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Austin TX Business Law Blog

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Employee Handbooks

Having a solid employee handbook in place is an important part of protecting your company and establishes clear expectations for your employees. In its most basic sense, the employee handbook will memorialize your company’s rules and policies on a number of critical aspects of the business and employment with the business. Your employee handbook should be distributed to all new hires and reiterated to current employees on a regular basis. All employees should also sign a form saying they have received, understood, and agreed to the terms set forth in the handbook. Make sure you spend the time investment on developing a comprehensive employee handbook and consistently enforce the terms laid out therein. This will help your business run smoothly and your employees will appreciate the consistency.

What Should Be Included in an Employee Handbook?

There are several critical elements to include in an employee handbook. These are the things that can protect your company from lawsuits based on wrongful termination or discrimination. They also help manage your employees’ expectations and behavior in the workplace. Being consistent in citing and enforcing the terms of an employee handbook can provide great legal protection and aid in resolving disputes between employees and management.

To begin, the employee handbook should provide general information regarding employment with your company. It’s nice to open up the handbook with a letter of welcome from the company’s CEO or founder. If the company has a mission statement, include this as well. This can help the employee get a better sense of the company culture and its goals.

Your employee handbook needs to address the legal rights of your employees as well as the legal obligations of you as an employer. Include a code of conduct as well as an explanation of equal employment opportunity and anti-retaliation employment policies. Additionally, explain what it means to be an “at will” employee. Be sure to include what employees will receive in terms of:
  • Benefits (health insurance, life insurance, etc.)
  • Vacation days
  • Sick leave
  • Family and medical leave (FMLA policy)
  • Paydays and timekeeping
  • Attendance policy
  • Standard hours of operation
  • Annual closures and holidays
  • Meal breaks
  • Eligibility for overtime
The employee handbook should also explain the process for receiving a promotion or a raise. Also, it is important to explain any recourse the employee may seek if they feel their rights have been violated in any way. This means you should be clear on the process of how employees may file a complaint.

Texas Business Counsel

The Kumar Law Firm wants to set your business up for success. This includes helping with all aspects of laying the foundation for your business to flourish. An employee handbook is an important step in establishing a business that will survive and thrive. We can create an employee handbook that clearly reflects the goals and rules of your company. The Kumar Law Firm is here for you and your business. Contact us today.

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