documents and the new Form I-9. 
  10. Pay Equity: A number of states have laws requiring salary transparency or laws that ban inquiry into the wage history of applicants. 
  11. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy: While not required, AI policies are something to think about as employees’ use of AI becomes more commonplace in the workplace. And be wary of using AI in hiring procedures. 
  12. Remote Workers: If an employer’s remote worker moved to a new location this year, significant handbook updates may be required.

These updates can help determine your handbook’s efficacy. Thanks for following along.  


12 Days of Handbook Updates: Leave Laws

December 13, 2023 | Labor and Employment, State Labor Laws

12 Days of Handbook Updates: The CROWN Act

December 11, 2023 | Labor and Employment, Employment Discrimination

12 Days of Handbook Updates: Harassment Policies

December 19, 2023 | Labor and Employment, EEOC, Employment Discrimination, Federal Laws and Legislation

12 Days of Handbook Updates: Remote Workers

January 5, 2024 | Labor and Employment, State Labor Laws, Employment Discrimination

12 Days of Handbook Updates: Non-Competes

December 20, 2023 | Labor and Employment, High Stakes Employment Issues, Non-competes and Trade Secrets


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