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

  • EEO Handbook Statement [15-19 employees]: Federal

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • EEO Handbook Statement [20+ employees]: Federal

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers with 20 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Disability Accommodation Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and seeking to advise employees of their right to seek accommodations based on disability should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Religious Accommodation Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers covered by Title VII and seeking to advise employees of their right to seek accommodations based on religion should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • About This State Supplement Handbook Statement: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland 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: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland employers engaged in an industry or business who has 15 or more employees for each working day in 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Background Checks Handbook Statement: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland employers seeking to provide notice to applicants and existing employees that they conduct background checks for certain positions in compliance with Maryland law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Meal and Rest Breaks for Retail Employees Handbook Statement: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland employers that maintain a retail establishment in Maryland with at least 50 or more retail employees or who owns one or more retail establishments with franchises working with the same trade name and has at least 50 or more retail employees in Maryland for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar seeks in the current or preceding year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Leave to Care for Immediate Family Members Handbook Statement: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland employers that provide paid leaves and has 15 or more employees primarily employed in Maryland for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Pregnancy Accommodation Handbook Statement: Maryland

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Maryland employers with 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year are required to include 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.