How to Audit Employee Handbooks to Comply with MA Employment Law


(Last Updated On: August 22, 2022)

Woman working on laptop

Laws are a lot like people in that they’re constantly changing. For example, take the Crown Act that Massachusetts recently implemented. 

As a business leader, it’s important to stay on top of these changes. Here at Rodman Employment Law, we recommend auditing your employee handbook annually.  

However, you’ll want to audit it more frequently in two different scenarios. The first is when a major change in Massachusetts Employment Law occurs. The second is when you experience a major internal change within your business. For instance, maybe you’ve recently hired your 50th employee or acquired another company.  

How to Audit Employee Handbooks to Comply with MA Employment Law

Not sure where to start with your annual employee handbook audit? Here are some guidelines for reviewing and revising this document to help protect your business from litigation. 

1) Review the Main Categories 

Make sure you have covered the main categories of an employee handbook. These include the following:  

    • Welcome Greeting 
    • Company Mission Statement 
    • Terms of the Employment Relationship  
    • EEOC/Anti-Discrimination Policies 
    • Workplace Policies and Procedures 
    • Code of Conduct 
    • Compensation and Performance 
    • Benefits and Perks 
    • Working Hours, PTO, and Vacation 
    • Acknowledgement of Receipt

Review these sections for content as well as delivery. You want the handbook to clearly explain policies to workers, so they don’t have any lingering questions. They should know what is expected of them and what they can expect from the company. From a legal standpoint, a well-written handbook will give your business an advantage in any unemployment and workers’ compensation claims that should arise.  

2) Spend Extra Time Reviewing Legal Policies and Provisions

Make sure that your employee handbook has clear and thorough law-heavy sections to ensure compliance with Massachusetts law. For instance, you’ll want to spend ample time combing through your business’s definition of Paid Family Medical Leave Policy. That way, employees understand how to initiate FMLA and know what to expect both during and after their leave. 

3) Update Policies and Procedures 

After you’ve reviewed the main parts of the handbook and analyzed any legal policies and provisions, it’s time to make any necessary changes. Update reporting structures, mission statements, and other company-specific policies and procedures. The goal is to keep the handbook in alignment with any new employment laws in Massachusetts or any major shifts in your business’s structure or workforce. For instance, maybe it’s time to implement a more generous PTO policy or stricter remote work guidelines.  

You might also want to tweak the handbook to reflect corporate goal changes. Perhaps you and other business leaders want to adjust your company’s parental leave policy to boost retention.  

When to Get Help with Auditing and Revising Your Employee Handbook

Feeling overwhelmed about reviewing and updating your employee handbook? We encourage you to seek out the support of a Massachusetts employment lawyer. Contact Rodman Employment Law at 617-820-5250 if you need help auditing your employee handbook to ensure compliance with Massachusetts law. Our experienced employment attorneys will make this task less stressful and confusing while ensuring that your handbook helps minimize the risk of future lawsuits.  

More articles