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

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement: California

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    California employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of paid sick and safe time and to show their compliance with California's Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act (HWHFA) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • California Amends Paid Sick and Safe Time Law: Handbook Statement Updated

    Date:
    24 July 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    California amended the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act to clarify provisions of the newly enacted paid sick and safe time law.

  • Pregnancy Accommodation, E-Cigarettes and More: Handbook Statements Added and Amended

    Date:
    23 July 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The new and updated statements reflect recent legal developments in several states, including Connecticut, Oregon and Rhode Island.

  • Discussion of Wages Handbook Statement: Connecticut

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Connecticut employers seeking to emphasize compliance with, and educate their workforces about this law, should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement: Nebraska

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

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

  • Smoke-Free Workplace Handbook Statement: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers with enclosed workplace areas seeking to inform employees that smoking is prohibited in the workplace and to demonstrate compliance with Oregon law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement: North Dakota

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    North Dakota employers that employ one or more employees for more than one-quarter of the year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

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

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    North Dakota employers that provide paid vacation or paid time off (PTO) and seek to indicate that North Dakota employees will receive pay for accrued but unused vacation or PTO upon termination of employment should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

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

  • Pregnancy Accommodation Handbook Statement: North Dakota

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    North Dakota covered employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related reasons and to demonstrate compliance with North Dakota law 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.