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

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "accrual method" should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the accrual method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the lump sum method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "lump sum" method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • New Oregon Sick Leave Rules: Handbook Statements Updated

    Date:
    February 3, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Oregon's sick leave handbook statements have been updated as a result of new administrative rules published to implement the Oregon Sick Leave Law.

  • Employment At-Will: Texas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Texas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment at-will doctrine.

  • Employment At-Will: Pennsylvania

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Pennsylvania employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to the employment at-will doctrine.

  • Employment At-Will: South Carolina

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of South Carolina employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to employment at-will.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Leave Handbook Statement [Accrual Method]: Tacoma, Washington

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers that have one or more employees working 80 or more hours per year in Tacoma, Washington, that seek to educate employees about the availability of paid sick and safe leave and to show their compliance with the Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance (TPLO) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Tacoma, Washington, Paid Sick and Safe Leave: Handbook Statement Added

    Date:
    January 27, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Effective February 1, 2016, employers with employees working in Tacoma, Washington, must provide paid sick leave to those employees.

About this topic

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