An Employee Handbook is an Important Tool for Everyone in Business and at Work

Employee handbooks, like job descriptions, are not at all high literature, speaking as both an English major and an HR Practitioner.

However, employee handbooks provide important information for both employees and employers supporting productive work together, including but not limited to:

  • Preventing and Handling Workplace Harassment
    • Defining what harassment is, and who inside or outside the organization employees can go to when they experience or witness workplace harassment;
  • Outlining key federal and state requirements for both employers and employees
    • Such as the NYS employer requirement to have a handbook policy and post a notice by January 1, 2018, informing employees of the details and their rights of the New York state’s new Paid Family Leave;
  • Documenting employee benefits and their respective applications, such as the employer’s annual grant of paid time off to each employee.

Employee handbooks are particularly meaningful when regulatory authorities refer to them as part of implementing a new law and accompanying regulations, such as the New York state Paid Family Leave (PFL) effective January 1, 2018 for all employers with 1 or more employees requiring a PFL handbook policy – and the employer doesn’t currently have an employee handbook. Employee handbooks are also helpful in documenting consistent workplace boundaries for both employees and the employer.

And finally: when an employer reaches out for support in solving a workplace issue, my first request is for a copy of their employee handbook to ensure consistent, fair and compliant consideration of the issue.

High literature or not – does your organization have an up-to-date employee handbook supporting the productivity of everyone in the organization (employees and the employer alike) in business and at work?


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