Employee Policy Manuals
Every company regardless of size should have an up to date Employee Policy Manual. This manual should document company policies and procedures, including but not limited to, the following:
- Hours of Operation/Overtime
- Vacation/Holiday/Sick Time
- Company Benefits
- Emergency Procedures
- Rules of Conduct
- Disciplinary Policies
- Guidelines For Use of Company Property
- Technology/Internet Policy
- Discrimination/Sexual Harassment Policies
Of particular importance these days is the need for comprehensive written policies on workplace discrimination, hostile work environment and sexual harassment. These are areas of particular vulnerability for companies. A good policy will contain a “zero tolerance” approach for inappropriate behaviors, provide for a proper complaint procedure, set forth guidelines on how complaints will be investigated and set forth the penalty (i.e. termination) for all violations that have been determined following the completion of the investigation process. It is very important that all complaints be thoroughly and fairly investigated on a timely basis and that corrective actions are taken as soon as possible following completion of the investigation.
It is also wise to conduct employee training on these issues at least once per year and have each employee sign a statement that he/she has received a copy of the company’s discrimination and sexual harassment policies and that he/she has read and understands the policies. The signed and dated statement should be kept in the employee’s permanent file in the Human Resources Department.
It is also a good idea to have a skilled Employment Practices lawyer review your Policy Manual every 2-3 years to make sure it is up to date and complies with the latest employment laws.