An employee handbook is a key element in ensuring compliance with employment law. Its purpose is to familiarize employees with basic company policies and benefit programs, as well as the general expectations of the company. Handbooks can serve as a proactive measure to help an employer meet certain legal notice requirements. In some circumstances, handbooks can be viewed as creating or contributing to a contractual arrangement with the employee, so maintaining professionally guided employee handbooks with legal expertise is paramount in protecting an employer’s best interests.

At MWM, our team will regularly review, revise, and help you maintain updated employee handbooks and procedural manuals to ensure compliance with the latest state and federal laws. Having a comprehensive and updated employee handbook and other employment policies in place is a first step in avoiding legal liability for employee claims.

In addition to reviewing and updating the employee handbook, our team helps employers develop policy manuals that detail every aspect of company policy and clearly define the procedures for following those policies, including an audit of the forms needed to complete each process. Employers are not required to have a separate procedures manual, but it can prove invaluable as a resource tool for employers to ensure procedural continuity which ultimately reduces liability risk.

 Our employment law team can assist you with the following issues:

  • Draft, revise, and update procedures and policies manuals
  • Provide advice on day-to-day employment practice questions
  • Develop policies, strategies, and procedures for preventing employment claims and lawsuits
  • Design procedures to enhance productivity and protect employer interests such as drug testing, pre-employment testing, background checks, and protection of trade secrets

    In the News

    Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates: Yes or No?

    The first question was answered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) years ago, in its response to employer queries about mandatory annual flu vaccinations. Employers were told they could condition new or continued employment on being vaccinated but may need to accommodate individuals who refused for disability or religious reasons. On the disability side,

    5 minute read

    In the News

    MWM Labor and Employment Client Alert – Coping with COVID-19

    Business Closing Mandates Check websites for your local (city and county) and state governments to identify which businesses have been told to shut down and whether residents are being told to “shelter in place.” Is it an executive order or mandatory restriction or merely a recommendation? Restaurants and bars have been the focus of mandates

    8 minute read

    Press Releases

    Munck Wilson Mandala Named a 2020 Inc. Best Workplace; Only Full-Service Law Firm Recognized in the Nation

    Collecting data from more than 3,000 submissions, Inc. singled out 395 finalists nationally for this year’s list.  Each nominated company took part in an employee survey on topics including trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future.  Inc. gathered, analyzed, and audited the data. The strongest engagement scores came from companies that prioritize the

    2 minute read

    Press Releases

    Eight Munck Wilson Mandala Attorneys Honored as Best Lawyers in Dallas

    Mandala, Ray and Kaliser are members of MWM’s corporate practice.  Mandala is a name partner and member of the executive committee and chairs MWM’s corporate practice. Ray and Kaliser are both partners in the corporate practice. Martinez is a senior partner in MWM’s complex litigation/dispute resolution practice. She is a trial attorney with a versatile

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    Press Releases

    Eight Munck Wilson Mandala Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America

    The Best Lawyers in America© list is compiled annually through peer-review surveys among tens of thousands of leading lawyers. If the votes for an attorney are ample for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™, that attorney must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain on the list for each edition. Lawyers are not permitted to pay

    3 minute read

    Press Releases

    Munck Wilson Mandala Welcomes Okon Hannagan Attorneys and Staff

    “Melanie and Susan have impressive litigation experience and they embody our goal of attracting the best legal talent to represent our clients,” said managing partner William Munck.  “We are excited to have the entire OH team join us and know they will bring fresh perspectives and energy that will enhance our complex litigation and employment

    3 minute read

    Press Releases

    Five Munck Wilson Mandala Partners Honored as Best Lawyers in Dallas

    Munck is the managing partner of MWM, a member of the executive committee, and he chairs the firm’s intellectual property practice.  He has led MWM since the late 90s and grown the firm from six lawyers to 70 lawyers with three offices in Texas—Dallas, Austin, Marshall, and a Los Angeles office.  Munck received his J.D.

    2 minute read

    Press Releases

    Munck Wilson Mandala’s Audrey Mross Selected as a 2019 Alumni Fellow of Kansas State University

    “We are very happy for Audrey and congratulate her on this honor,” said William Munck, managing partner of MWM.  “Audrey’s commitment and involvement in the many organizations that support alumni, students, and faculty at Kansas State University demonstrate her sincere passion and dedication to her alma mater.” At Munck Wilson Mandala, Mross is a partner

    2 minute read

    Press Releases

    16 Munck Wilson Mandala Partners Named Texas Super Lawyers

    The 2018 list of Texas Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) will be published in the October issue of Texas Monthly. The annual Texas Super Lawyers list honors Texas’ top lawyers based on surveys of more than 57,000 active attorneys across the state. The final list is estimated to be only five percent of Texas’ licensed attorneys. The following

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    Press Releases

    Munck Wilson Mandala’s Michael McCabe Selected as a Best Lawyer in Dallas

    Among his peers, McCabe is consistently honored as a top lawyer in employment law and litigation.  Annually he is selected as a Texas Super Lawyer and he has been listed among the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Texas and Top 100 Super Lawyers in DFW since 2014.   McCabe has also been listed as a Best

    2 minute read

    Press Releases

    16 Munck Wilson Mandala Partners Named Texas Super Lawyers

    Dallas, TX, Sep. 5, 2017 —–  16 partners from law firm Munck Wilson Mandala have been selected as Texas Super Lawyers for 2017.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  Produced and managed by Thomson Reuters, the selection

    less than a minute

    Press Releases

    Six Munck Wilson Mandala Partners Named Best Lawyers in America

    The Best Lawyers in America list is compiled annually by conducting peer-review surveys among tens of thousands of leading lawyers. If the votes for an attorney are ample for inclusion in Best Lawyers, that attorney must maintain those votes in subsequent polls to remain on the list for each edition. Lawyers are not permitted to pay

    2 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Weighs Making Fast Food Franchisors Liable for Employment Law Violations Affecting Employees of Franchises

    If signed into law, Assembly Bill 1228 (the “Fast Food Franchisor Responsibility Act”) would add to the Labor Code Section 2810.9, making covered fast food franchisors jointly responsible (with the franchisee) for the franchisee’s violations of specified laws, rules, and regulations. For example, the franchisor would share liability for violations of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing

    2 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Countdown to California Minimum Wage Increases

    On January 1, 2023, California’s statewide minimum wage increased to $15.50/hour for all employers.  But starting July 1, 2023, employers in every city and municipality listed below will be required to pay more than the state’s required minimum ($15.50/hour) due to local laws requiring higher hourly rates. Employees in the city of West Hollywood, for example, must be

    2 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Court Orders Delay in Enforcement of the CCPA

    The CCPA (Civil Code Section 1798.100, et seq.) requires California businesses to inform consumers about the collection and use of the consumer’s personal information. The Act prohibits businesses from collecting, using, retaining, or sharing such information except to the extent “reasonably necessary and proportionate to achieve the purposes for which” the information is obtained. The legislature

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Are California’s Wage Orders About to Be Re-Written?

    Many of the specific wage and hour requirements that California employers must follow are set forth in industry-specific “Wage Orders.” The current Wage Orders, which are available at https://www.dir.ca.gov/iwc/wageorderindustries.htm, were drafted more than 20 years ago by the IWC. The IWC, which was created by the Legislature as part of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR),

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    Client Alerts

    CALFORNIA COMPLIANT: Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for California Employers in 2023

    California employers may be challenged to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions in 2023, which has brought significant changes in various California labor and employment laws. Some of the most widely applicable new laws that will impact the workplace in 2023 include: Given that California law provides that overtime-exempt employees must receive a salary of at

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    In the News

    As the Heat Index Rises, Standards for Keeping Employees Cool May Also Change

    Written as a column for Daily Journal by MWM’s Kate LaQuay and Sahar Shiralian The dog days of summer are almost over, which is cause for celebration for many Californians. Recent historic heat wave were likely the sizzling inspiration for a new proposed regulation establishing a heat illness standard for indoor work areas. On Aug.

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Imminent Increase in Requirement to Provide Paid Sick Leave to California Workers

    Employees’ Accrual & Use of Paid Sick Time, Historically Since 2015, California has required employers to provide employees a limited amount of paid sick leave. The entitlement to paid sick leave is set forth in Labor Code Sections 245.5, 246 and 246.5. These statutes broadly define “employer,” for this purpose, as including any person (or

    4 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: New Rules to Record and Investigate Violence in California Workplaces

    What is “Workplace Violence”? SB 553 defines “workplace violence” as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a place of employment.” Workplace violence can include, for example: use of, or threats of, physical force against an employee; and use of, or threats of, a firearm or other “dangerous weapon.” It does

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Don’t Forget the Freelancers: Los Angeles’ Expanded Protections for Freelance Workers

    Who is Covered? Hiring Entities and Freelance Workers The Ordinance applies to “hiring entities,” which are entities regularly engaged in business or commercial activity. Specifically, a hiring entity “owns or operates any trade or business, including a not for profit business, or represents itself as engaging in any trade, or business.” The Ordinance carves out

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: Governor Declares That FEHA Already Prohibits Discrimination Based on “Caste” and Therefore Vetoes SB 403

    Co-sponsors of SB 403 argued that “[c]aste may not be as visible as race to the California legislature, but it is a longstanding system of exclusion…”. Notably, the Legislature declared that SB 403 should not “be construed to mean that discrimination on the basis of ancestry does not already include discrimination on the basis of

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: California Workers Entitled to Leave for “Reproductive Loss” Beginning January 1st

    Employees’ Existing Right to Take Bereavement Leave Last year, the Legislature amended the California Family Rights Act (CFRA, Government Code Section 12945.2, et seq) to grant eligible workers the right to take unpaid leave after the death of a family member. Government Code Section 12945.7, which became effective on January 1, 2023, requires companies employing

    3 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: California Adds Teeth to Prohibitions Against Non-Competes

    What Is a Prohibited Non-Compete Agreement? As a matter of public policy, California favors an open market for workers, so that they may move from one business to another as they choose. Although some states (at least for now) permit individuals and businesses to enter into contracts that “reasonably” restrict the individual’s right to work

    5 minute read

    Press Releases

    Munck Wilson Mandala Ranked Among 2024 Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

    In Dallas, MWM ranked as a Best Law Firm® in commercial litigation, copyright law, corporate law, employment law/management, insurance law, labor law/management, litigation/construction, litigation/intellectual property, litigation/labor and employment, litigation/patent, mergers and acquisitions law, patent law, sports law, technology law, trademark law, and venture capital law. In Austin, MWM ranked as a Best Law Firm® in

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    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: When Workplace Rules May Be “Unfair Labor Practices”

    Subjects Often Covered by “Workplace Rules” Most employers develop and distribute standards, rules, or a code of conduct applicable to their employees. Communicating written expectations for workplace conduct (whether as part of an Employee Handbook, or a standalone document) benefits both employees and employers. In a perfect world, employees understand (and avoid) behavior that might

    6 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: California Trailblazes with Two New Employment Laws Protecting Employees’ Off-Work Use of Cannabis

    Assembly Bill 2188 / Prohibition of Employment Discrimination Based on Off-Work Use Until now, California employers have been permitted to reject applicants, or discipline employees, based on their use of marijuana – even if that occurred during non-work hours and away from the workplace. The state Supreme Court confirmed in 2008 that voters’ efforts to

    4 minute read

    Client Alerts

    California Compliant: The Year in Review – Changes to California’s Employment Laws

    1. Expansion of the Entitlement to Paid Sick Leave. Beginning in 2024, California workers will be entitled to take more days of paid sick leave each year. Senate Bill 616 amended Labor Code Sections 245.5 and 246 to increase employees’ minimum rate of accrual of paid sick time to 40 hours, or five days, each

    5 minute read