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Business Planning & Formation: 6 Essential Topics to Cover in Employee Handbooks

employee handbook

Employee handbooks can be essential to establishing good, lasting employer-employee relationships. While employee handbooks can cover a lot of issues, however, the following are generally the most important topics to details in these handbooks:

  1. General employment info – This should provide an overview of the business, along with general employment policies, such eligibility for employment, employee records, probationary periods for employment, and disciplinary/termination procedures. If employees for a business are usually unionized or if they are commonly foreign workers, including specific information for these types of employees in this section is also generally advisable.
  2. Standards of conduct for employees – This aspect of employee handbooks should generally outline the dress and ethics codes for employees, as well as policies regarding schedules, attendance, punctuality, telecommuting etc. If a business is subject to specific regulations or ethical rules, these should also be explained in this part of the handbook.
  3. Workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies – If a business’ policies different from state or federal laws in any way, the differences should be explained in detail in the employee handbook. As part of this section, it’s also important to discuss reporting options for employees, as well as the general investigative procedures the business will use to look into discrimination- and/or harassment-based complaints.
  4. Safety & health issues – This aspect of employee handbooks should discuss how a business is compliant with the applicable OSHA regulations. It should also explain how employees are supposed to report work accidents, workplace safety hazards, etc.
  5. Employee compensation and benefits – With this section of employee handbooks, details regarding deductions for taxes, voluntary deductions for benefits and eligibility for overtime pay should be explained. Additionally, this aspect of employee handbooks should outline how and when performance reviews, salary increases, bonuses, etc. are administered (or available) per the company’s policies, as well as the various benefit programs offered by the company.
  6. Leave policies – This section should detail policies regarding family medical leave, military leave, and leave for any other reason, explaining how these policies are compliant with state or federal law.

Developing Employee Handbooks: More Important Tips

  • Before issuing an employee handbook, having a lawyer review the provisions of the handbook for compliance with the applicable laws and regulations is advised. This can minimize future liabilities for business owners.
  • Reviewing an employee handbook on a regular basis – or whenever a business experiences a significant change – is also strongly advised, as this can ensure the employee handbook covers all necessary topics and issues appropriately and accurately.

Contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey

For experienced help forming a business or resolving any business legal issues, contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, property tax and business legal issues.

To learn more about our various services and how we can assist you, call us at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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