Employee Hand Book
Your Number One Way To Protect Your Company!
An employee hand book is more than just a means of providing your staff with your company rules, it can be your way of protecting yourself!
I have never been to one unemployment hearing where they didn't ask me for a copy of our organizations hand book!
In addition, I have responded to EEOC (Equal Employee Opportunity Commission) claims and again, they want a copy of our hand book.
The very next question they ask is did the employee receive a copy of it, and how do you know they understood what was in it.
Very simple I tell them!
Acknowledging that they received a copy and have read and understand it.
We cover it in our initial orientation and the employee signs acknowledging that they received a copy and have read and understand it. I then provide a copy of their signature stating that very fact. Keep in mind whether you have a formal orientation or just one on one, it is important to have one.
This is critical to your organization.
If you have rules, which I'm sure you must, you need an employee hand book.
So that employees know what the rules are and it is clear when they have broken them.
If you do not tolerate sexual harassment and your policy states that violations of it may carry with it discipline up to and including possible termination, then no one should be surprised if you terminate an employee for violating that policy. Remember that the owner or manager can be held personally liable in sexual harassment claims, so make sure you follow your own policy, i.e., be consistent and make sure you address every situation, since the law states that if you knew or should have known that something was happening you have a responsibility to take action.
How many unscheduled absences are acceptable?
Now what about attendance which is a normal issue for most organizations? How many unscheduled absences are acceptable? Put it in your employee hand book!
What about selling none work related items at work? If you do not allow it, then put it in your employee hand book. Be clear about your expectations.
Also vacation and sick leave should be addressed. If you offer these benefits or not, address it clearly in your hand book as to how they earn them and when they can use them. If you do not offer these benefits, that should be stated also.
Address when pay days are and what days are included in the check.
Cover mandatory requirements that the federal, state and local governments place on you and the employee, such as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), etc.
Now you can hire an attorney...
If you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed then don't be!
With all the products on the market today it is fairly easy to produce an effective and professional employee hand book.
I have offered a couple of inexpensive examples of some companies that can help out.
Now you can hire an attorney that will do a great job as well, but at the rate some attorneys charge now it could get real expensive real quick.
For the money and what these less expensive options can offer it is a great bargain!
These programs will help you understand what you need to include and also help you modify your policy to make it fit into your employee hand book.
Don't risk not having one. You may survive for a while but eventually it will catch up with you. Not worth it when you think about how inexpensive it is.
If there is a particular aspect of an employee hand book you want more information on, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you and May God Bless You!
An Essential Element of Your Business!
An employee hand book is absolutely an essential element of any business with employees. Consider it a lot like a speed limit sign.
Any company that does not have a hand book is rolling the dice and it is just a matter of time before they pay an enormous price.
Whether it is from paying out on unemployment claims, or being sued for wrongful termination, there will be a price to pay.
You could even get hit from the victim of a sexual harassment incident. The bad news there is that they can sue you personally, and not just the organization.
Helping you understand what topics...
Finding a company that provides online employee handbooks is easy. Finding one that provides what you need is a little bit harder.
The two companies below offer products that I fee will work for almost any company out there.
In both cases they will walk you through the process helping you understand what topics should be in your “hand book”.
Everything from vacation and sick leave policies to attendance and what your progressive discipline policy is needs to be a part of your employee hand book.
These online employee hand books should do that for you at a fraction of what an attorney will charge.
We would have lost our case and been required to pay unemployment...
Which one you choose will determine how detailed you want it to be.
I have been to a great number of unemployment hearings and if we wouldn't have had a hand book we would have lost our case and been required to pay unemployment. One of the first questions they ask is if you have an employee handbook. The second question is what evidence do I have that the employee received a copy and understood it.
We always covered the contents of our hand book in our initial orientation and had them sign acknowledging that they received and had read it. In a perfect world you may want to do this annually, although we didn't.
However, if we added a new policy or changed something during the year we would make sure the employee signed that they read and received a copy.
It sounds like something so simple but you would be surprised how many companies just don't take the time to produce one. It makes no sense to me, but it is just a fact.
Good luck, and if you have a specific questions don't hesitate to contact me and I will do my best to answer your question.
May God Bless You!
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