Updating Your Employee Handbook for 2021

Updating Your Employee Handbook for 2021

Speaker Spotlight with Greg Labate of Sheppard Mullin 

2021 California Employment Law Update Employee Handbook Interview with Speaker Greg Labate

Getting your employee handbook right is more important than ever.

Why should you be thinking about updating your employee handbook for 2021 right now? An up-to-date employee handbook is your HR North Star, a single source of truth and guidance for everyone at your company. If “update employee handbook” isn’t in the top three spots of your to-do list for 2021, your list needs editing.  You’re not only risking compliance trouble next year, you’re missing out on opportunities to engage employees and promote your company/employer brand.


While there are plenty of employee handbook generators out there (PIHRA membership includes a handbook builder – and CELU21 attendees get a year of PIHRA membership!) it’s critical that you’re tailoring your handbook. HR guidelines for safety, company culture expectations, benefits, accommodations, etc. Handbook builders are a wonderful time saver, but not a one-size-fits-all solution. 


Let’s not forget about the legal component. An updated employee handbook is your best resource for communicating policy, ensuring compliance, and avoiding litigation. HR in 2021 will be nothing if not a sweeping response to the massive changes we saw this year from COVID-19 and a variety of Supreme Court decisions. This is all in addition to the usual wave of brand new employment law changes at state and federal levels that hit every year. 


The best approach is to look to the employment law and employee handbook experts.

Understanding new workplace laws and requirements BEFORE they pose a compliance risk is easy. For example, you can register for PIHRA’s 2021 California Employment Law Update and gain thorough expert guidance at one virtual event on January 27, 2021. 


Greg Labate is offering critical employee handbook guidance at the 2021 California Employment Law Update by PIHRA We’re thrilled to have Greg Labate speaking at CELU21. He’s a highly sought after speaker at our educational programs because of his straightforward and comprehensive presentation of critical employment law facts. He’s also generous with his crockpot recipes, which has made him a favorite amongst the PIHRA community!

We interviewed Greg to give you a preview of his 2021 California Employment Law update session titled, “Your Employee Handbook: New Policies You Need in 2021.

PIHRA: Updating an employee handbook is a big job. What are some of the most common mistakes you see made when it comes to annual handbook updates?

Greg Labate: The biggest mistake I see is that employers do not update their employee handbooks frequently enough, at least once a year. If I ask an employer when was the last time they updated their employee handbook, and they reply, “I don’t know.. I think it was during the Eisenhower Administration,” that’s a problem.

PIHRA: Which departments, besides HR, should be involved in the update process?

Greg Labate: Management should be heavily involved; if HR does not have buy in from management, it won’t matter how good the handbook is.

PIHRA: What’s the best way to ensure nothing gets left out of an update?

Greg Labate: Have me update the handbook for you… or at least, have very experienced labor counsel handle it. This is a highly specialized area of the law, and it is essential to have expert guidance on this critical document.

PIHRA: Why are you looking forward to speaking at PIHRA’s 2021 California Employment Law Update?

Greg Labate: I love the fact that I can help so many employers find a practical way to comply with the law but still maintain a thriving business all at one time in a single seminar. PIHRA affords us that opportunity with these fantastic programs.


Get fully prepared for 2021

Register for the 2021 California Employment Law Update by PIHRA to learn from Greg Labate and pick up a new crockpot recipe. We’re going virtual this year, so you can ensure your company avoids risk anywhere you want.

Reserve your spot at CELU21 today! Preview Prices end December 18th, 2020 at 11:59pm Pacific.

About Greg Labate Presenter at the PIHRA 2021 California Employment Law Update

2020 California employment law handbook updates with Kimberly Jansen at PIHRA 2020 Legal Update
Greg Labate is a seasoned employment attorney with 30 years of legal experience. He is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Orange County office, and is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Greg provides general labor advice to employers, and regularly drafts employee handbooks, employment agreements, severance agreements, and arbitration agreements for his clients. He has extensive experience in defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract, defamation,workplace violence, wage claims, trade secrets, employee raiding, and other related matters.

Greg also specializes in defending employers in wage and hour class action lawsuits, with an emphasis on class actions in the restaurant, mortgage/banking, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. He is a trial attorney who has had great success defending his clients in court. Gregis a frequent speaker and has presented to many employer’s organizations on labor and employment developments. He has also appeared on television and radio regarding employment issues.

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