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Hiring Employees: Do You Have an Employment Handbook?

June 25, 2018

Building your employment department is one of many steps that can lead to the success and growth of your company. However, as an employer, you will undertake various responsibilities. The costs of employment can be quite expensive, and the process of becoming an employer can be daunting at times. Yet the employment process can also be a manageable and informative process that benefits your company exponentially.

One important step throughout the employment process is to establish an Employment Handbook. This is sometimes called an “Employee Handbook.” The purpose of an Employment Handbook is to establish a clear playbook of rules, policies and procedures for your company, so that employees understand the protocol and standards for productivity and behavior at the workplace.

The major benefits of an Employment Handbook include:

  • It establishes written documentation between the employer and employee, which mitigate the risk of costly misunderstandings that can lead to lawsuits;
  • It can create legal protections for the employer, train new employees as well as educate management and supervisors;
  • It can help to establish a standard of fair and consistent treatment of all employees to help increase compliance with State and Federal laws; and
  • It can be unilaterally modified by the employer at any time so long as certain guidelines are followed.*

An Employment Handbook also can address matters including, without limitation:

  • Salary, raises, benefit programs and severance;
  • Hours, attendance, conduct and disciplinary matters;
  • Sick leave and maternity leave;
  • Worker’s Compensation;
  • Intellectual property, confidentiality, and other proprietary matters;
  • Safety policies, Internet and email policies and other internal company policies; and
  • Any other matter that covers applicable State and Federal law as well as governing rules of your company.
  • Also, an Employment Handbook can be an extraneous document referenced and incorporated into your Employment Agreements for better clarity.

As such, it is highly beneficial for employers to establish an Employment Handbook as early as possible in the employment process.

*Please note that an employer’s ability to unilaterally modify its Employment Handbook depends on the local state laws of that employer, as the laws of each state will vary.

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