Are you meeting posting requirements? Check the list of workplace posters to ensure you are displaying all posters applicable to your business.
You should consider two (2) important questions when developing your holiday policies:
- How do I accommodate employees' beliefs and avoid religious discrimination in the workplace?
- How can I ensure safety at the company holiday gathering?
A diverse employee population with a variety of religious beliefs calls for a holiday policy that is fair and flexible. This can pose a challenge to employers. The trend in handling this issue is for employers to combine separate time classifications such as sick leave and vacation leave and term them as paid time off (PTO). PTO allows the employees flexibility to use time for the purpose they need, including observation of religious or other holidays. In addition, some employers provide floating holidays as a benefit. Employees can use floating holidays to observe holidays that are not officially observed by the business. Whatever the reason for the time off, employers should require advance request in order to plan coverage and avoid a lapse in output.
Keeping Holiday Gatherings Safe
Keeping your on-site or off-site holiday gatherings safe is equally important as keeping your workplace safe. The holidays are great to have fun and celebrate successes but safety should be in the forefront from planning to the last goodbye at your event. Below are a few tips to keep your employees safe and reduce property damage during holiday celebrations:
- Think carefully about serving alcoholic beverages. If you do, consider making travel arrangements for guests who drink. This would address your employee's safety and comfort, as well as legal concerns.
- Consider fire safety when planning holiday decorations. Not only do holiday decorations cause fire; they can also be dangerous tripping hazards.
- Make sure holiday decorations do not cover your office or building sign and street address. All signage should be visible and paths clear to accommodate emergency vehicles, if needed.
- If giving your employees gifts, consider safety-conscious gifts and make sure other gifts are easy to operate and are safe. Gift certificates could be an option.
- Keep OSHA standard precautions in mind should an employee become ill from food poisoning or drinking too much alcohol or cut themselves.
In addition to safety concerns, employers should be sensitive to their employees' situations. It would be good not to add extra responsibilities around the holiday season by requiring formal attire or asking employees to donate to an event. It may be a good idea to conduct a brief survey to gain employees' input on holiday activities.
|WHO'S WATCHING YOU?|
As a small business, you are required to adhere to certain federal, state, and local laws and regulations; especially those of you who are government contractors. Different government agencies can conduct audits to ensure you meet mandated compliances. This month, as a resource to help prepare you for one of those possible audits, we would like to share the IRS video, Your Guide to an IRS Audit.
At a most critical time, VBS provided our organization with professional HR support in the timeliest and most responsive of manners so we could resolve our HR issue as efficiently as possible. They offered a long-range sense of how we should handle future HR issues. They worked with us closely taking into account all possible consequences of actions and providing the background and perspective needed to weigh alternative options. Working with VBS almost accounted to an HR 101 course in the level of care and detail with which they handled our questions - we came out of it with the tools we need to minimize future HR issues and build stronger organization-employee relations.
Theresa Williamson, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director