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Q&A: Do we need to tell employees when employment laws change?

Possibly. As the employer, you need to stay up to date on legal changes that affect your organization, and your leadership team, managers, human resources, and payroll departments should be kept aware of any new legal requirements or rights that will apply to them or their employees.

On the other hand, non-managerial employees only need to be informed about changes to the law when notice is legally required. If there’s no requirement, whether to update employees is up to you. Still, making employees aware of their rights is usually a best practice. If they’re aware of what they’re entitled to, they’ll often keep their manager or employer honest by demanding it, which could ultimately save you a lawsuit down the road.

Finally, if a change in the law impacts your policies, be sure to update your handbook and have your employees sign off on it. More widespread understanding of the new law will help foster compliance, and employee signatures will help show that they were made aware of the policy change and any new rights or responsibilities.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

Answer from Kim, SPHR, SHRM-SCP:
Kim is a results-driven HR Professional with experience from diverse industries, including but not limited to, transportation, environmental services, staffing, pharmaceutical, market research, banking, retail, software development and education non-profit. In her spare time, Kim enjoys the beautiful view from her home and being with her husband and their German shepherd, Fin.

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