Summer in the Workplace: Tips on Seasonal Policies

Warm weather can be an exciting event for employers in the Northeast, but can also bring its own problems. By having policies in place to address common issues during the summer and enforcing workplace laws and regulations, you can combat these issues. Some critical information for employers this summer is explained below.

Staff Parties:

Hosting an office event or party can help to keep employees engaged during the summer. However, if you do host an event it is important to have a clear plan to prevent any issues. It is important to determine whether the party will offer alcohol and if it does how to manage the amount people drink. By offering a lot of food and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to putting drink tickets or drink maximums in place, you can limit alcohol consumption. It is also important to make sure employees are exhibiting appropriate behavior to lower your risk of a lawsuit. By reviewing your anti-sexual harassment policy with your employees, you can help limit inappropriate behavior.

Interns:

It is important to note that the DOL now has new rules in place to determine if an intern requires pay. The new seven factor test determines whether an intern qualifies as an employee under the FLSA. If the test determines they are an employee, they are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay.

Time Off:

            It is common for employees to request time off during the summer for travelling or family time. While it is unrealistic to not allow employees to take time off, it is important to stay sufficiently staffed. In order to achieve this, it is important for employees give you advanced notice on what days they will be taking off. Make sure your handbook explains the process for requesting time off. A common approach to encourage employees to plan ahead is a first-come, first serve approach. To ensure vacation time acceptances aren’t biased, remember to consider protected leave.

Dress Code:

Often, employers permit workers to dress more casually as the warm weather hits. It is important for workers to maintain appropriate outfits while still taking advantage of the opportunity to dress more casually. By creating a detailed dress code policy with examples and measurements, you can set clear boundaries and clear consequences. This allows you to fairly apply the policy and maintain workplace integrity.

Punctuality:

            It is important to be aware of chronic tardiness exhibited by your employees, especially during the summer. By expressing the expectations and consequences in your handbook, you can combat the issue. If the tardiness is due to something in their schedule that cannot be avoided, consider changing their schedule. The most important part of this issue is finding a way to monitor who is late if you do not have one already. Once you do this, you can begin to apply your policies.

 

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