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Member Guest Blog: Let’s Talk Employee Handbooks!

By Joseph Sileo
McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC

Every employer should have a current employee handbook tailored to address the needs of its business and workforce. A good employee handbook provides significant value to both employer and employees, including by communicating effective employment policies, work performance expectations, workplace rules, and other important employment-related information. By maintaining a handbook with clear, up-to-date policies that are compliant with current laws and regulations, an employer can reduce the risk of employment disputes and potential liabilities. Conversely, a handbook that is out of date or includes non-compliant/ unlawful polices can do much more harm than good and possibly even create employer liability.

Every employee handbook should include certain essential polices, such as an at-will employment statement, EEO policy, unlawful harassment and anti-discrimination policies, and salary deduction (FLSA safe harbor) policy. In addition, there are many other policies that any employer may want to include in a handbook; examples include dress code policy, attendance policy, social media policy, email policy, and solicitation policy.

Avoid using a cut and paste, internet or basic form handbook. An effective handbook is prepared with attention to detail, tailored to meet the needs of the employer and its workforce and reviewed for legal compliance. Updating handbooks at reasonable intervals or when changes in the law dictate is a must.

Let’s talk employee handbooks at our upcoming complimentary Business Breakfast Briefing (B3) on June 2, where we will provide our recommendations for developing an effective and useful employee handbook, identify pitfalls to avoid, and answer your questions about employee handbooks. We hope that you can join us.

McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC has been a member of The Chamber since 2012.