Personnel Manual – Who Need’s It?



There are many organizations that do not believe that they need a personnel manual to operate efficiently when they have employees. I suppose the other option is to decide as you go along what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to things like an attendance policy or how much vacation time a person earns, if any.















I have even seen church staff threaten law suits over whether they should be earning vacation or not. This should tell you that when it comes to employees, no matter what type of business, you will face difficult questions on almost any issue possible.

Let’s take an issue like how many unscheduled absence periods are allowed before a business owner should take action in an effort to stop the employee’s absences? If you ask the employee I’m sure it will depend on many factors all of which will be to their advantage. Having a personnel manual will define what is allowed and what is not. Take that same issue a bit further and add to that whether someone should be paid when they are ill. Do they need a medical verification of them being under a Doctor’s care and furthermore do they need a release allowing them to return to work.

Let’s talk about an item that can truly ruin a company and that is how to deal with sexual harassment. Many states mandate that you cover this topic with your employee’s depending on how many employees they have. Having it within your personnel manual will help to satisfy that requirement provided you insure that everyone is receiving and signing for a copy of it.

If you offer benefits is everyone eligible or only full time employees. Who is considered full time? Only those that work forty hours, or as few as thirty? Several states suggest that thirty hours constitutes full time. Make sure you check with your state prior to producing your personnel manual.

Do you have a progressive discipline policy declaring what happens if someone violates a company policy? How many warnings would someone need to receive prior to being terminated? Do you have any exceptions to this if they commit a very serious violation, such as fighting or stealing which should also be a part of your personnel manual.

What if someone makes a personal long distance telephone call on a company telephone?

What if they use a company vehicle for personal reasons?

What if they are always on their cellular telephone?

What if they are making racial or otherwise discriminatory remarks to another employee?

This list could go on for a long time but the point is that there are countless issues that will turn into trouble if you do not have a written policy on them. The policy does not eliminate the fact that people will still violate your policies; however, it just gives you a guideline for how to handle it when they do.

May God Bless You!

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