Things to Consider When Creating Employment Handbook
A well-written and comprehensive employment handbook will provide solutions to problems and disputes even before these arise.
According to corporate lawyers, this written manual will also serve as a guideline for workers that will explicitly tell their duties and obligations to their companies.
Employment handbook, also referred as employment manual, is a written company policy that will allow workers to know their duties, responsibilities, and the expected behavior for them. Also, this guideline will provide solutions to disputes and problems even before these arise.
According to corporate lawyers, an employment handbook should be clear, comprehensive, and complete not just to avoid disputes and confusion but also to prevent legal loopholes which may lead to lawsuits.
Things to consider when making an employment handbook:
The federal and state laws
Employers should make sure that the company policy is in compliant with the federal and state laws to prevent potential lawsuits. For example, the break time which lasts 15 to 20 minutes is still considered paid hour (this is followed by most states). However, meal break that lasts 30 minutes is considered not to be part of working hours and employers are not required to pay for this.
The unique needs of a company
The employment handbook should be specifically created to meet the needs of a company. For example, police departments usually require employees to be ethical and morally upright even in off-duty. However, this only applies to workers who handle sensitive positions (like policemen) but most private companies are prohibited to investigate worker’s off-duty activities and these should not be used as a basis for termination.
Potential disputes and internal problems
Internal problems and disputes are common in most companies. To resolve these, the company should have a policy about arbitration and mediation processes where the management and the workers will have a chance to settle their differences.
Interests of employers
Some states allow non-compete policy which prevents workers to apply to their employer’s rival companies and also prevents them to create their own company that will directly compete with their employer’s business. However, some states do not allow such policy (like in California) so it is important to seek an advice of a corporate lawyer.
A well-written handbook should not only provide clauses that protect the interests of companies, but more importantly, to uphold the rights of workers especially in the issues of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and compensations and benefits.
Worker’s duties and expected behavior
This will state that employees should provide satisfactory work, share their ideas to their companies, and dedicate their skills and talents to allow their employers’ businesses to expand and be competitive.