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Model Policy: Workplace violence and office security

Why you need this policy:

Acts of violence perpetrated in the workplace have become a major societal problem. In many places, homicide has become the leading cause of workplace fatality! In addition to tragedy, failure to safeguard your workforce from the risks of violence—whether from co-workers, clients, or outside third parties—can expose your law office to significant liability under negligence and other laws.

. . . download here


Model Tool: Catastrophic Leave Program

Why you need this form:

At first glance, a leave-sharing program appears to be a win-win-win solution for employer, donating employee, and receiving employee.

But despite all of the positives, employers need to be careful when implementing a program like this to avoid some potential administrative, managerial, and tax problems.

. . . download here


Model Policy: Employee resignation

Why you need this model policy:

Establishing a formal policy for employee resignation will help ensure that staff transitions go smoothly; the firm treats employees fairly and consistently; and legal requirements are followed.

. . . download here


Model Policy: Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure

Why you need this model policy:

Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment.

. . . download here


Model Policy: Recognition and social functions

Why you need this policy:

From time to time your law firm may wish to recognize staff members’ milestones, achievements, and/or special occasions.

. . . download here


Fair compensation for lawyers in a competitive environment

By Brenda Barnes How to slice up the compensation pie has long been a problem for many law firms. The first question you may ask yourself is whether you have a well-developed compensation plan for your firm. After the announcement by Big Law that entry-level associates would start at over $200,000 per year, competition for talent has become even more fierce. So, what do small to mid-size firms do about recruitment and compensation? How do they compete? The beginning of the year is a time for reflection on collections, associate compensation, and bonus pool allocations. It is also a good time to remind yourself of some basic considerations about compensation: Attorneys work for many complex reasons. Compensation is an important factor, but not the only consideration. The relative importance of… . . . read more


Model visitors’ waiver of COVID-19 infection liability form

As long as COVID-19 remains a threat, you run the risk of being sued by clients, vendors, guests and other visitors (“visitors”) who claim they contracted the virus at your office as a result of your inadequate safety measures. One way to limit liability is having visitors sign a form agreeing to waive their rights to sue you for COVID-19 infections before entering the office. Although there’s no guarantee that a court would enforce such a waiver, the Model Form below uses fairly conservative language that has been found to be enforceable in other situations. Caveat: The inclusion of the phrase purporting to insulate you against your own negligence in Sections 3 and 4 is fairly risky and you may want to talk to counsel about whether to use it… . . . read more


How to create a legally sound COVID-19 medical screening policy

Like so many other law offices during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be considering medically screening your employees each day before letting them into the workplace. While screening is highly problematic in normal times, regulators have grudgingly acknowledged that it may be a justified health and safety measure during the pandemic. The operative phrase is “may be,” which means that limits still apply. You need to recognize and ensure keep your facility in compliance with those limits. Here’s how. Three Ways COVID-19 Screening Can Get Your Firm into Legal Hot Water Medically screening  personnel can expose you to three kinds of liability. Privacy Violations Body temperature and information about an individual’s symptoms (or lack thereof) collected during the screening process is personal health information (PHI) protected by HIPAA and other… . . . read more


Yes! You need an employee handbook

By Julie Ellison bio For many employers, the idea of creating an Employee Handbook is overwhelming. But the importance of having one should outweigh that hesitancy given the peace of mind it can provide you while you are busy running your law firm or business. An Employee Handbook is your road map for what your employees can expect from you and what you expect from your employees. It should be simple, straightforward and relevant. Not having one in place can create huge headaches that are completely avoidable. Here are five good reasons to have an employee handbook: 1. Handbooks Set Employee Expectations Handbooks allow you to clearly set forth everything from job responsibilities to disciplinary procedures, thus keeping employee expectations consistent with the employer. Experience teaches us that employees are… . . . read more


Compliance perspective: How to keep an employee from damaging your practice on social media

In the cyber age, protecting your practice from the potential threat posed by employee blogging, tweeting, Instagramming, and other social networking is a…

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