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HR Insights with Ali: 3 HR Policies You Should Abolish Today

Posted on 9/20/2017 by Ali Oromchian, Esq.
When researching HR policies, a lot of time is spent evaluating various components that can be added to your handbook to make your life easier. However, sometimes your Practice’s HR issues can actually be improved by removing archaic policies. Here are three policies that you should consider abolishing in the contemporary workplace.

1. Doctor’s Note Policies: If it has been your practice to request a doctor’s note whenever an employee takes a sick day, you should consider stopping this process immediately. Blanket policies, such as a Doctor’s Note Policy, may be violating state mandated sick leave requirements. Mandated sick leave policies allow employees to take allotted sick days with no questions asked. This means you cannot discourage or question the validity of an employee using allotted sick time—and why would you? The sooner they exhaust their sick leave, the less you have to worry about tracking it down the road. Keep in mind, only after an employee has exhausted all of the state mandated sick leave, then you may require a doctor’s note to approve the additional unpaid absences. This is why having a detailed sick leave policy and handbook is so vital to exercising this right. If you are using outdated cookie cutter policies, you may be inadvertently breaking the law and should consider revising these policies immediately.

2. Endless Application Paperwork: When it comes to hiring new employees, it makes perfect sense to require the submission of a resume or general application. However, something to consider are ways to make this process more user-friendly. Online applications are a great resource to not only streamline this process, but also reach top talent in a wider range of talent pools. As a result, this will enrich the hiring of the best possible employees. Note, that this advice is simply for those seeking employment, and does not refer to (essential) new-hire paperwork.

3. Proof of Death Policy: If an employee loses a loved one, the last thing they should have to worry about is “proving” their loss. Even if you are skeptical of the validity, you will create additional problems with your staff if you are consistently giving the impression that you do not trust them—especially with such a delicate matter. Additionally, like any policy, you should not request “proof of death” from one employee but not others. Generally speaking, if you are having trust issues with one or all of your employees, there will likely be other opportunities for them to prove themselves. Requiring an employee, especially one who has just lost a close friend or family member, to “prove” a loss is in poor taste and arguably cruel.


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