For any company—of any size—having an employee handbook is as important as any other foundational document. Your handbook should serve as a go-to for both your employees and management alike. As with any organized system, businesses must have documents in place that establish rules, expectations, benefits, and also address any potential “what if” scenarios. Having an employee handbook offers legal protections for both employee and employer and should always be kept up-to-date with current policies. Although there are numerous reasons why you should have an employee handbook, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 4 most important reasons for you below:
1) To Outline Policies and Expectations
An employee handbook sets forth the company’s expectations and rules for its employees. It also details what consequences to expect when those expectations are not met or violated. A few items to include in this section are:
- Who to call when you are late or not coming in
- Timeline for requesting leave
- Expectations for professionalism
- Statements of At-Will Employment
- Equal Employment Opportunity policies
- Harassment & discrimination reporting
- Digital and social media policies
- Leave policies, including but not limited to FMLA, PTO, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave
2) To Foster a Consistent & Fair Environment
Your handbook should deliver a clear, concise message to ensure company-wide fair treatment for all. Your handbook is a rulebook that everyone is bound to and no one is exempt from. It is one of the strongest tools you can use to combat claims of discrimination or unfairness in the workplace.
3) To Defend Against Unemployment Claims & Lawsuits
A well-written handbook goes a long way in defending against unemployment claims and other potential legal actions. Many employers have regrettably found themselves in hot water after neglecting important handbook provisions for items such as:
- On-the-job injuries
Many times, simply having a signed acknowledgment of the company handbook has released employers from damning legal action. It is a step you don’t want to risk skipping.
4) To Outline Benefits and Compensation
Aside from being made aware of what your company expects of them, it is important that your employees know what they can expect from you too. The benefits and compensation sections of your handbook will likely be the “most loved” section of the book, and should detail items important to your employees such as:
- Benefits available and enrollment processes
- Probation periods
- Performance review policies
- Pay schedule
- Review and/or raise schedules
These are just a few items that you should always include in your company’s employee handbook. And remember, this isn’t just a document outlining expectations, it is a part of your business that reflects your culture and who you are as a company. Make sure that your handbook reflects your values and mission—it will define you to everyone who decides to come onboard.
The attorneys at the Campbell Law Group want to help you protect your business. A detailed, specifically worded handbook is imperative to your success and defending against any potential legal actions. Let us help you create an employee handbook that accurately reflects and safeguards 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!