Employee Handbooks – Does Your Small Business Have One?

When you first opened your business chances are it was just you running things with possible assistance from family members. Afteremployee handbook working hard to grow your business you’ve hired some employees to help with the workload. How do you convey the rules of the business to your employees? Do you just tell your employees what you expect or do you have it written down for them to follow? If you are just verbalizing the information to your employees it can come back to bite you.

Having an employee handbook helps a business, regardless of its size, inform its employees of what is expected of them and what they can expect from the business. It will also  explain what legal obligations you have and what rights your employees have as well as what is required by federal and state law. To ensure these polices are covered in your employee handbook verify what is required by checking the websites for the Department of Labor and your state’s labor department.

According to the Small Business Administration the following should be included in an employee handbook:

Non-Disclosure Agreements and Conflict of Interest Statements

Having a non-disclosure agreement and conflict of interest statement will ensure that the proprietary information of your business is protected.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

Anti-discrimination polices provide information on how a business will deal with discrimination and harassment.

Compensation and Work Schedules

These polices explain such things as what deductions will be taken out of an employee’s paycheck, what your legal obligations are regarding overtime, when the employee will be paid, what hours the employee will work, when their breaks will be and attendance.

Conduct Standards

This section explains what expectations you have of your employees conduct and what their legal obligations are.

General Employment Information

This is where you provide information regarding your business and general employment policies such as employment eligibility, employee’s records, probationary periods and termination.

Safety and Security

This section provides information on how you will maintain a safe and secure work environment. This includes compliance with OSHA laws.

Computers and Technology

These polices provide information on proper computer usage and how electronic information should be secured,.

Media Relations

This is where you provide information on how media inquiries regarding your business will be handled and by whom.

Employee Benefits

This is where you explain what benefits are available and what criteria need to be met to be eligible for them.

Leave Policies

This section will provide detailed information regarding absences allowed, including those required by law. 

Depending on what kind of business you have will determine whether you should include more or less information in your employee handbook. 

To ensure that you are not misrepresenting information or contradicting laws any employee handbook that you create should be reviewed by a labor/employment lawyer.

Once you have a completed handbook it should be reviewed by each employee. Once the employee has completed reviewing it they should sign and date documentation stating that they have read the handbook and understand what is included in it. Any polices that are changed should be reviewed by the employee and a new signed and dated acknowledgement should be obtained.

 

 

 

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Barbara Goldberg

Business Operations Strategist at Back On Track Solutions
With over 15 years of corporate experience within Fortune 500 companies, Barbara Goldberg now brings world-class customer service to the small business community. An avid sports fan, Barbara likens her passion, focus and strategy to a crew chief guiding a race car driver to the finish line. Barbara will analyze, evaluate, distill and then solve the problems challenging business owners, allowing them to get back on track to servicing customers.

With over 15 years of corporate experience within Fortune 500 companies, Barbara Goldberg now brings world-class customer service to the small business community. An avid sports fan, Barbara likens her passion, focus and strategy to a crew chief guiding a race car driver to the finish line. Barbara will analyze, evaluate, distill and then solve the problems challenging business owners, allowing them to get back on track to servicing customers.

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