A Good Handbook Can Guide You From Litigation
A well-written and up-to-date employee handbook can be a litigation lifesaver, but an out-of-date handbook can be your worst nightmare. Unfortunately, many employers don't give their employee handbooks the attention they deserve, employing 20-year-old sets of policies that are hopelessly outdated. Fortunately, with a few easy steps, you can have your handbook up and running the way it should be. Before you begin, however, you should stop to think about the purpose of your handbook. The goal should be to set forth your company's policies and expectations clearly and unambiguously while preserving the flexibility you need to make decisions. Keep in mind that the policies in the employee handbook should reflect the company's practices, and vice versa. Ideally, a company's employee handbook should be reviewed and updated annually. Employment laws change frequently, especially at the state level, and policies that were perfectly fine several years ago may be incomplete or problematic today. Check to see whether the company is subject to new employment laws based on its size. And if you have offices in various states, do not assume that a "one-size-fits-all" handbook can be applied uniformly to all employees in every state.