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: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York 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: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers with four or more employees should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Political Opinions Handbook Statement: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers seeking to inform employees about their policy against voter intimidation and to demonstrate compliance with New York's election law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Pregnancy Accommodation Handbook Statement: New York City, New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers that have four or more employees, have employees working in New York City and that are seeking to inform employees, including supervisors, that the company will provide reasonable accommodations to New York City employees with needs related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Accommodation for Victims of Domestic Violence Handbook Statement: New York City, New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers that have four or more employees, have employees working in New York City and that are seeking to inform employees, including supervisors, that the company will provide reasonable accommodations to victims of domestic violence, sex offenses or stalking should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .

  • Meal Breaks Handbook Statement: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers seeking to inform 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.

  • Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers that do not have a lactation accommodation policy and are seeking to show their compliance and support for New York law which requires that employers provide unpaid break time and reasonable locations for employees to express breast milk should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Jury Duty Leave Handbook Statement [1-9 employees]: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers with fewer than 10 employees that are seeking to educate employees about the availability of jury and witness duty leave and to demonstrate compliance with New York's jury duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook .

  • Jury Duty Leave Handbook Statement [10+ employees]: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers with 10 or more employees that are seeking to educate employees about the availability of jury duty leave and to demonstrate compliance with New York's jury duty leave law should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Time Off to Vote Handbook Statement: New York

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    New York employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of time off to vote and to show their compliance with New York's voting leave 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.