January 11, 2024

January is an ideal time for HR professionals to review and update their policies, procedures and handbooks as many new workplace laws and regulations take effect in the New Year. However, changes in laws and regulations are not the only reason to revisit policies. Changes within your organization can also be a good reason to give your policies a second look to ensure they are still relevant to your current business situation. 

The federal government, states and cities were active again in 2023 passing workplace legislation intended to protect employees in 2024. They include laws and regulations addressing paid leave, discrimination and harassment, pay equity and harassment, labor relations and more that create new obligations for employers. Not updating policies can put an organization at risk of compliance violations and legal disputes.  

For expert insights on legislation impacting 2024, HR professionals are invited to attend Traliant’s free webinar, “Navigating 2024’s Employment Law Changes,” on January 17, at 2 pm ET. Led by Elissa Rossi, Vice President of Compliance Services at Traliant, lawyer and former Assistant Attorney General of New York, the 60-minute webinar will provide guidance on what employers need to do differently in 2024 and the updates they need to make to workplace policies and employee handbooks to stay legal and compliant. Click here to register. 

During the webinar, Rossi will specifically address: 

  • Paid leave/leave of absence requirements in CA, IL & Chicago 
  • CA & WA discrimination protections of off-duty cannabis use  
  • MN amendment prohibiting gender identity discrimination  
  • NY law barring employers from requiring employees to disclose personal account information 
  • CO Equal Pay for Equal Work Act requiring employers to post salary range, benefits & other info about job opportunities 
  • NLRB’s Cemex decision on process for recognizing unions 
  • Proposed EEOC enforcement guidance on workplace harassment 

Additional reasons to annually review your policies 

Your organization is undergoing changes 
Any time there is a change in leadership, a merger or a company is purchased by another, it’s a good idea to review your policies and procedures to ensure they align with the new vision and values and accommodate the integration of cultures. 

Your business is growing 
When adding staff, forming new teams or building external partnerships, it’s important to review HR policies to make sure they’re still relevant. Do existing policies make sense for a larger team? Will they ensure fairness across a growing organization? Most importantly, do they help the business achieve its goals?

Your brand identity or value proposition evolve 
When there is a change in an organization’s direction, business approach, brand language or value proposition, policies need to be aligned with these shifts to ensure consistency, provide clarity in expectations and guide employee behavior in line with the new objectives.  

Your organization experiences an incident or policy violation 
It’s a good practice to review policies after an incident or policy violation to determine whether existing policy and procedures were useful and appropriate for the situation or if changes need to be made. Did employees follow procedures properly? Are there any gaps in training or problems with employees’ understanding of the policy? If repeated violations of a similar type are occurring, the issue may be that the policy is outdated, confusing, or requires more training.  

Keeping pace with technology
An annual policy review allows HR professionals to assess the workplace impacts of technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, and update policies and guidelines to address evolving issues like data privacy and cybersecurity.   



Mark Hudson