Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — Small business owners might consider creating an employee handbook a low priority, however, even small employers may benefit from drafting (and following) certain policies. An employee handbook not only informs employees of important policies, but also helps maintain fairness and consistency and can serve as necessary evidence if the employer ever faces litigation.
An employee handbook should include essential policies, such as those regarding sexual harassment, vacation time, and medical leave. It may also address other matters, however, Keith Clouse, a Texas employment lawyer, advises employers to be realistic when drafting such policies. For example, a policy forbidding all personal telephone calls would likely be ignored by employees and problems could arise if the employer disciplined one employee more severely than another for violating the policy. (A sounder policy would prohibit only excessive personal calls.) Employers should also disclaim that the employee handbook creates an employment contract between the employer and the employee and should require the employee’s signature to verify that the employee understands this and that the employee has received and read the handbook.
Once an employer creates an employee handbook, the employer must follow its policies consistently to avoid complaints of unequal treatment. An employer should also review and update its employee handbook at least annually since employment laws change frequently.
Mr. Clouse regularly drafts employee handbooks for his clients. For assistance in creating or updating an employee handbook, please contact the employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected]