An employee handbook is an important communication tool between you and your employees.A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your company.It also should describe your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees' rights.
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Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements Although NDAs are not legally required, having employees sign NDAs and conflict of interest statements helps to protect your trade secrets and company proprietary information.
Anti-Discrimination Policies As a business owner, you must comply with the equal employment opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Employee handbooks should include a section about these laws, and how your employees are expected to comply.
Compensation Clearly explain to your employees that your company will make required deductions for federal and state taxes, as well as voluntary deductions for the company’s benefits programs.
In addition, you should outline your legal obligations regarding overtime pay, pay schedules, performance reviews, salary increases, time keeping records, breaks and bonuses. Work Schedules Describe your company’s policies regarding work hours and schedules, attendance, punctuality and reporting absences, along with guidelines for flexible schedules and telecommuting.
Standards of Conduct Document your expectations of how you want your employees to conduct themselves including dress code and ethics.In addition, remind your employees of their legal obligations, especially if your business is engaged in an activity that is regulated by the government.General Employment Information Your employee handbook should include an a overview of your business and general employment policies covering employment eligibility, job classifications, employee referrals, employee records, job postings, probationary periods, termination and resignation procedures, transfers and relocation, and union information, if applicable. Safety and Security Describe your company’s policy for creating a safe and secure workplace, including compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's laws that require employees to report all accidents, injuries, potential safety hazards, safety suggestions and health and safety related issues to management.Safety policies should also include your company’s policy regarding bad weather and hazardous community conditions.Add your commitment to creating a secure work environment, and your employee’s responsibility for abiding by all physical and information security policies, such as locking file cabinets or computers when not in use.The Workplace Safety & Health guide provides information on your legal requirements as an employer.