Aside from your employees themselves, your employee handbook is the backbone of your small business. As long as it’s up-to-date and contains all of the necessary items, this guide will aid in employee management and help you remain compliant. But what items should your handbook include? Continue reading as we discuss fifteen different items that you must include in your employee handbook.
1. Overtime policy
In this section, you will detail your company’s overtime policy for employees that may qualify.
2. Anti-harassment and equal opportunity statements
Equal opportunity and anti-harassment statements typically complement each other in employee handbooks, and will state your company’s position against prejudice and harassment in the workplace.
3. I-9 work authorization
All workers must be legally able to work in the United States before you can employ them. The work authorization section will detail this, and should be located at the beginning of your handbook.
4. Workplace safety
It is vital that your employees feel safe working for you, and in this section, you will detail your company’s zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence as well as your safety policy. Be sure to include protocol for reporting potentially unsafe conditions and encourage safe behavior.
5. At-will employment policy
The majority of states, including Louisiana, allow employees to work at their own will. This means that your employees have the right to quit at their own will, and you as well have the right to terminate them at your own will. It is important to mention this in your handbook so that you are protected by this policy.
6. Proper practices/code of conduct
In this section, you will describe the procedures that you have in place to keep things in the workplace running smoothly and efficiently.
Your unemployment policy will inform your employees that they might be eligible for benefits if they are terminated. Unemployment insurance may be offered to previously employed individuals should a separation of employment occur. In this section, you will also state that your company will legally defend itself if a violation of policy has occurred.
8. Employment classification policy
This section is meant to help your employees comprehend the differences between classifications–mainly between part-time, full-time, non-exempt, and exempt employees. The employment classification section will also list the FLSA requirements for paying overtime.
9. Direct deposit
If you offer direct deposit for payroll, you must explain it in your employee handbook. In this section, you will list any limitations for direct deposit eligibility and detail how employees can make changes if necessary.
10. Leaves of absence
If you employ more than 50 people, you will need to list an FMLA leave-of-absence policy in your employee handbook. You should also discuss your policies for holidays, PTO, and parental leave in this section.
11. Employee assistance programs
An employee assistance program is used to help your employees manage their personal problems, such as student debt, substance abuse, or marital issues that might be affecting their productivity at work. If you offer such a program, you will need to include it in your handbook.
12. Insurance and benefits
In this section, you will describe your company’s insurance and benefits, including the following (if applicable): health care, qualifying events, disability and life insurance, open enrollment qualifications and time; as well as dental, vision, and medical insurance.
13. Conflict of interest policy
The conflict of interest policy safeguards your small business from employees that act inappropriately on your behalf.
14. Notice and disclaimer
A notice and disclaimer will signify that the handbook may change at any time and is not an employment contract. Your employees will sign this section.
15. Breakdown of payroll deductions
This section will detail all of the deductions that your business withholds, such as voluntary deductions for benefits, taxes (state, federal, and local), and more.
Creating an employee handbook is no simple task, and if done improperly, can land you in a whirlpool of compliance issues and potential lawsuits. When you hire a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Delta Administrative Services, you can rest assured knowing that our professional HR personnel will help you reduce your liability and stay compliant. Contact us today to learn more about what a PEO can do for your business!