Are your HR policies up to date, and are they effective in reducing potential liability for common problems? Does your company have clear and specific policies regarding the handling and documentation of common problems – and do your employees know about them?

Constangy attorneys take the time to understand your business objectives and your organizational culture.  We want to know what it is that sets you apart from your competitors—what makes your company unique, and what values and attributes you seek to foster within your workplace.  From there, we partner with you to develop policies, procedures and strategies for preventing employment claims and litigation, while capturing the mission and culture of your business and preserving that which sets your company apart from the rest.

Workplace Audits

We have found most of the companies we counsel benefit from an annual HR audit to reduce exposure to employment litigation liability and help your HR department operate smoothly. This in turn can increase productivity, reduce turnover and help maintain workplace morale. Our attorneys can guide you through a comprehensive audit and review of your policies and procedures across the full range of employment issues to help you identify and correct weaknesses and ensure compliance with relevant national, state, and local laws and regulations. We can also help you conduct audits in anticipation of, or in connection with, due diligence reviews associated with contemplated sales and/or M&A transactions.

Handbooks and Policies

We regularly draft employee handbooks, manuals, and employment-related policies, and offer counsel on the implementation and enforcement of such policies. Policy subjects are wide-ranging, and include background checks, drug testing, pre-employment testing, anti-harassment, paid time off, employee leave administration, and the protection of trade secrets. Whether you have an existing handbook in need of review and/or update to ensure compliance with the latest legal developments and best practices, or whether you need a new handbook developed from scratch, we will address your specific requirements and individually tailor each policy to best suit your company’s needs and objectives.  Whether your company operates out of a single state or up to all 50, we can draft policies to ensure compliance with all workplace laws applicable to your organization, as well as line of business, subsidiary or enterprise-specific, or region-specific policies—depending on your preferences and operational needs.

Employment Law Advice and Compliance

Whether you need advice on day-to-day matters or assistance through seminal events, Constangy attorneys have the experience to provide prompt, practical assistance. We routinely advise employers with regard to rights and obligations under the many statutes and regulations that govern the employer/employee relationship.  We consult with clients regarding terminations, discipline, and general performance issues; we conduct investigations of employee misconduct, including allegations of harassment and discrimination; we advise on compliance with leave of absence and disability laws, including federal and state family and medical leave acts and other anti-discrimination laws, including the FMLA, ADA and COBRA; and we provide advice on employment issues affecting corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions and counsel clients through terminations, reductions in force, workforce restructurings, and plant closings, including WARN Act compliance.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Audit Services

At Constangy, we understand how important implementation and achievement of your DEI program is.  Diversity and inclusion have been areas of focus for many employers for years now. However, with the momentum of the social justice movement, we see organizations placing an increased emphasis on efforts to further their goal of ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Having a DEI policy is a basic starting point, but organizations that truly want to advance these concepts must dig deeper. Employers should consider adopting DEI best practices, analyzing their workforce and practices, and developing lawful mechanisms that will foster true change.  

Constangy’s DEI Audit tools can assist an employer with assessing whether its efforts are designed to cultivate true DEI within its organization. Our DEI Audit tools are exceptionally comprehensive from start to finish. Important audit segments cover the breadth of the employer-employee relationship—from pre-employment postings and policies to post-hire practices and employee engagement. Whether it is employee performance reviews or workplace culture, Constangy’s DEI Audit tools will help you dissect your internal DEI efforts and practices . . . and Constangy lawyers can work hand-in-hand with your organization to plan and implement any needed changes. The DEI Audit tools described in more detail below are designed to measure an organization’s compliance with various laws and regulations that impact DEI, as well as the voluntary actions that employers can adopt to help “move the needle” when it comes to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.    

Our firm’s DEI Audit Services are different from what you might find elsewhere. These tools were prepared by employment lawyers with an eye for what matters from a variety of perspectives – technical compliance, EEO and harassment issues, litigation and EEOC trends, DEI best practices, and organizational barriers. We understand that DEI involves more than just responding to the latest fad or newsworthy event, and our Audit tools incorporate this intersection between employment law and DEI.

To facilitate these important DEI efforts, we have developed a three-tiered service approach: 

  • DEI Implement 
  • DEI Self-Assessment Indicator 
  • DEI Evaluation & Strategic Action Plan 

Because DEI efforts encompass numerous components of an organization, use of these DEI Audit tools may require input from various sectors or departments, such as human resources, DEI, organizational development, talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, employee relations, and similar groups. Participation by this cross-section of viewpoints is necessary to obtain a robust and accurate view of overall DEI efforts and strategies. And yet, the tools are intuitive and user-friendly, so you can execute the assessment and have results in a few weeks, not months.

DEI Implement – Tier One  

Our DEI Implement details specific DEI initiatives and programs that can be executed throughout the employment process and employee lifecycle. The DEI Implement contains sections on pre-employment policies and practices, post-offer procedures, terms and conditions of employment, employee engagement and culture, and a separate section for federal contractors. Each section lists numerous suggested DEI and compliance topics. Organizations can check off the areas already satisfied and circle other topics or ideas for further review and development. In addition to the thorough, eight-page DEI Implement, this tier includes an optional thirty-minute conference with one of our experienced DEI attorneys to address questions about your DEI practices. For a brief preview of the DEI Implement, click here. 

DEI Self-Assessment Indicator – Tier Two 

Constangy’s DEI Self-Assessment Indicator incorporates the same sections included in the DEI Implement, but provides an extensive and detailed questionnaire to be completed by the organization. Responses are automatically scored, and users can monitor and evaluate their own DEI progress and achievements, while also using the questionnaire to learn about and develop additional DEI initiatives. Given the breadth and scope of the questionnaire, we estimate that most organizations will need two to four weeks to complete it. For a brief preview of the DEI Self-Assessment Indicator, click here. 

DEI Evaluation & Strategic Action Plan – Tier Three 

The most comprehensive tier of Constangy’s DEI Audit Services is DEI Evaluation & Strategic Plan.  This tier includes the detailed questionnaire described above in Tier Two, but in lieu of the self-assessment, a Constangy attorney well-versed in the DEI area will review and evaluate your organization’s responses and information and provide detailed feedback and recommendations. The Evaluation will include an assessment of each area of inquiry, noting any fields where efforts are not likely to result in meaningful change and if potential issues of legal non-compliance are identified. Constangy will also provide assistance with policy preparation, where necessary, and development of a Strategic Action Plan to help achieve DEI opportunities identified in the Evaluation. To the fullest extent possible, responses that are gathered in the process and the Evaluation have the protection of the attorney-client privilege. 

For more information, please contact Cara Crotty, a member of the DEI practice group, or the Constangy attorney of your choice. 

Mandatory and Non-Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policies

Mandatory Policy Regarding COVID-19 & Flu Vaccination

This  immunization policy was created for companies who are mandating all staff to take the COVID-19 and flu vaccines. The scope of the policy covers temporary workers, trainees, and contractors working for a company regardless of where the staff are working or otherwise providing services.

This policy has been established such that all individuals subject to it must present acceptable documentation of vaccination for seasonal influenza and COVID-19. The policy also provides medical and religious exemptions.

Non-Mandatory Policy Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination

The Non-mandatory Policy was created to safeguard the health and well-being of employees and their families, customers and visitors, others who spend time at a company's facilities, and the community from infectious conditions that may be mitigated through an effective vaccination program. This policy is intended to comply with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities, as applicable.

The policy applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. It does not apply to independent contractors, customers, vendors, or visitors. The policy applies to FDA-approved vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus.

This policy only governs individuals within a company's facilities and does not apply to clients’ worksites or facilities.

For more information about obtaining these policy templates, contact Jon Yarbrough, Ashlee Ligarde or any Constangy attorney. 

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Here we grow again! Constangy is pleased to welcome 32 experienced attorneys in a significant expansion of the firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. The attorneys who will be joining the Constangy Cyber Team are located across 17 cities in 12 states, and are driving the opening of new offices for Constangy in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Constangy Cyber Team, click here.