A Business-Minded Approach To Employment Law

How companies can create quality employee handbooks

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Employment Law |

An employee handbook can make it easier for your Florida business to reduce its liability in multiple scenarios. For instance, it could be used to justify a termination or a decision in a sexual harassment case. Of course, there are several variables to consider when creating your company’s employee guide.

Understand applicable laws

Companies need to have policies on sexual harassment, taking leave and workplace safety rules. Essentially, you must have specific policies on these and other issues written down somewhere even if you don’t have a handbook. However, having all the company’s policies in one spot can make it easier for employees to understand them and easier to enforce them.

What to avoid

Just as there are policies that must be included in a handbook or elsewhere, there are some that should be avoided at all costs. For example, you can’t stipulate that employees only speak English or prohibit them from engaging in lawful activities outside of work. Of course, you are allowed to create a policy that prohibits drug use or other activities at work even if they aren’t illegal under state or federal employment law.

Create your company culture

An employee handbook can be a great tool to let employees know what your company’s values are and how they are upheld. The handbook can also spell out what might happen if you don’t represent those values. For instance, failing to provide great customer service could result in fewer hours per week or outright termination. The handbook should also specify that employment is at-will, which gives either the employer or the employee the right to end the working relationship for any reason. You can add a contract or some other acknowledgement form in the booklet that employees sign during orientation.

While an employee handbook won’t prevent an employment law violation, it can help companies navigate potentially thorny issues with grace. Ultimately, employees may be less likely to take legal action in favor of working things out internally or through mediation.