By Claudia Pollak, Esq., Updated October 19, 2020
An employee handbook is an instrument that is widely used by employers to communicate their expectations and policies to employees. There are many reasons to develop and distribute an employee handbook. These written documents enable employers to clearly outline what is expected from employees and what employees can expect from the employer. In the event of a dispute with an employee or in the event that a claim is made with a government agency, the handbook can be invaluable in protecting an employer’s position.
When drafting an employee handbook, certain information should be included. This includes:
Wages, Salaries and Other Compensation
An employee handbook should cover how and when employees will be paid. It should also note how time worked is to be recorded, what taxes and other deductions will be taken out, and explain overtime policies.
The employee handbook should cover daily schedules, noting hours to be worked, breaks, attendance, lateness, how to request time off, and whether employees are entitled to paid time off and when.
An employee handbook can also be used to give employees information about benefits. It should cover what benefits are offered and how employees can qualify for them.
This manual should also be used to let your employees know how they are expected to act while at work. It should also detail the dress code if one exists. You might also want to include guidelines for behavior in common situations.
An employee handbook should always include a section on employee discipline in the event that an employee should violate company rules or guidelines. This section should detail any disciplinary system that is in place, and, if one is not in place, explain that matters will be handled on a case by case basis.
Your employee handbook should also cover how to respond to any and all foreseeable safety concerns. These might include safety issues relating to work conditions, employee disputes, and inclement weather.
Employment Discrimination/ Sexual Harassment
Employment discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace are real issues that can cost businesses a great deal of money. By including your company’s firm stance on these matters and explaining that no forms of discrimination will be tolerated might help you avoid conflicts in the future. Employee handbooks differ greatly depending on business structure, size, and even the industry in which it operates. Some manuals are just a few pages whereas others may be extremely detailed and lengthy.
Call attorney Claudia Pollak at 914-908-6220 to get advice on developing a comprehensive employee handbook that will help ensure maximum protection for your business.