Employee Handbooks

Employee Handbooks detail the organization’s key policies, rules & benefits for all employees.

Handbooks

Why should companies have an employee handbook?
Employee Handbooks play an integral part in the employment process and promote effective employee communications. They outline what is acceptable or permissible at a given place of employment. An Employee Handbook represents a key component of any sound employee relations program. Properly drafted and implemented, Employee Handbooks play a critical role in communicating essential information about benefits, policies and performance standards to all employees. Employee Handbooks also help promote fairness and consistency in the manner in which employees are treated, and thereby reduce the possibility of arbitrariness and discrimina­tion. The result is enhanced employee morale, productivity and loyalty (along with more favorable legal positioning).

Employee handbook policies help to clarify your relationship with and your responsibilities to your employees from the very beginning. It is imperative that the policies and information contained in the Employee Handbook are not only legally compliant, but are accurate reflections of the personnel practices at your organization. The combination of rapidly changing employment regulations and changes in your practices require regular review and updating of your Employee Handbook guidelines.

While written employment policies cannot completely shield an employer from legal problems, and there is no requirement for policies to be in written form, it is extremely prudent for a number of reasons. A Comprehensive Employee Handbooks also influence business owners and managers when making employment decisions, implementing discipline, hiring, firing and promoting. Having your policies and standards set out in writing can be a real time-saver by eliminating the need to “reinvent the wheel” as issues arise.

We strongly recommend that an Employee Handbook be drafted that applies to all employ­ees of your organization without exception. The importance of uniform applicabili­ty of key policies such as Equal Employ­ment Opportunity, Discrimination, Harassment, Drugs & Alcohol, and Employment at Will cannot be over emphasized. We also recommend that all employees sign an Acknowledgment of Receipt for the handbook which indicates the employee agrees to not only familiarize him or her­self with the contents of the Employee Handbook, but to abide by the contents of the Handbook and ask for clarification as needed.

Policies such as Vacation Pay, Holidays, and Sick Leave should be clearly explained. Other important policies that we recommend be included in the employee handbook are: Computer Use (Internet, E-Mail), Customer (Client) Service Policy, Job Descriptions, Transfers & Promotions, Reductions in Force, Applications for Employment, Hiring of Relatives, Telephone Use & Personal Mail, Solicitations, Media Relations, Overtime, Time Records, Leaves of Absence, Corrective Action, Payroll Deductions, Wage Garnish­ments, Severance Pay, Worker’s Compensation, COBRA benefits, Voting Time Off, Administrative Pay Corrections, Employee Information Changes, State Disability Insurance, and more as appropriate!

Employee Handbooks are important and imperative to promoting fairness and stability in the workplace through improved employee communications.  It’s never too soon to begin compiling your Employee Handbook guidelines – contact us to get started today!

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