As the economic restart is set to be implemented, NOW is the perfect time to review and overhaul your internal Human Resources (HR), which includes an employee manual. Unfortunately, COVID-19 made many practice owners realize how complex state and federal employment matters can be. In order to unravel the complexity, and move forward, the first starting point should be your employee manual [If you even have one].
In today's employment law environment, an employee manual is NOT optional.
Statistically, approximately seventy (70%) percent of all practice owners DO NOT have an employee manual, which is a recipe for disaster.
Below is a list of the Top 8 Policy Provisions that should be included in every employee manual. However, it should be noted that there are certainly "more" provisions that should be included in an employee manual, in order to keep a practice owner out of SERIOUS TROUBLE.
1. On boarding and joining the team
An employee on boarding section should include the following:
- At-will employment clause
- Equal employment opportunity statement
- Conflict of interest statement
- Confidentiality agreement
2. Code of conduct
Your employee manual should include the following:
- Dress code policy
- Anti-discrimination policy
- Anti-harassment policy
- Substance-free workplace policy
3. Office environment
In view of the new work at home rules, your employee manual should include the following HOT TOPICS:
- Work hours
- Your work-from-home policy
- Lunch and break periods
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations
- Use of company equipment
4. Communication policies
The following outlines your practice expectations regarding your employee communication:
5. Compensation and performance reviews
In today's market place, compensation and employee reviews are critical and the following should be included in your employee manual:
- Payroll schedule
- Paycheck deductions
- Job classification details
- Salary and bonuses
- Performance reviews
- Promotions and transfers
- Travel and expense policy
Depending on your practice, you may offer employee benefits, and the following benefits should be included and outlined:
- Health, disability, life, and workers’ compensation insurance information
- Retirement plans, like a 401(k)
- Paid time off (PTO)
- Other leave policies, such as parental leave, sick leave, or jury duty
7. When someone leaves
This section of your employee manual should explain what happens when an employee quits or is terminated:
- When your employee will receive their final paycheck
- How exit interviews work
8. Your company story
Every employee manual should have a company history section, which includes:
- Who is your company and what do you do?
- Why does it matter?
- Why should others care, too?
In the area of employment law, written guidelines are a must in order to avoid state and federal violations as well as potential financial ruin.