If you are a new company just starting out, or an established business, one essential item your business must have is an employee handbook. This essential business tool provides uniformity regarding expectations, job performance, and benefits for all employees. An employee handbook helps employees understand what to expect from their employer, as well as establishes boundaries and regulations regarding employee requirements.
Ultimately, an employee handbook protects business owners who find themselves in challenging employee disputes and protects employees who feel that employers are not following their own guidelines.
Common Policies to Include in an Employee Handbook
Although every employee handbook will be unique to every business, there are several very important issues that should be addressed, including:
- Anti-discrimination policy
- Employee benefits
- Compensation and bonuses
- Standards of conduct
- Work schedules
- Workplace safety
- Workers’ compensation
- Leave policies (annual leave, sick leave, FMLA leave, etc.)
- Complaint and grievance filing
- Non-Disclosure agreements, non-compete clauses, or conflict of interest statements (if appropriate)
Additionally, all employee handbooks should be written in easy-to-read formats with language that is easily understandable by all employees. The policies within an employee handbook should be updated as needed, and documentation should be made proving that all amendments were provided to employees in writing.
Why Employee Handbooks Are Necessary
Employee handbooks are necessary to protect both the employer and the employee. The uniformity of a handbook shows that an employer treats all employees in a similar way and consequences for failing to follow company rules will be treated the same for all those persons who violate the policies.
Employee handbooks save the employer time, by having all the rules and regulations of the company in one, easily accessible place for all employees. New employees acknowledge their work expectations from the beginning of their employment, which helps them understand the expectations placed on them and how they can succeed.
Additionally, if any challenges arise, the employer can look to the employee handbook as protection if litigation is pursued by an employee. Human resources can utilize the employee handbook as the standard for easily onboarding employees as well as eventually terminating an employee for cause.
Federal and State Law
All businesses are required to follow specific state and federal laws. Writing down these state and federal laws in an employee handbook places all the employees on notice that you, as an employer, are committed to following the law, and expect that your employees will do the same. Additionally, it allows all employees to have full knowledge that your company has strict standards to legally adhere to laws regarding discrimination, harassment, workers’ compensation and employee benefits.
Contact an Experienced Business Attorney
If you are considering drafting or updating your employee handbook, contact the experienced business attorneys at The Myers Law Group at 888-676-7211 or online today. We can help ensure that your employee handbook accurately reflects all applicable state and federal laws and offers your company protection from any future litigation from employees.