Is an Employment Handbook Necessary?

Having an employment handbook is as necessary as any other part of your business. Without it you will sooner or later be challenged by a disgruntled employee and run the risk of losing everything you have worked so hard for. It will only take once and you will regret not having one.

I have showed up for multiple unemployment hearings and in no case was I ever able to escape without showing our policy within our employment handbook. Once I was able to produce the policy for which we terminated someone, and their signature acknowledging that they had received a copy at their initial orientation the hearing was pretty much over. Oh yes we went through the formality of finishing it, but thus far in my long career I have never lost even once.

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progressive discipline process

As a volunteer on our Church Personnel Committee I created a handbook that paid almost immediate dividends. Many of the employees had no idea how annual vacation and sick leave was accrued and paid out. I had a very specific policy that spelled out exactly how it was accrued the first year, and years thereafter. This cleared up many future arguments.

Early in my career as a Human Resources Director I was challenged with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) Claim. We had terminated someone in a protected class which is almost always put under a microscope, and in this instance it truly was. Because of our employee policy manual and having the claimants signature acknowledging that they had read and understood the policy manual it was dismissed.

Throughout the years I have been in business there has been only one document that has been able to eliminate employee disputes, challenges, and legal claims and that has been our handbook. It without question is able to clear up any confusion about the company’s policy on any issue, as well as, pay periods, benefits, and much more. We included every possible issue that involved our employees including our right to search company owned employee lockers.

For the low cost of producing an employment handbook a business is just foolish for not creating one. Most software can be purchased for around $35 and up, depending on what you need and the reputation of the company. What makes them nice is they give you lots of suggestions as to what you may want to include in your manual. Many of the also come with all the mandatory federal posters that you are required to have in your business.

May God Bless You!

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