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Creating an Employee Handbook for Your Small Business

Posted on in Employee Handbooks and Policies

b2ap3_thumbnail_employee-handbook-Arlington-Heights-.jpgEmployee handbooks are like welcome packages for your employees. They outline what you expect from your employees and communicate what your employees can expect from you. Yet it is important to recognize the potential implications of a poorly written employee handbook. The following explains these risks, and provides you with information on how to avoid them.

Employee Handbook Basics

At minimum, you want your employee handbook to make clear that your company complies with the anti-discrimination and harassment laws, and that you are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In conjunction with this, you should document your expectations on ethics and conduct. This can give you the chance to reiterate your stance on harassment and discrimination. However, you may also need to outline issues that may be regulated (i.e. food safety, environmental regulations, etc.).

Employee handbooks should also clearly outline your compensation offerings, and should explain that state and federal taxes will be deducted. Benefits, and how or when they can be obtained, should also be included. Further, you should provide details on work schedules, tardies, absences, overtime pay, salary increases, rest breaks, and holidays (including whether they are paid or unpaid).

Understanding the Possible Risks

Creating an employee handbook might not seem like a dangerous task, but the language and wording you use can make a difference. For example, problematic wording in your compensation section could make you liable for a severance package to a terminated employee—or, even worse, it could place you at risk for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Further, there are certain restrictions on what you can and cannot convey in an employee handbook. For example, non-compete agreements are not legal if your employees make below a certain income. Including them could place your company at risk for litigation. For this reason, employers should always seek legal guidance when drafting or implementing a new or updated employment handbook.

Our Arlington Heights Small Business Attorneys Can Help

At A. Traub & Associates we understand the issues small businesses are facing because we, ourselves, are a small business. Dedicated to protecting your company and committed to serving your best interests, we can assist you with many aspects of running your business, including the careful crafting of an employee handbook. Learn more about how our Arlington Heights business law attorneys can help your company succeed. Call 847-749-4182 and schedule your personalized consultation with us today.


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