Monday, November 5, 2012

Why Your Company Should Have an Employee Handbook

Having a employee handbook helps define your company policy and keeps everyone on track.  The very act of drafting the handbook will help you think through how you are going to handle some situtations that are sure to occur at some point. 

Employee Rules and Relations:

Your employee handbook should state your policy about sick days, vacations, leave (bereavment, disability), holidays, computer and internet policy, client/patient/customer confidentiality, benefits, permitted workplace attire, whether random drug testing may be performed, and how and when performance reviews will be conducted.

Law and Policy:

For instance: Statements about non-discrimination, equal opportunity and your company's no tolerance policy for workplace violence, sexual harassment, drinking on the job, and no illegal drug s on the premises.  Information about what employment rights the employees have under the law (if there are 50 or more employees there should be information about the Family and Medical Leave Act).

What it should NOT contain:

Do not put any sensitive and confidential information in this book.  For instance, there should not be any account passwords in the employee handbook.  The employee handbook should not contain any confidential information regarding your clients. Remember that these employee handbooks are often removed from the office and kept by employees after they leave.  Don't include information that should not leave your office.

What disclaimers should be included:

Disclaimer that says that the handbook is NOT an employment contract, it is for informational purposes only.  Make this disclaimer clear and prominent.   Also state that this handbook may be revised by the employer and will be updated from time to time. 

Have the Employee Acknowledge the Receipt of the handbook:

Have the employee sign for receipt of the book.

Both fhe Texas Workforce Commission and Small Business Association have templates and resources available online to help you write your handbook.

Kalish Law Office - The Woodlands, Texas 

Business attorneys, contract law, business start-up   Since 1984







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