Introduction to Employee Handbooks
An employee handbook is a manual given to employees by an employer that details company policies and procedures. An employee handbook is important to your organization’s growth because it ensures that the employer, management, and employees are on the same page. The fundamental purpose of the handbook is to clarify and communicate the employee’s job duties, employee benefits, safety guidelines, and the organization’s internal policies and procedures.
Perhaps most important, the employee handbook allows the employer to consistently enforce the organization’s policies instead of arbitrarily enforcing policies depending on the individual or situation. After all, a pillar of a productive work environment is employee knowledge that they will receive equal, unbiased treatment, regardless of the situation or their position within the organization. Organizational equality fosters a collaborative team environment that breeds creativity and productivity.
Topics: Equal Employment Opportunity
Business owners must comply with federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment. All employee handbooks should include a section on these laws, as well as prohibited behavior and practices.
Topics: Leave Policies
It is important to note that all leave policies must comply with federal, state, and local laws.
- Bereavement policy
- Family medical leave
- Jury duty
- Military leave
- Sick Leave
- Time off for court cases
- Vacation policy
- Voting leave
Other Employment Documents
In addition to the employee handbook, there are several other documents that you should create for standardized use.
- Employee Performance Evaluation
- Non-Compete Agreement (only enforceable outside of California)
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
Review by a lawyer
An employee handbook can be upwards of 20 pages of content. The most cost efficient way to design the handbook is to compile the handbook yourself, and then later have it reviewed by a licensed lawyer to make sure the handbook complies with federal, state, and local laws.