HR Support on Creating Employee Handbooks

Editors Note: A current and enforced employee handbook is HR's most important tool!

Beth ZollerOverview: To create employee handbooks that are effective, employers should include all necessary workplace policies, procedures and practices. In many instances, this policy manual can serve as an employer's best defense in defending any workplace practice or action such as the enforcement of a dress code policy or the investigation of a claim for sexual harassment in the workplace. An employer should ensure that all of the policies in the employee handbook are communicated to all employees and supervisors and that proper training on the policies is provided to the employees. An employer should frequently review the policies in its handbook to see if any need updating based on a change in any law or workplace practice or as the result of a workplace incident which requires clarification of a policy.

Trends: While best practice is to include a disclaimer in the employee handbook in order to prevent it from becoming part of an employment contract, employers should be aware that the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that an overly broad at-will disclaimer in an employee handbook may violate the National Labor Relations Act by infringing upon the rights of both union and non-union employees to engage in a protected concerted activity, i.e., working collectively to improve working conditions. Employers should also be aware that in confronting the diverse workforce of today, it may be necessary for employers to develop handbooks and policies in multiple languages to address employee needs.

Author: Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Employee Handbooks

  • New Jersey-Specific Employee Handbook Policies Now Live

    Date:
    25 March 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The New Jersey employee handbook policy statements and associated "when to include" and "employer guidance" for each policy are now live and have been added to the new Employee Handbooks Tool.

  • About This State Supplement Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers seeking to explain how the handbook and supplement should be read together and that neither the handbook nor the supplement alter an employee's at-will status should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Political Opinions Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers seeking to inform employees about their policy against voter intimidation and to demonstrate compliance with New Jersey law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Pregnancy Accommodation Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers seeking to inform employees, including supervisors, that employees may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation for known limitations relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including recovery from childbirth should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Whistleblower Protections (Conscientious Employee Protection Act) Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers seeking to inform employees of their rights under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and to provide detailed information regarding reporting procedures should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks for Minors Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers that employ minor employees (those under age 18) and seek to inform the minor employees and their supervisors about legally required meal breaks and to demonstrate compliance with New Jersey law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Family Leave Handbook Statement: New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New Jersey employers that employ 50 or more employees, including employees outside of New Jersey, for each working day during each of 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees]: Jersey City, New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Jersey City employers with 10 or more employees seeking to educate employees about the availability of paid sick time and to show their compliance with Jersey City's Earned Sick Time Ordinance (ESTO) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Sick Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees]: Jersey City, New Jersey

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Jersey City employers with 1-9 employees seeking to educate employees about the availability of unpaid sick time and to show their compliance with Jersey City's Earned Sick Time Ordinance (ESTO) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

About this topic

HR guidance on how to create employee handbooks that includes all employment policies and practices.