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  • 1.  Employee Handbook for Small Museums?

    Posted 08-10-2016 12:01 PM

    Hello! Our museum is working on updating our employee handbook. Any small-mid-size museums out there that would be willing to share their employee handbook/manuals? Specifically looking for policies on leave/time off, sick time, maternity leave, dress code etc., etc. Thanks!!

    Stephanie Adams
    Development and Marketing Manager
    Biggs Museum of American Art
    Dover DE

  • 2.  RE: Employee Handbook for Small Museums?

    Posted 08-11-2016 09:19 AM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I would be happy to share our employee handbook with you.  I am currently working on an update since it was issued in 2015, as there have been several changes for 2016 on both the Federal and State levels.  As you are working on your update, make sure you are including any Delaware state laws that govern things like maternity leave.  In our handbook, we have Pregnancy leave which is a policy that is Connecticut state law driven, as well as a Parental Leave policy. Depending on the number of employees that you have, you may also be subject to Family Medical Leave.  

    Other changes for 2016 Employee Handbooks include:

    • Employers need to make sure they have a well-drafted Americans with Disabilities Act accommodation policy that includes making accommodations for pregnancy-related impairments.
    • The Affordable Care Act has the new requirement that employers provide a "reasonable break time" for nursing mothers, and to provide a lactation room to express milk that is not a rest room.  A sink should be available as well as refrigeration to store expressed milk.
    • FMLA policies need to include same-sex spouses in the definition of spouse.
    • Drug-free workplace policies are impacted by medical marijuana laws, so need to be reviewed in light of that.  Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Illinois are states where it could be alleged to be discriminatory and unlawful to refuse to hire an applicant who tests positive on a pre-employment drug test if they tested positive as medical marijuana card holder. (Medical Marijuana impairment in the workplace is a whole new challenge for employers.)
    • Also the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Rules, which take effect in December.

    I worked with a local employer's association for assistance last year, and there may be a resource like that in your area.  It is also advisable to have a labor attorney review it once it is in final draft, to be sure that you have everything you should.  

    Hope that helps - feel free to reach out!

    Christine Engel
    Chief Human Resources Officer
    Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
    Hartford CT
    Board Member/Member-at-Large
    Leadership and Management Network