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: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa 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: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

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

  • Access to Personnel Files Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers seeking to inform employees about their rights with regard to accessing personnel files and the rules and correct procedures for doing so should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal Breaks for Minors Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers that employ minor employees (those under age 16) and seek to inform the minor employees and their supervisors about legally-required meal breaks and to demonstrate compliance with the law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Pregnancy Disability Leave Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers with four or more employees that seek to show their compliance with Iowa law regarding pregnancy disability leave and to inform employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Jury or Witness Duty Leave Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers seeking to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for service as a juror and to show their compliance with Iowa's jury duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Time Off to Vote Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of time off for voting and to show their compliance with Iowa's voting leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Elected Official and State Board Leave Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers with more than 20 or more full-time employees that seek to show their compliance with Iowa law regarding elected official and state board leave should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Military Leave Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers with at least one regular (non-temporary) full-time or part-time employee that seek to educate employees about the availability of leave for military duty and to demonstrate their compliance with Iowa's military leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Emergency Responder Leave Handbook Statement: Iowa

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Iowa employers seeking to show their compliance with Iowa law regarding volunteer emergency responder leave law and to inform employees, including supervisors, about the availability of leave for this purpose 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.