How To Create An Employee Manual That Limits Business Liability

Now that you have finally started your first business, you are starting to think about hiring employees. But before you do that, you need to have some type of employee handbook in place. Otherwise, you could be leaving your business wide open to employer liability risks. It does not have to be anything fancy. You can create a simple employee handbook that just answers the most basic questions and sets up HR operations for your business.  Find out what you need to include in an employee manual to protect your business from potential liability below.

EEO Statement

Federal law requires businesses to inform employees that they are an equal opportunity employer. This means that they comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Equal Employment Opportunity laws regarding discrimination. You do not have to come up with innovative ideas for this section. Just make sure you include a statement in your employee manual that shows employees your business’s hiring and promotion policies are non-discriminatory. Otherwise, you may be putting your business at risk of getting in trouble with the U.S. DoL.

Family Leave

You will also need to include a section that outlines workplace policies regarding family and medical leave in your employee manuals. If your business has over fifty employees, this is required by law. If you do not yet have that many employees, you should still have an FMLA policy in place in advance. This way, there are no grey areas for current and future employees alike. Make sure to include an FMLA policy for business employee manuals to protect yourself and your workers.

Code Of Conduct

Employee manuals should always include a code of conduct. This is true for even the most simple of employee handbooks. Your business’s code of conduct will set the standards for the ways workers behave on the job. Without one, it will be impossible to enforce any sort of accountability measures. Make sure to create a code of conduct for business before you set disciplinary policies in place. Then, include both of these in your employee manual to protect your business and its employees. This is the section that will protect your business should you have to deal with a situation similar to the recent Xerox layoffs.

Conflict Resolution Guidelines

Your employee handbook should also include guidelines for company conflict resolution procedures. This section should detail the formal process employees should follow if they need to file a complaint or raise a problem with their supervisors. It helps your employees know how to resolve workplace issues properly. It also helps you address any employee concerns as efficiently as possible. Make sure to include conflict resolution guidelines when creating an employee handbook. It is sure to help convey a positive, caring image of your business to its employees.

Acknowledgement Of Receipt

You should also include a tear-out acknowledgement of receipt for employees to sign and return. This should be the final page of your employee manual. The agreement should include details about the content covered in the handbook. It should also feature a statement of acknowledgement for the employee to verify that they read and understood the entire book. This helps your business disprove liability in the event that it should be necessary. That is why you should definitely include this when creating an employee manual.

Creating employee manuals is not difficult, as long as you know what sections to include. But if you do not keep up with the latest HR news, you may not know what parts are required in an employee guidebook. Include the sections mentioned above in your employee manual. These are the basic requirements for writing an employee manual that will help you protect your business and its employees. This way, you can be sure to limit employer risk for yourself while also helping employees understand how to conduct themselves at work.

Photo from http://www.xperthr.com/blog/2015/08/26/employee-handbook-ticking-time-bomb/

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