Is your business required to have an Employee Handbook? Technically, no, but if you have even one employee, state and federal law requires that you give your staff written notices of their rights. More importantly, without an Employee Handbook, your employees might develop misunderstandings about their obligations to the organization and the scope of their rights within the organization.
An employee handbook establishes policies and standards. By having a written handbook available to everyone, the employer smartly ensures that all employees are on notice of what is expected of them. The handbook is a guide for everyone – staff and managers alike – to set standards. These across-the-board standards help ensure that employers treat employees consistently and, in doing so, they also help avoid ammunition for discrimination claims.
An employee handbook further helps a business and its staff by outlining essential policies, such as an effective anti-sexual harassment policy which should instruct employees and managers to promptly report any harassment.
The lack of an employee handbook can be the genesis of a host of problems, such as unauthorized overtime or chronic poor attendance.
Although you may be reluctant to spend the money on a handbook, a handbook will help your organization avoid problems in the future. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”