Regardless of the size of your business, you should have an employee handbook. Having a handbook ensures that workplace expectations are clear and attainable, everyone is on the same page when it comes to managing your business and employees, and helps everyone understand the policies and procedures of your business clearly and sufficiently.
Creating a practical handbook is critical whether you are just starting out or you have had your doors open for years. Whether you are starting from scratch or revising and updating a current handbook, it is important to be aware of key elements and provisions to incorporate into your employee handbooks.
What Goes Into an Employee Handbook?
Depending on the size of your company, it may be necessary to include additional provisions in your employee handbook to ensure compliance with federal and state laws. For example, in Minnesota, your business may consider, or be required to include, parenting and pregnancy leave, bone marrow donation leave, or school activities leave policies. For federal policies, your business may be required to incorporate ADA and FMLA policies.
An employee handbook should also include information about how you pay wages, especially regarding overtime, whether, and how, PTO is paid out once the employment relationship is terminated, and you also want to ensure your employee handbook has a proper and detailed disclaimer provision, among other things. The handbook can also define which positions qualify for overtime calculation and which do not. As noted, company policies regarding paid time off, such as vacation and sick leave, should be included in detail. Employees must understand how to calculate and paid sick and vacation days to reduce conflicts.
Including EEOC Guidelines
You should also make clear that you run your company under the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This includes your stance on harassment and discrimination. The handbook should have a series of steps through which employees can go should they feel like they are facing unfair and illegal practices in the workplace.
These are only some of the items your employee handbook should include. You should contact a professional with experience in this business area for more guidance. Established more than 95 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes ranks among the oldest and largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The full-service law firm has growing legal teams in the areas of employment law, business law, government law, insurance defense, trust and estate planning, and general litigation. Learn more at Quinlivan.com.