Employee Handbook

We are thinking of creating a handbook for all employees.What policies should be part of an employee handbook?

If anybody could provide a sample list, that would be great.

Thank you.


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  • Your handbook should be customized for your organization.  Generally, though, you would want to include policies on vacation and cik time, PTO, holidays, FMLA, military leave, sexual harassment (including complaint procedures), internet/e-mail, attendance, time keeping, pay days, discipline, workplace conduct, COBRA, smoking, and solicitation.  It should also define part-time and full-time and exempt, nonexempt employment.

    Most importantly, perhaps, is to make sure that you have a disclaimer stating that nothing in the handbook creates an employment contract and that employment is at-will.  Also, state that management can change the provisions of the handbook at any time and without notice.

    Many companies have sample policies; BLR has an Encyclopedia of Prewritten Personnel Policies that would be a good start for you. 

  • You might check a couple of resources that I have found useful:

    (1) your state's dept of labor group  -- I know that TX has an employer handbook online with many policies pre-written although they do suggest you review them with legal counsel.

    (2) your benefits/property/business insurance broker -- often they have a free sample handbook

    (3) any state/federal website that shows mandatory labor postings

    (4) state/local universities often have their handbooks posted online as do some businesses...as we say in the scrapbooking world " copy and steal everything (CASE).

    Too many policies is a bad thing...employees often lose interest because they view the employer as too controlling. Too few policies can come back and haunt the employer (unemployment, EEOC charges, etc).  There is a happy medium and that is different in different industries and cultures.

    Honestly, though, whatever you come up with, it is worth having corporate counsel review.

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