When an individual decides to start a business in Albany, NY, or a nearby area and they intend on hiring employees, they need to be prepared to communicate to their employees what their company’s values, rules, and procedures are. While much of this is usually discussed during the hiring process, it should also be outlined in detail in the employee handbook. An employee handbook is crucial to have not only because it serves as a reference for employees with questions, but it can also protect a business owner if an issue with an employee were to arise.
So, what belongs in an employee handbook, and is there a certain way it should be written?
While an employer can write up their employee handbook any way they like, it is best for them to have an Albany, NY business law lawyer help them. Why? A business law attorney knows what sparks litigation and can be sure a business owner’s employee handbook covers all the bases so that a lawsuit is less likely to arise. In addition, an attorney can help a business owner convey what their company’s standards are and ensure it is written in a way that is clear and concise and adheres to the labor laws that apply to their particular industry.
Employee Handbook Essentials
Although it is best for an employer to discuss what exactly belongs in their employee handbook there are a few things they should consider including. According to The Hartford, employee handbooks should contain the following:
- What the company’s vision and values are. What does the company stand for? What is the company striving to do or provide?
- Compensation, benefits, and incentives. How much will employees earn? How frequently will they be paid? Is overtime provided? Is health insurance offered or included in employment? Will training be provided and how often? Are retirement benefits available?
- Code of conduct. What will employees be required to wear? Are meal breaks provided and how often? Can cell phones be sued during working hours?
- Anti-discrimination and equal opportunity policies. According to The Hartford, business owners are required by law to “explicitly state that [their] business adheres to nondiscrimination and equal employment laws in hiring and promotion, in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Family and medical leave policies. What medical leave policies will be in place in the event an employee needs time off due to a medical emergency or condition?
- Hours of operation, schedules, and paid time off (PTO). Will PTO be offered and who qualifies to receive it?
- Workplace safety and security. How will the employer protect employees from sexual harassment, bullying, etc.?
All of these questions and others should be clearly outlined in a business owner’s employee handbook. The employee handbook must also conform to state and federal labor laws as mentioned. Because it can be time-consuming and confusing to write up an employee handbook that takes all of this into account, business owners in Albany should consider retaining a NY business law lawyer who can help them with it.
If a business owner would like assistance with writing up their employee handbook or would like to revise the current one they have, they can contact The Towne Law Firm, P.C. for legal help.
The Towne Law Firm, P.C. can be reached at:
450 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: (518) 452-1800