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Top 4 Reasons Your Business Needs an Employee Handbook

If you have even just one employee, you need an employee handbook.  There are many reasons for this, but some of the top reasons your company needs an employee handbook include: providing employees with basic rules and expectations of employment, outlining employee benefits and important policies, ensuring consistent and fair application of those policies and for protection and risk management purposes.  Read on for further explanation.

  1. Set Employer Expectations & Basic Rules of Employment

A good employee manual lays out an employer’s expectations of its employees. This section of an employee handbook can be viewed as laying out the rules of the land, a place employees can go to identify minimum requirements for maintaining employment.  For example, it may provide typical work hours, the attendance policy and the dress code.  It should include a statement of at-will employment and may delineate the company’s reporting structure.

It should also detail the consequences for failing to meet expectations or violating company rules.  Providing employees with this information in a clear and cohesive place right at the outset of employment helps set them up for success.  

  1. Delineate Important Policies & Employee Benefits

This is often the most popular section of an employee handbook.  Employers should use this section of their employee handbook to outline all important employer policies and procedures and identify the benefits employees may expect from employment.  For example, this section should inform employees of:

  • The employee benefits available to them such as health insurance, retirement benefits, health savings account or wellness plans and enrollment procedures for each;
  • the amount, accrual and procedures for taking paid time off (“PTO”)
  • the timing and general procedure for performance reviews
  • pay increase schedules (if any) or a statement about any metrics used to determine pay increases or bonus/supplemental pay
  • leave policies and procedures
  • anti-discrimination/harassment/retaliation policies, including internal complaint procedures.

Delineating these policies and procedures from the outset of employment provides employees with a cohesive place to refer to when they have questions about the terms and conditions of their employment, which will no doubt arise. It can also help avoid employee confusion about important policies or the availability of various kinds of benefits.

Although not exactly a policy, you may want to consider including a statement about the company’s culture, values or mission in the handbook.  Employees are increasingly seeking work with employers whose values align with their own – whether that is an emphasis on work/life balance, focus on environmental sustainability or a pledge to increase diversity and inclusion. This section should reflect who you are as a company.

  1. Ensures Consistent and Fair Application of Policies & Procedures

Another major reason for having an employee handbook is to ensure those policies and procedures you worked so hard to develop are actually followed and administered in a fair and even-handed manner.  Without the proper policies and procedures in place, it can be easy for practices to develop that unwittingly favor certain groups or disadvantage others.  Clearly delineating how certain policies or benefits are administered goes a long way in ensuring those policies are administered consistently and can make all the difference in keeping employees happy and reducing employee turnover so your business can do what it does best.

Having an employee handbook that compiles all important company policies and procedures in one place also allows management to more efficiently deal with individual employee inquiries. Rather than dealing with every employee question or request individually, managers may be able to simply point an employee to the applicable section of the manual for a standard response or to support certain employer actions.  This is particularly important when dealing with difficult employees and leads us to our last major, but potentially most important, overarching reason your business needs an employee handbook:

  1. Business Protection & Risk Management

A good employee handbook is often your company’s first line of defense against a myriad of employee claims.  Having a clear and complete employee manual that complies with all applicable laws is the best way a business can protect itself from costly and lengthy litigation.

In many states and depending on the type of claim involved, an employer is required to show a terminated employee was on notice of certain rules and the potential for discipline if they violated those rules.  Discrimination lawsuits can be won or lost, in certain circumstances, depending on whether an employer had a legally compliant anti-discrimination policy in place.  Often times, just having a signed acknowledgement of a handbook can provide your company with a valid defense to employee lawsuits.  

Campbell Law Group is Here to Help

Employment laws, in particular, vary by state and are often modified, depending on the national or local political and economic circumstances. Your employee handbook must be consistent with all federal, state and local laws that apply to your business.  Not all federal statutes apply to small employers, but many states and even cities have more broadly applied employment laws. 

Employee handbooks should be reviewed, at least annually, to ensure your business is operating in accordance with all applicable laws.  The lawyers at the Campbell Law Group are here to help make sure of it, whether you are starting from scratch or just need to update your current handbook.  We are highly experienced in all matters of Florida employment law and have a network of legal counsel in other states so no matter where your employees work, we can ensure your employee manual protects one of your most important assets, your business. 

Visit us on the web at www.campbelllawgroup.com or call us at (305) 460.0145 so we can help you get started today!

For more information regarding employee handbooks, please contact us or check out our blog articles, videos or resources on this topic:

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The Campbell Law Group P.A.
Focuses its practice on corporate and family law matters.
While representing clients whether in civil, corporate or family law matters, our company’s primary goal is first to help clients minimize the need for unnecessary litigation and conflict where possible. If litigation is necessary, our company is more than capable of representing you or your business’ interest and helping you achieve a fair outcome, while guiding you, your family and your company through the difficulties involved in litigation.

Attorney Profile

Regina M. Campbell

Corporate and Family Law Attorney and
Collaborative Family Law Attorney

Education

Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law – Hempstead, New York Juris Doctorate (2007)

Florida International University – Miami, Florida – Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (1998)

Admissions

Florida Bar (2009)
United States District Court for the Southern District (2013), Middle (2015) and Northern Districts of Florida (2018)
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida (2015)
Member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, Inc. (2017)

Regina is the Managing Partner of The Campbell Law Group based in Coral Gables, Florida. She is recognized for her unique insight, resourceful problem-solving skills and understanding of how legal issues affect people and companies differently.

One of Regina’s biggest passions is litigation. Regina and The Campbell Law Group PA have seen a great deal of success in prosecuting and litigating business fraud and ponzi schemes, tortious interference with a business relationship cases, non-compete cases, shareholder actions, complex divorce and post-divorce actions, especially cases with recalcitrant parties with a talent at hiding assets and/or avoiding support obligations amongst others causes of action.

Regina is fluent in both English and Spanish and has assisted businesses and families from over twenty countries with their business and family legal needs.

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The Campbell Law Group is well-equipped to serve businesses throughout Florida with all manner of legal matters. Our unique breadth of knowledge, thanks to a wealth of both business and legal experience, will provide you and your company with well-rounded representation for all of your business’ legal needs.

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