Thompson Publishing’s Guide Summarizes Benefits

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<p><strong>Washington, D.C. &mdash; March 15</strong><br />Employee handbooks are critical to protect companies from litigation and to provide employees a reference for company policies.&nbsp; </p><p>Thompson&rsquo;s new &ldquo;Five-Minute Guide to Employee Handbooks&quot; makes this daunting task a lot easier.<br /><br />The Five-Minute Guide shows employers what they need to include &mdash; or not include &mdash; to create an excellent employee handbook. And employers really can get the basics in about five minutes.<br /><br />New technologies, threats of litigation and fast-changing societal norms make employee handbooks a critical tool for companies to explain policies and rules of conduct.&nbsp; At the same time, companies need to stay up-to-date with ever-changing legal requirements. <br /><br />The Five-Minute Guide provides a quick self-audit, where companies can evaluate their existing handbooks to see if they need a new one.&nbsp; </p><p>For example, does their handbook clearly delineate sexual harassment policies or equal employment opportunities that comply with state and federal laws? Are time off and leave-of-absence policies legally compliant? Is the handbook an effective reference tool for employees written to reduce questions about company policies to human resource personnel? <br /><br />&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve found that many companies fail to regularly update their handbooks to be current with workforce expectations or legal requirements,&rdquo; said Phil Gabel, Thompson Publishing Group president and chief executive officer. &ldquo;For example, new technologies like YouTube and blogging can create real headaches for companies if they aren&#39;t addressed directly and upfront. </p><p>&quot;Employees, particularly those who have grown up with the Internet, make a lot of assumptions about how much access and freedom they have in regards to electronic media.&rdquo;<br /><br />An update-to-date, clear and concise handbook can alleviate most questions about issues such as blogging and help avoid legal issues or difficult personnel choices, Gabel said.<br /><br />Thompson&#39;s Five-Minute Guide reviews the perennial and hot-button issues a company must consider when drafting a handbook. It then gives an introduction to Thompson&rsquo;s online handbook builder, which incorporates all the principles and advice in the Five-Minute Guide.<br /><br />Thompson&rsquo;s Employee Handbook Builder is a fully Web-based application that allows employers to create a legally compliance handbook. </p><p>Developed in conjunction with Jackson-Lewis, a law firm representing management, Thompson&#39;s handbook builder also provides subscribers with notification when laws change, to keep their handbooks current.<br /><br />The Handbook Builder is the only product on the market that provides in-depth analysis of both federal and state regulations in a convenient online interview &mdash; without the expense for additional forms or extra modules.&nbsp; </p><p>Notes are provided in useful &ldquo;Explain This to Me&rdquo; pages that contain insights on how and when a particular provision may apply or legal pitfalls to avoid. <br /><br />The program&rsquo;s simple, jargon-free online interview format enables customers to fully customize their handbooks in about an hour. Or they can log out and finish creating or editing handbooks at any time.<br /><br />The Employee Handbook Builder allows employees to access employee handbooks through a password-protected Web site, saving companies considerable investment and time for new printings and distribution when changes occur.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

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