Is Your Employee Handbook Up To Date?

Volume 10, Issue 10
September 16, 2011

Now that Labor Day has passed, it is only a few short weeks until the start of October. On October 1, 2011, Nevada's new law prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity/expression becomes effective. As previously reported in the May 26, 2011 edition of the KZA Employer Report, we encourage all of our clients to review and revise their existing workplace policies regarding equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, anti-harassment and non-retaliation to specifically include gender identity/expression with other protected traits such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age or disability. EEO training programs for employees should also be updated to address the new prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of gender identity/expression. With this recommended review, you should also consider whether your policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation are sufficiently detailed to address all forms of protected traits and/or activities. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to take issue with employer policies that, for example, almost exclusively address sexual harassment without similarly defining other forms of harassment, such as based on race, age, disability, etc. With the addition of gender identity/expression to the list of protected categories, now is an opportune time to assess whether your policies are as comprehensive as possible. Does your employee handbook address the provisions of GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act? What about your FMLA and drug testing policies? Are they as up to date as they should be? If you have questions or concerns, contact your regular KZA attorney and we can assist you in providing the necessary updates. In many instances, we already have policies prepared to address these important changes in the law.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.