In the 21st century, employee handbooks have gone from a convenient concept to a necessary business tool. However, your employee handbook is only as good as what is written in its pages. Addressing policies, procedures and other critical employment issues can protect you and your business. A good handbook also provides your workers with information necessary to cultivate a mutually beneficial employment partnership.
Business owners can easily find employee handbook templates online, but these “cookie-cutter” templates often fail to address matters specific to California employment law. It may be better for you and for your employees to delve deeper into issues unique to your enterprise. With that said, there are several things to include in even minimalistic employee handbooks.
- Equal employment opportunity policies such as how your business handles discrimination and harassment
- Vacation, sick leave and family medical leave policies
- Policies outlining the employee code of conduct and other basic employment information
- Information outlining pay policies such as overtime, bonuses and breaks
- Instructions to help employees file a formal complaint if they experience discrimination or other problems
- Information explaining how management will address any valid complaints
In addition to creating your handbook, you should also review and update your policies regularly. This ensures that your employees remain aware of when and how their employment may evolve. Updating when necessary protects your business from potential legal hurdles as well.
Writing an employee handbook is a large and essential undertaking. If you are not confident in your ability to draft your book clearly and concisely, consider seeking assistance. A professional with current knowledge about employment laws in your location can add strength to your policies. In turn, this will help your company continue to thrive.