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

  • About This State Supplement Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers seeking to introduce the supplement, explain how the employer's handbook and supplement should be read together and to explain Montana's unique exception to at-will employment should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

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

  • Vacation / Paid Time Off (PTO) Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers seeking to indicate that Montana employees will receive pay for vacation or PTO upon termination of employment should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Maternity Leave Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of reasonable pregnancy-related leave should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Crime Victim Leave Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for crime victims to attend criminal proceedings and to show their compliance with Montana law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Public Official Leave Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees]: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers with fewer than 10 employees that seek to educate employees about the availability of leave for employees elected to public office and to demonstrate compliance with Montana law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Public Official Leave Handbook Statement [10+ Employees]: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers with 10 or more employees that seek to educate employees about the availability of leave for employees elected to public office and to demonstrate compliance with Montana law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Military Leave Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of leave for active state duty and to demonstrate their compliance with Montana's military leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Smoke-Free Workplace Handbook Statement: Montana

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Montana employers with enclosed workplace areas should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Montana-Specific Employee Handbook Policies Now Live

    Date:
    29 January 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The Montana 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 topic

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