When beginning a new job, it is not uncommon for a New York employee to receive a stack of paperwork from their employer. Those papers often include information on the employee’s job responsibilities, copies of contracts or agreements that were executed between the employer and employee, and information about human resources or personnel matters like benefits, payroll, and vacation time.
It can be difficult on an employer to communicate everything that is necessary to a new hire in their first few days on the job, no matter how many forms they give out or conversations they have. One way that employers can capture the communication of important entity-wide policies and procedures to all workers is through the use of employee manuals or handbooks. This post will discuss what can be included in employee manuals and how they can benefit employers of all types.
What to include in an employee manual
Employee manuals will vary somewhat between industries, but many employee manuals cover basic work-related matters that apply to all employees. Some common inclusions are:
- Company information: historical information as well as the vision or goals of the organization.
- Pay amounts and schedules, overtime rules, and employee benefits.
- Harassment policies that conform to applicable state and federal laws.
- Policies on smoking, drug use, grievances, and discipline.
- Safety rules and regulations specific to the employer’s industry.
The failure of an employer to effectively communicate work-related information to an employee may expose that employer to liability if the worker violates the law. For example, an employee who engages in harassment at work may be somewhat insulated from discipline if they were never trained or informed of their employer’s policies and rules on the subject.
Why employers should consider creating employee manuals
As mentioned, employee manuals are tools of communication with employees. They protect employers from employee action or inaction that is detrimental to the organization or in violation of the law. They can be cumbersome to create, but businesses can reach out to trusted business law attorneys for support and advice during the creation process of their employee manuals.
This post does not offer any legal advice and should not be read as legal guidance. It is informational and is intended to educate readers on the general topic of employee manuals and their benefits.