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What should I include in my employee handbook?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2021 | Employment Law For Employers

There are many advantages to having an employee handbook. Having workplace policies included in an employee handbook can help avoid potential litigation in Kentucky. In addition, an employee handbook can clarify workplace policies and procedures, which can help employees be better workers and ease any confusion that might result as part of employment. There are certain provisions that are required by law to put in an employee handbook, as well as provisions that are recommended to put in an employee handbook.

What is required by law to include in an employee handbook?

There are certain provisions that are required by law to include in an employee handbook. Note that there are federal and state requirements. State requirements vary from state to state. In general, an employee handbook must include policies under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, equal employment and non-discrimination provisions per the U.S. Department of Labor, state workers’ compensation policies and more.

What other provisions should be included in an employee handbook?

There are some provisions that, while not required by federal or state law, employers may want to consider including in their employee handbook. First, a direct statement that the handbook is not a contract is important as it ensures that employees understand the handbook does not contain any promises about future employment.

Ensure your current employee handbook contains provisions that it trumps any previous handbooks or other company policies. This helps avoid confusion. In addition, ensure your employee handbook contains provisions that it may be subject to change. It is only natural during the course of business that policies may need to be update from time to time.

Finally, include an employee acknowledgement page. This page should state that the employee has read and understands the terms in the employee handbook. The employee then signs this page and returns it to the employer to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Employee handbooks serve as the link between an employer and employee’s understanding of their roles in the organization, along with both of their rights and responsibilities. Ultimately, employers will want to seek professional guidance when executing or updating an employee handbook to ensure it complies with current state and federal law, that it addresses all applicable employment matters and that it protects the interests of both the employer and the employee.

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