Employment Law

Employee Handbooks

Your practice is only as strong as its workforce. While your employees are the foundation of your business, employee disputes can have the opposite effect, costing you money and even threatening the ongoing success of your practice. Employee handbooks are one of the most reliable means by which disputes can be avoided or quickly resolved. During our years of practice, we have often learned that the absence of an employee handbook greatly increases the likelihood of an employee filing suit. This is because the absence of a handbook can be indicative of a practice which is disorganized or otherwise ill-prepared for labor disputes, increasing the chances of a successful claim or a sizable settlement offer to the employee. A well-written employee handbook contains clear guidelines as to workplace rules and regulations, in consideration of both federal and state labor laws. It will outline clear disciplinary measures, which can reduce the likelihood of discrimination claims. Most importantly, it will be consistently updated in order to ensure compliance with the law and with the changing requirements of your practice. Our team can ensure that you are well-advised as to the legal intricacies of employment law and can ensure that your employee disputes are few and far between, and with the highest likelihood of success for your practice.

An employee handbook should be utilized by any small business owner who employs anyone in their business.


Why should I use a Human Resources policy and procedure handbook?

An HR manual exhibits that your business is organized and well-defined and provides the internal rules by which your business operates daily.

Such a manual assists you in:

  • Complying with state and local HR laws
  • Ensuring that you are consistent and fair in decision-making amongst employees
  • Establishing the expectations and requirements that you have for your employees
  • Orienting new employees with their workspace and regulations

Though the development of a policy and procedure handbook may seem daunting, the result involves a gleaming sense of professionalism that one can be proud of. Your employees will likely agree as the manual will eliminate any inconsistencies and misunderstandings about the requirements and benefits of their employment.

Your policy and procedure manual will truly help your employees understand your workplace. They will be able to examine rules, regulations, benefits, and other procedures which will improve the operation of their day-to-day work.

While you are not obligated to maintain an employee handbook, the creation of one is to protect both you and your employees. A manual assists in improving understanding between employer and employees and expectations that each should have for the other, and gives both the confidence to maintain a safe and effective workplace. A handbook is traditionally provided to new employees on their first day of work.

An employee handbook may often include:

  • A welcome note and orientation statement
  • Information on the history of the company
  • A code of conduct
  • Health and safety rules and regulations
  • The number of hours that one may work
  • Information regarding medical or family leave
  • A discussion of pay and benefit information
  • Employee performance standards and evaluations
  • Training procedures
  • Separation of employment
  • Company vehicle information and regulations

Other policies that you may include are:

  • Sick days and absences
  • Equal opportunity and anti-discrimination statements
  • Social media and internet policies
  • Use of company property
  • Sexual harassment and bullying procedures
  • Processes for discipline and grievances
  • Family leave
  • Forms and procedures for resignation
  • Reduction of workforce

The above list is illustrative and not solely inclusive, but a handbook must always be kept current and up-to-date.


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