It is generally a good idea for employers to put an employee handbook together, one that will include relevant information that acts as a legal shield. Even if a business has just a handful of employees, without an employee handbook, it would be making itself vulnerable as it would be facing a more elevated danger of a legal claim concerning wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and additional unfair treatment of employees.
What to Include in Your Handbook
A handbook is an excellent source of information for your employees, who will be able to consult the handbook anytime that they have a question. An employee handbook also makes employers meticulously examine their personal philosophies as well as the dictates of the company. A satisfactory handbook will need to include:
- An overview of your business’ ideology
- A summary of your employee’s designated work hours
- An explanation of how you pay for regular hours worked and for overtime
- An outline of how you grant bonuses and raises
- A thorough rundown of regulations concerning benefits, like sick leave, vacation days, and personal days
- A review of your company’s anti-discrimination policy as well as your harassment policy, including but not limited to sexual harassment
- Your company’s policy concerning grievances, including the appropriate names and contact information for filing a complaint
- An outline of your company’s disciplinary procedures, like what kind of behavior is eligible for disciplinary action and what steps you will go through in the disciplinary process
- Your position on supervising workplace communications
- Anything else that is pertinent to your specific business conditions and your employees
A useful handbook will also offer some flexibility. For instance, when naming the transgressions that qualify for company discipline, you should also warn employees that the list is not all-inclusive. There are quite probably other types of behavior that also justify disciplinary measures, depending on the severity and repercussions on the business, that might not be noted in the employee handbook.
You may also employ a progressive discipline policy, wherein you begin with a verbal warning for your first infraction and gradually escalate up to a written warning, suspension, and then dismissal. Some behavior, however, might necessitate instant termination, so you should also explain that point in the handbook.
What to Avoid Including in Your Handbook
You want to steer clear of forming legal responsibilities in your employee handbook. For instance, you do not want to give the impression that you are promising a job. Rather, if you wish to keep at-will employment connections, you need to incorporate verbiage that plainly states that the handbook is not a job offer.
Speak with a Los Angeles Business Attorney Today
An employee handbook is an important way in which employers control chance in today’s workplace. Instead of trying to write your handbook using excerpts you find on the internet, get in touch with an experienced business attorney in Los Angeles. At Leiva Law Firm, we are thrilled to address these concerns with you. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by contacting us at 818-519-4465 as soon as possible. Our attorneys speak both English and Spanish.