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Employee Handbook Design + Build Workshop: California

Employee Handbook Master Class: California

Product Code: HCA--T6

Build Master Class: California   +$0.00

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Employee Handbook Master Class: California
Advanced Skills and Comprehensive Updates for Drafting Legal Workplace Policies

Live Interactive Workshop & Employee Handbook Builder Subscription
Los Angeles, CA | November 12, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This one-day, all-bases-covered event will give you the tools and information you need to refresh your handbook for 2019.

What you’ll get:

  • A 6-month subscription to the interactive Employee Handbook Builder (included with registration)
  • An interactive update from an expert employment attorney on the latest regulatory changes and nuances that need to be reflected in your policies
  • Hands-on workshopping of your own digital handbook so you can return to the office up-to-date and in compliance

What you’ll learn:

  • How to address at-will employment or contractor relationships—and how to avoid inadvertently creating a binding contract with your handbook language
  • Essential employee handbook disclaimer language, and the state-based caveats to consider
  • Examples of overly broad language that could land your organization in legal hot water
  • Best practices for drafting policies around drug testing, harassment prevention, anti-retaliation, pregnancy-based accommodation and other tricky regulatory areas
  • Strategies for communicating handbook changes and ensuring your employees read them, to enhance understanding and reduce your liability
  • How to leverage your included Employee Handbook Builder subscription to design or update your own policies


Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. The program begins at 10:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. There will be morning and afternoon beverage breaks and boxed lunch are included in registration fee.

The Employee Handbook: An Essential Tool in Defending Your Company Against Costly Lawsuits
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
The employee handbook is a living document that can be a very useful tool for helping to insulate your organization from legal liability. If an employee’s conduct or behavior runs afoul to permissible conduct as outlined in the handbook, you’ll have a far easier time defending any adverse employment actions, such as a demotion, suspension, or firing, for policy infractions if those policies have been effectively outlined and communicated to the workforce. The Employee Handbook Design + Build Workshop: California kicks off with a look at some of the essential language every employee handbook should include—and why. You’ll learn:

  • The underlying purpose of the employee handbook—and how to convince management that it’s important to pay close and regular attention to updates that may need to be made 
  • How to address at-will employment or contractor relationships—and how to avoid inadvertently creating a binding contract with your handbook language
  • Essential employee handbook disclaimer language, and California-based caveats to consider
  • Examples of well-constructed company mission statements
  • What an equal employment opportunity statement should address

New Federal and State Court, Legislative and Regulatory Developments and National Employment Trends Impacting Today’s Employee Handbook
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
What are the essential employment policies and procedures that should be included in your employee handbook for the coming year? And, how should the wording be constructed? Often times, overly broad employment policy language can spark costly legal liability under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and other federal and state laws. A California-based Jackson Lewis attorney will provide the latest updates on legal, regulatory, and legislative action that impact what you say—and how you say it—in your employee handbook. You’ll learn how to draft policies and procedures concerning leave administration, ADA/FEHA accommodations, hiring and pre-employment screening practices, and much more. We’ll cover vital policies to always include, ones to consider including, and how to draft employee handbook policy language that doesn’t leave your company vulnerable to legal liability. We’ll cover:

  • Examples of overly broad language that could land your organization in legal hot water
  • Drug testing/use/zero tolerance policies
  • Internal hiring/anti-nepotism
  • Harassment prevention and anti-retaliation including compliant procedures for reporting
  • Reasonable accommodation requests due to ADA/FEHA-protected disabilities
  • Pregnancy-based accommodations
  • Hiring practices—how to avoid asking questions that are unlawful
  • Labor relations-related issues under the NLRA including social media usage and confidentiality
  • Fragrances and allergens in the workplace
  • Discipline (to allow you, as the employer, the most flexibility)
  • Varied forms of paid and unpaid leave, e.g. paid sick and family and medical leave—and leave policies for employers not covered by FMLA/CFRA, but who want to offer some equivalent form of medical/family leave
  • Parental/bonding leave (distinct from maternity/pregnancy leave)
  • Moonlighting/anti-moonlighting (which can of particular importance when dealing with employees on FMLA/CFRA leave)
  • Premium pay/use of time off during holiday periods
  • Treatment of accrued leave on termination (payout/forfeit/accrual cap)
  • Absenteeism/job abandonment/no-call, no-show
  • Harassment
  • Employee travel/compensation for travel time
  • Inclement weather/business disruptions
  • Telecommuting, remote work, and flexible work arrangements
  • Social media use, privacy, and security
  • BYOD
  • Workplace violence

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Distribution, Storage & Disposal of the Employee Handbook 
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Your obligations concerning the employee handbook don’t end once you’ve drafted your policies and procedures. You must ensure that employees have received a copy of the handbook—and any updates you make along the way. In today’s digital age, what’s the best way to get the handbook to your workforce? What types of version control protocols should you have in place when updating the handbook’s contents? And, how long should you keep previous versions of the employee handbook on file—and when is it safe to destroy those? This session will provide practical insights into how to manage the practical use of your handbook in every day work life. You’ll learn:

  • Acknowledgement form language, and best practices for ensuring that employees read and understand your policies and procedures 
  • Best practices for communicating with the workforce about changes to the handbook—no matter how minor those changes may be
  • How to properly edit, update, or delete provisions in your employee handbook
  • How long to keep old versions of the handbook on file—and why

Networking Break

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Design + Build (and Update) Your Own Employee Handbook
1:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
This immersive learning experience will provide you with access to BLR’s Employee Handbook Builder. Bring your laptop because you’ll be logging into the Employee Handbook Builder to pull together the most relevant and essential policies to make your employee handbook up to date with the latest legislation, regulations, and case law. Our team of attorneys from Jackson Lewis along with one of BLR’s in-house Employee Handbook Builder experts will walk you through the process. By the end of this intensive design + build workshop, you’ll have a new employee handbook to roll out for the coming year. You’ll learn how to:

  • Determine what to include in your employee handbook by drafting a comprehensive table of contents 
  • Develop concise summary statements for each section of the employee handbook
  • Incorporate new policy language into your existing employee handbook structure or design your employee handbook from scratch
  • Address standards of conduct, progressive discipline, and the exit process
  • And much more!

And, your access to the Employee Handbook Builder doesn’t end with this class. As a benefit of attending BLR’s Employee Handbook Design + Build Master Class, you’ll get a 6-month subscription, so you can continue to update your policies and procedures to reflect the latest legal, regulatory, and legislative developments.


Richard I. Greenberg

A. Scott Ruygrok
Attorney with Jackson Lewis P.C.

Adrianus Scott Ruygrok is an Associate in the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on providing preventive advice and counsel, as well as representing employers in workplace law matters.

Mr. Ruygrok regularly advises clients on compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, National Labor Relations Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He advises clients on a variety of other labor and employment issues, including wage and hour compliance, leave of absences, paid sick leave, employee benefits, social media, and sexual harassment.

In addition, Mr. Ruygrok represents clients in both federal and state courts, as well as before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Ruygrok also advocates on behalf of employers during labor representation elections and collective bargaining negotiations.


When: Monday, November 12, 2018
Where: Courtyard Marriott
180 North Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103