Employee Handbook

Are you an employer in the US? Then you should have an employee handbook.

Employment laws are different internationally and you can’t just translate an employee handbook for your US subordinate. A well written handbook helps to avoid lawsuits, offers an affirmative defense to litigation, and ensures compliance with state and federal regulations.

An employee handbook states the company’s stance on important legal issues, such as harassment and discrimination, and informs the employee of the company’s operating policies and procedures. A handbook can set forth the rules for employees, including management guidelines and can also be used to inform employees about benefit plans. There are a few policies an employer should be sure to include:

  • An explanation of “at-will” employment and disclaimer.
  • An explanation of the different classifications of employment (full-time, part-time, exempt and non-exempt).
  • An explanation of hours, meals, breaks and over-time.
  • A statement of equal employment opportunity.
  • Policy against harassment.
  • Employee conduct and performance.
  • Explanation of the electronic privacy policies.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy.

You should always ensure to receive a written acknowledgment from your employees stating the receipt of the handbook and that he/she understands the terms and agrees to abide by the company policies. A well drafted handbook will be written in simple language to ensure all employees understand it and there is no confusion about the meaning of its terms.

Last but not least, you must ensure all employees actually follow the employee handbook, including management. Especially in cases of claims of discrimination or harassment where a manager’s handling of a claim can either mitigate a company’s damages, or increase them.

The list above is not exclusive but provides a foundation to base your employee handbook. HR Management Services can assist you to procure one if you don’t have an employee handbook or to review your current handbook and ensure it is up to date with the ever changing employment laws.

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