As an employer, it’s essential that you let your employees know what your workplace expectations are. Putting together an employee handbook can help you better enforce your workplace regulations and rules. Having company policies put into writing can also help you avoid a litigation nightmare. However, it’s sometimes difficult to determine the information an employee handbook should contain. Here are some key components that should be part of every employee handbook, regardless of the type of business you operate.
It’s important to differentiate between full-time, part-time, and contract employees. You should remind your workers that Connecticut and New York, like most states, are ”at-will” employment states. This means both you and the employee may terminate the working relationship at any time. Of course, exceptions can be made through an employment contract.
Outline your anti-discrimination and harassment policies
It might feel like stating the obvious, but it still needs to be said. Be clear that you will not tolerate any forms of discrimination or harassment in the workplace. Highlight examples of behavior that would violate the policy. It’s also important to establish a process for reporting incidents of discrimination and harassment. Doing so will enable you to more effectively address the concerns of your employees.
Not all employee relationships end with a terse, “I quit!” or, “You’re fired!”. Sometimes business needs will require you to let some employees go. Sometimes, employees may decide to part ways amicably. You should outline what the termination process entails in these types of situations. Would you like departing employees to sit for an exit interview? How will you address unused vacation time? What about a severance package? It’s important to answer these questions to help enable a smooth transition.
A section acknowledging employees have read the handbook
An employee handbook is useless if your workers don’t receive and read the document. Include a section that acknowledges receipt and understanding. A legal professional can help you further refine employee policies to reflect the needs of your business.