An employee handbook is a crucial and necessary tool that allows companies to provide clear explanations on their policies, direction and vision. The importance of an employee handbook cannot be understated. The details and procedures within it protect companies from time consuming and expensive law suits.
Business objectives remain at the foundation of an employee handbook, but the handbook also has another important role: setting clear expectations for your employees. A well-written handbook also lets employees know that their fair treatment is a core value to your company.
Equal opportunity, workers’ compensation
Here is a list of five things that require careful consideration in an employee handbook:
- Non-discriminatory and equal opportunity policies: Your company needs detailed descriptions in that employees are treated without discrimination in areas such as gender, race, age, disability and religion. These rules also include how the company addresses harassment and discrimination complaints. Other guidelines declare how the company provides accommodations for workers who are pregnant or disabled.
- Workers’ compensation rules: Companies need to provide clear explanations so injured workers gain solid knowledge of this policy. Employers also must become well-versed in comprehending federal, state and local requirements that address workers’ compensation.
- The handling of employee complaints: Clear instructions describe how employees may file formal complaints. In addition, companies must include information on how it addresses these complaints.
- Code of conduct for employees: A company’s expectations of its employees are necessary in a handbook. Code of conduct matters should include conflicts of interest, attendance requirements, addressing tardiness, meal breaks and general breaks along with dress code.
- Pay, promotions, benefits and paid time off: This will run the gamut. Employees want to know about frequency of pay, bonus eligibility, overtime policy and how an employer assesses them in their jobs. Well-defined explanations on benefits such as health and dental care, medical and parental leave policies and retirement savings are necessary, too. Finally, employers must know how a company addresses issues regarding vacation, medical leave, volunteer time and military leave.
- Working remotely: Remote work is becoming quite commonplace, and a well drafted remote work policy will help to alleviate the frustrations of having a workforce that is spread out over multiple cities, or even states.
These represent some of this issues that employers should carefully ponder when creating an employee handbook.
Effective and with clear vision
An effective employee handbook should define that what is important to the company also should be important to an employee. At the same time, employees gain confidence and a sense of comfort in knowing that their employer has a clear vision in how it treats them. Drafting these policies in the most effective manner can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, taking short cuts only makes life more difficult if an employment dispute arises. That is why the attorneys at Gudeman & Associates work hard to ensure your interests are well protected. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.