October 22, 2013

5 Employee Handbook Policies that are Downright SCARY!

dangerous employee handbook policies have confused this cat

Happy Halloween! To celebrate properly, we’ve compiled a list of 5 employee handbook policies so bad, they’re SPOOOOOOKY. (Insert blood-curdling screams here!)

Why? Well, for starters, they lead companies into rough waters (think cemeteries full of half-rotted zombies dressed like lawyers) when it comes to federal and state employment law compliance. CEDR’s HR experts – who also happen to be CERTIFIED zombie-lawyer slayers, by the way – feel that any policy that leaves you vulnerable to wage and hour violations or frivolous employee lawsuits isn’t just spooky, it’s probably going to eventually rot your brain.

Here are some of the spookiest, most troublesome policies we encounter in medical and dental employee manuals:

  1. “We consider employee salaries to be confidential. Employees may not discuss them with one another or with others.”
    (Illegal. Employers may not prohibit employees from discussing working conditions with each other, including salaries.)
  2. “We have a zero-tolerance ‘no gossiping’ policy.”
    (Problematic. Again, this is overly broad and implies that workers may not discuss working conditions.)
  3. “Unauthorized overtime will not be paid.”
    (Non-compliant. Employers cannot refuse to pay for time already worked, even if unauthorized, and employees may not sign away their right to receive compensation, even if they are zombies.)
  4. “Upon termination you must return all company property prior to receiving your final paycheck.”
    (Bad idea. Employers are not permitted to withhold the final paycheck, and this policy is troublesome for other reasons.)
  5. “If a seminar falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you will not be paid for this non-work day. If it falls on a normal workday you will be paid your daily rate.”
    (Incorrect and evidence that can be used against you. Federal rules set by the FLSA mandate which training time is compensable and non-compensable. To link to our free Employer Solution Series bulletin on seminar pay, click HERE, IF YOU DARE!!!)

After your blood runs cold, please consider, giving CEDR’s Zombie-Lawyer-Slayer hotline a call at 866.414.6056 if you do have any of these policies in your dental or medical practice’s employee handbook. And have a great day!

Disclaimer: No zombies, lawyers, or spooky black cats were harmed during the creation of this post.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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Please note: CEDR Solutions specializes in providing expert HR support to owners and operators of independently owned medical and dental practices.