Mastering the Employee Handbook


CLE credits earned: 3 General Credits (WA 3 Law and Legal)

Douglas Desmarais:
Where to begin when planning an employee handbook?  What information must you include?  What information should you include?  And what information should you avoid?  Doug Desmarais will be providing an “A-Z” roadmap to a user-friendly and legally protective employee handbook, including how best to organize your handbook and how much to communicate key policies to employees.  Doug will focus on the top ten substantive areas to include in a handbook, and also identify the mistakes to avoid when preparing this important workplace document.

Zachary Erwin:
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING!  With the rise of the “me too” movement, and the ongoing issues with the COVID19 pandemic, it is imperative that Employers update their employee handbooks to reflect the current landscape.  More specifically, employers need to review and revise their discrimination, harassment and retaliation policies and procedures to ensure that they up-to-date and provide the necessary layers of protection.  Likewise, with more employees working from home it is imperative that employers have thorough work from home policies.

Lastly, as more states legalize medicinal marijuana, employers need to make sure their drug and alcohol policies are up to date in order avoid any ADA issues and to continue to ensure the safety of their employees and clients.  With those goals in mind, Mr. Erwin will walk you through the legal landscape of these three hot-button issues, providing recommendations on the appropriate language for your handbook and examples of recent policies and procedures he has drafted and implemented for his clients.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy
•   Drug Testing Policy
•   Remote Working Policy
•   Guidelines for Whether Your Organization Should or Should Not Have a Handbook
•   Ensuring Handbook Style Fits with Corporate Culture
•   Revising the Old vs. Starting Anew
•   Topics That Must be Included
•   Topics That Should be Included
•   What to Avoid in a Handbook
•   How to Document Distribution of an Employee Handbook

Date/Time: September 17, 2021

•   2:00 pm – 5:20 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 4:20 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 3:20 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 2:20 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.

•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.
Closed-captioning available upon request

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: March 23, 2021

Douglas Desmarais_Smith & Downey, P.A_myLawCLEDouglas Desmarais | Smith & Downey, P.A

Doug Desmarais focuses his practice on all aspects of labor and employer/employee relations, general litigation, ERISA litigation, and business immigration. He has extensive experience in representing clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including with regard to claims involving sexual harassment and race, gender, religion, age, and disability discrimination and retaliation.

Doug frequently represents clients before the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Commission, as well as numerous other governmental agencies. His employment litigation experience includes representation of clients in federal and state courts across the country.

Doug also regularly counsels clients in all facets of employer/employee relations and provides training to assist clients in avoiding employment-related litigation. He is a frequent lecturer and panelist on educational programs in the labor and employment areas. Doug is the past chair of the Sexual Harassment Subcommittee, Committee on Labor and Employment Litigation, ABA Section of Litigation.

Zachary L. Erwin_myLawCLEZachary L. Erwin | A|C|K ANDERSON|COE|KING

Mr. Erwin concentrates his civil litigation practice primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation and labor and employment defense. Zach has extensive experience in Maryland and the District of Columbia representing employers and insurers in workers’ compensation cases. In Maryland, Zach has successfully handled numerous cases before the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, in various State Circuit Courts, and before the Maryland Court of Special Appeal and Court of Appeals. In the District of Columbia, Zach has represented employers and insurers before the Office of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Hearings and Adjudication, Compensation Review Board, and the DC Court of Appeals.

Zach’s practice also includes defending employers against individual and collective actions raising employment discrimination, employee benefits, and wage and hour claims under Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In that capacity, Zach has vast experience representing employers and insurers in both state and federal court and before state and federal administrative agencies, including: The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, numerous Maryland and D.C. Fair Employment Practices Agencies, the Department of Labor, and MOSH/OSHA. Zach also regularly counsels’ clients on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including but not limited to employee handbooks, discrimination and accommodation, wage payment and collection, employee termination, and issues that frequently arise in the overlap between employment law and workers’ compensation.

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A Primer on Employee Handbooks- Douglas Desmarais
I. Guidelines for Whether Your Organization Should or Should Not Have a Handbook | 2:00-2:10
II. Ensuring Handbook Style Fits with Corporate Culture | 2:10-2:20
III. Revising the Old vs. Starting Anew | 2:20-2:30
IV. Topics That Must be Included | 2:30-2:45

V. Break | 2:45-2:50

VI. Topics That Must be Included | 2:50-3:00
VII. Topics That Should be Included | 3:00-3:10
VIII. What to Avoid in a Handbook | 3:10-3:20
IX. How to Document Distribution of an Employee Handbook | 3:20-3:30

X. Break | 3:30-3:40

Zachary Erwin
I. Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy | 3:40-4:10
II. Drug Testing Policy | 4:10-4:40

III. Break 4:40-4:45

IV. Remote Working Policy | 4:45-5:20