Every Employer’s Best Friend: The Employee Handbook

employee handbook, employee discipline, employer best practicesIt’s a new year, and there’s no better time to create an employee handbook or update your existing one. A well-drafted employee handbook effectively communicates workplace expectations, policies and procedures to employees.

When management follows its written policies and procedures, they provide employers with a strong first line of defense against employee claims.  Check out our list below to find out what to include in your employee handbook.

Important Items to Insert in Your Employee Handbook Include:

  • Company Information. Start with general information about your company, its policies and its goals.
  • Non-Discrimination Policy. Include an equal opportunity employment statement and ADA compliance statement, as well as anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and compliant procedures.
  • Conduct Expectations & Disciplinary Procedures. Explain your general expectations for employee performance and behavior and set forth in detail the disciplinary procedures your company follows, including which employee actions constitute grounds for suspension or termination.
  • Attendance Policy. Explain your policies for attendance and tardiness, including call-off procedures and consequences for tardiness and absenteeism.
  • Leave Policies. Document your policies for time off, family medical leave, military leave, jury duty, voting, holidays, vacation, sick days and bereavement.
  • Pay & Promotions. Identify how and when employees are paid, along with policies and procedures regarding breaks, bonuses and promotions.  Also explain your legal obligations regarding wage and hour laws, employment taxes and workers’ compensation.
  • Employee Benefits. Provide general information about employee benefits, including eligibility for full-time and part-time employees.
  • Safety & Security Policies. Describe your policies for creating and maintaining a safe and secure work environment.  Include an OSHA compliance statement along with information about your policies for safety hazards, accidents and emergencies.
  • Arbitration Provision. Consider an arbitration provision, which would require an employee to initiate an arbitration proceeding to bring certain claims instead of filing a lawsuit.
  • Employee Acknowledgement. After an employee receives a copy of the handbook, the employee should sign an acknowledgement of receiving and reading the handbook.  And as they say – keep the receipt.
  • Disclaimers.  Clarify that your handbook does not constitute an employment contract nor does it in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.  Also be sure to clearly state that the handbook supplants older policy documents, and that the policies in the handbook are subject to change at any time.

To learn more about employee handbooks, create a handbook for your business or have your current handbook evaluated, contact us at (312) 216-2720 or info@marcusboxerman.com.

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