Employee Handbooks – Common Mistakes:
■ Changing Laws and Requirements: It is vital that you update your handbook regularly to comply with new and changing laws, both federal and state.
■ Employee Rights: Many handbooks make the mistake of outlining employer rights but glossing over the rights of employees. Omitting them leaves you open to significant legal liability.
■ Employment Relationship: Your handbook needs to be explicit about the at-will employment relationship – that the employer (and the employee) has the right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause.
■ Exempt or Non-Exempt Classification: Wage, hour and overtime complaints are among the most common legal actions taken by employees or former employees. Be sure your handbook is clear in the distinction of exempt and non-exempt, and that all employees are classified properly.
■ Computer Usage: Your handbook must make clear that the company owns its computers, email and all data, and that nothing on a computer is private.
■ Follow Through: Providing a comprehensive, compliant handbook is only the first step – your company must always follow through with the policies outlined.
Better Business Planning, Inc., in partnership with our labor law consultants, can perform a handbook review to check compliance of federal and state laws. Better Business Planning, Inc. will make a recommendation whether an update to the current handbook or if a new handbook would be advisable.