Five Must-Haves To Include In Your Employee Handbook
The employee handbook is one of the most important tools for employers for setting expectations and adhering to state guidelines and employee rights. While there are many templates out there, having one drafted specifically for your business and state is highly recommended. Depending on the size of your business, consulting a business attorney to review your handbook or draft one for you will help protect both your employees and your business. Here are five must-haves for an employee handbook.
1. Anti-harassment and non-discrimination prevention policy.
Outline your company’s policies for equal treatment. This ensures a safe work environment for all. You will need to include EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) policies, and if your company has 15 or more employees, you will need to include an ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) policy as well.
2. Compensation and benefits.
This is the section to outline your pay periods and how you manage timekeeping. It’s very important to include how additional compensation such as overtime, bonuses, and commission is handled. For benefits, give a brief overview in your handbook and refer employees to master documents for specifics.
3. Specific state laws and policies.
Make sure you know your own state laws and specifically outline them. With remote employment on the rise, it’s very important to include the laws and policies that apply to the state your employee works in, not the state your company is located in. Many states have very specific laws regarding sick pay, meal breaks, and overtime. You will want to make sure and include these items.
4. Leave Policies.
Review and include the guidelines for your company’s PTO policy including sick time, vacation time, paid holidays, maternity/bereavement leave, and unpaid leave options as well. Don’t forget to include how much notice is required to request time off/leave, how to submit requests for time off/leave, and add in any consequences for violations regarding leave.
5. Code of conduct.
Don't forget your company’s culture and appropriate behavior. Such items as code of ethics, dress code, workplace safety, and attendance requirements are important for employee/employer harmony. Setting proper expectations for your employees sets you both up for success. Especially with the rise of remote office spaces, add a section dedicated to the protection of company property, whether it be material or intangible. It’s important to make sure team members are taking proper care of company property as well as handling confidential documents properly.
Your employee handbook is an important tool, employee guide, and protective compliance document. Make it a priority to review it with your team as well as highlight key items. This will ensure they are aware of your expectations while safeguarding your company and employees. Having a business attorney well-versed in employment laws draft or review the document is an extra layer of protection.
Dye Culik PC is a business and franchise law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our business attorneys work with you to protect you and your business. If you need help with drafting your employee handbook or would like an attorney to review it, contact us today.