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Employee Handbooks, Policies, and Procedures

The advantages of an employee handbook are proportional to the size of the employer. Small employers do not necessarily need an employee handbook, and may be better served by adopting a limited set of written policies. These written policies should confirm the at will employment relationship, EEO compliance, attendance and vacation expectations, and some basic disciplinary rules. Mid-sized and larger employers can obtain several significant advantages by using an employee handbook. A properly drafted employee handbook is an important means to communicate employment policies, procedures, and expectations, prevent misunderstandings, and help to avoid potential claims. Employee handbooks should confirm at will employment, and include EEO and non-harassment policies, attendance, punctuality and disciplinary policies, a description of benefits such as sick time, vacation, or paid time off (PTO) policies, a Family and Medical Leave Act policy (for employers with over fifty employees within a seventy-five mile radius), and workplace safety policies, including drug and alcohol testing. We work with small and medium sized companies and agencies to draft written employment policies and employee handbooks to clearly communicate employment policies and benefits, and to assure compliance with applicable laws in the administration of those employee policies and benefits. We also recommend the periodic review of workplace rules and employment policies to assure compliance with regulatory changes and legal developments in the employment arena. If you have questions about employee policies or handbooks, please contact us. We are here to provide practical, cost effective legal advice and guidance.