Hiring employees is an exciting step in launching a small business. Whether your business is new or established, though, making sure your employee manual does everything it needs to do is essential.
What is the purpose of an employee manual?
An employee manual has two major functions, and both are equally important. The first function of a great employee manual is to inform the employee of the company’s policies and procedures. It should help your employees more clearly understand the company’s structure and their role within it. It should clarify their responsibilities and your expectations for them. The second function of an employee manual is to protect you, the business owner, from potential litigation. From sick leave to dress code violations to termination, your policies should be outlined in the handbook and you should enforce them consistently to avoid disputes.
What should I make sure to include when writing an employee handbook?
- Worker’s compensation policies
What kind of insurance is in place to provide wage replacement and medical care for employees who are injured on the job? Worker’s compensation should be addressed in your employee handbook.
- Dress code
Business casual? Jeans and a tee with the company logo? Hard hat required? Gloves for sanitation? Closed-toe shoes? Whether it’s for safety or professionalism, make sure you outline the dress code in your handbook so that employees have a clear understanding of what they are expected to wear to work.
- Social media conduct
This is showing up more and more often in employee handbooks as technology progresses. How your employees conduct themselves on social media may impact clients’ view of your business. Can your employees be terminated for posting offensive material online? This is the place to let them know.
- Harassment policies
Every employer hopes that harassment will never occur in their business. But whether it’s a creepy customer bothering a cashier or a manager saying inappropriate things to a new hire, you need to be clear in the handbook that you will not tolerate harassment, and no harm will come to anyone as a result of reporting it.
Establish a procedure for dealing with employee absences and stick to it. This way your employees know for certain what consequences they can expect to face if they are tardy or do not show up.
Who can help me create or revise my employee manual?
At DeWitt Law, we have extensive experience with labor and employment litigation. We understand the ins and outs of constructing a great employee manual and are eager to share our knowledge with you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.