Knowing what to do and what not to do as an employer is only the first step in avoiding legal liability for employee claims. Employers must then see to it that employees understand their rights and responsibilities and that procedures and protocols are consistently followed by management. Company manuals and handbooks can help.
A policies & procedures manual comprehensively details every aspect of company policy and the procedures for following those policies. It also generally includes the forms needed to complete each process and may contain references to the laws that correlate to such policies. Employers are not required to have a separate procedures manual, but it can prove invaluable as a resource tool for managers and supervisors and helps to ensure procedural continuity which ultimately reduces liability risk.
An employee handbook is written with employees as the intended audience. Its purpose is to familiarize employees with basic company policies and benefit programs, as well as the general expectations of the company. Handbooks can serve as an affirmative defense in some actions and, when written and handled properly, can meet certain legal notice requirements. In some circumstances, handbooks can be viewed as creating or contributing to a contractual arrangement with the employee so it is crucial that handbooks are created with legal guidance to maintain an employment-at-will relationship.
As part of our effort to provide employers with efficient and effective solutions for their employment policy and procedure needs, our attorneys regularly review, revise, draft, and update employee handbooks and procedural manuals to ensure compliance with the latest laws and regulations and maximize consistency in the expectations and actions of all personnel.
The Labor and Employment Horizon—2019
- Develop policies, strategies, and procedures for preventing employment claims and lawsuits
- Advise on discretionary benefits including eligibility requirements, accrual amounts, scheduling, and request procedures
- Design procedures to enhance productivity and protect employer interests such as drug testing, pre-employment testing, background checks, and protection of trade secrets
- Draft, revise, and update employee handbooks
- Draft, revise, and update procedures and policies manuals
- Provide advice on day-to-day employment practice questions