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Employee Contracts - Basic Terms

Employee Manuals & Employee Handbooks

Employment Contracts - Overview

Employee Manuals & Employee Handbooks
©2018, Melissa C. Marsh.
Written: 11/15/2000  
By: Melissa C. Marsh

Introduction To Employee Manuals and Employee Handbooks

All businesses have personnel policies. Some businesses state their policies orally, while other businesses carefully write their policies down and present them to the employee upon hiring for acknowledgment. Every business with more than ten employees should have a carefully prepared written personnel manual because the manual establishes consistent rules for employees and supervisors to follow. However, personnel manuals can get an employer into trouble when drafted carelessly or improperly. Employers need to follow certain guidelines to ensure a personnel manual does not become a mecca for employee lawsuits.

Employment Policies To Include In An Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks often set forth such things as: The employer's employee classification and any probationary period for newly hired employees, the standard hours and days of operation, the benefits available to company employees (e.g., vacation, insurance, sick leave, family leasve, etc...), the company's rules regarding smoking, dress code, workplace violence, and sexual harassment, and the company's disciplinary procedures, if any.

Some policies are required. Other policies raise special legal issues. Employers need to be familiar with what policies are required and which ones raise special legal issues so they can avoid ending up in court.

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