EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS


INITIAL THOUGHTS:

  • Reasons to adopt: fairness, provide all notices (FMLA, WC, non-discrimination, etc), makes expectations clear, due process, avoids lawsuits, paying unemployment and paying for unused leave;
  • Different employee types: e.g. manufacturing, skilled vs. certificated, staff vs. administration
  • Simpler the better: use of simple language is important.
  • Be prepared to enforce the policies;
  • Tone of the handbook: e.g. why regular attendance is good vs. why absenteeism is bad.

LEGAL POLICIES TO INCLUDE:

  • At-will employment statement;
  • Family medical leave policy (paid or unpaid, concurrence);
  • Equal employment and non-discrimination policy;
  • Worker's compensation policy;
  • Anti-discrimination policies: general non-discrimination statement, accommodation of employees with disabilities; policies on breast-feeding and employee on employee harassment/discrimination.

EXAMPLES OF INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC POLICIES:

  • Bans on smoking, substance abuse;
  • Internet or e-mail policy;
  • Dress code policy;
  • Student privacy;
  • Personnel records privacy;
  • Confidential records policy.

TYPICAL PROVISIONS:

  • History: May include company history and goals;
  • No contract: The handbook does not change the nature of at-will employment;
  • Handbook is supreme: The handbook supersedes unwritten or written policy;
  • Changes: The policies in the handbook may change at discretion of employer;  
  • Paid time-off: information on holidays, sick leave, family medical leave, and other types of leave (jury
  • duty, military family, assault leave, etc);
  • Employee behavior expectations: Be general about expectations of employee conduct;
  • Attendance policy: Warnings, termination, include any meal and rest periods provided;  
  • Pay and promotions: Define pay periods, overtime policy, work hours, eligibility for bonuses or stock options;
  • Performance evaluation process, if any;
  • Benefits: Provide a general overview of benefits - health care, dental, vision, life insurance, etc., but no specific policies or companies. Include FT/PT eligibility and enrollment periods;
  • Employee acknowledgement: include an acknowledgment and understanding page that the employee signs and returns to be kept in file.

 

Contact us to help draft your policies: (614) 519-6918