As a part of the 2019 HR Training Series, Foulston recently provided a session on employee handbook basics to a group of HR professionals. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights.
Employee handbooks should be updated yearly. It is also important to have employees sign an acknowledgement of receipt after each update. This is because the acknowledgement the employee signed when he or she first started likely applied to a handbook that looked different than the current version.
Updating the handbook should be a collaborative effort between HR, management, and legal counsel. If the handbook says one thing, but your managers are doing something else, that is a problem. Management buy-in also helps ensure that your policies are being consistently and even-handedly enforced.
Do you have these “must have” policies?
- At-will employment disclaimer
- Anti-harassment/productive work environment
- Equal employment opportunity (EEO)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (if you have 50 or more employees)
- Wage deductions
- Smoke-free workplace
Follow your handbook unless there’s a compelling reason to make an exception. Inconsistencies between the policy and practice could come back to bite you.