EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK BLOG

SEVEN REASONS THAT BUSINESSES NEED AN EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

Attorney Leslie Lockard
The Law Office of Leslie Lockard, P.C.
P.O. Box 537
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel. 508 850-9800
FAX 508 850-9801
Email: Llockard@leslielockard.com
Website: www.LeslieLockard.com

  1. LEGAL RISK PROTECTION: A well drafted, legally compliant employee handbook helps ensure that your business is correctly following all of the state and federal laws that apply to the workplace. This helps protect you from expensive lawsuits and governmental investigations.
  2. EFFICIENT WAY TO INFORM EMPLOYEES OF YOUR POLICIES AND BENEFIT OFFERINGS: An employee handbook is an efficient way to inform employees of the rules with which they must comply and the benefits you offer them. An employee handbook saves the enormous amount of time that would be required to go over the handbook’s contents with each employee individually. A handbook can also be retained by employees so that it can be consulted long after the spoken word would be forgotten.
  3. CLEAR COMMUNICATION TO MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS OF YOUR RULES AND PROCEDURES: An employee handbook communicates your rules and procedures to your managers and supervisors, so that they do not unknowingly violate your policies or applicable laws.
  4. PROMOTES CONSISTENCY IN DISIPLINARY ACTIONS: An employee handbook helps ensure that different supervisors handle similar disciplinary situations consistently. Consistent handling of disciplinary situations helps minimize risk of litigation. If one supervisor fires employees for a particular type of infraction, but another gives only a warning, it may create an appearance that the fired employees’ race, sex, national origin, or other protected status, motivated the harsher treatment. Consistent treatment also makes it less likely that discharged employees will file claims because they believe that their termination was unfair or unlawful.
  5. PROVIDES WRITTEN EVIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYER’S RULES: An employee handbook can provide clear evidence that an employee fired for violating a workplace rule had prior notice of the rule. This can be helpful in defending against lawsuits by employees who incorrectly believe that they were fired for an unlawful reason. It can also provide helpful evidence to an employer who disputes a terminated employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  6. COMMUNICATES NOTICES THAT EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO PROVIDE TO EMPLOYEES: There are a number of laws that require employers to give employees notices of their rights. Including such notices in your employee handbook ensures that these notices have been given to all employees, and also provides clear evidence of your compliance.
  7. COMMUNICATES POLICIES THAT ARE ADVISABLE OR PROTECTIVE FOR EMPLOYERS: There are many types of policies that provide helpful protection for employers. An employee handbook provides an efficient way to communicate these helpful policies to your employees.
For further details about some of the policies that are required or advisable for employers, please see my article in this EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK BLOG entitled: EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS: WHAT TYPES OF HANDBOOK POLICIES ARE REQUIRED OR ADVISABLE FOR MASSACHUSETTS EMPLOYERS?

NOTE: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK BE DRAFTED OR REVIEWED BY AN EXPERIENCED EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY. A handbook drafted without input from an experienced employment attorney may harm rather than help you. Employment laws are often complex. Incorrect wording can provide evidence in black and white that you are NOT complying with the applicable law. The difference between advisable and ill-advised wording can be subtle. Even wording that could appear perfectly reasonable to a person without expertise in employment law can have calamitous consequences.

It is also important to have your employment attorney re-review your handbook regularly, as employment laws and judicial interpretations constantly change. Re-review and updating of employee handbooks every one to two years is generally recommended.




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Contact Info

Attorney Leslie Lockard
The Law Office of Leslie Lockard, P.C.
P.O. Box 537
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel. 508 850-9800
FAX 508 850-9801
Email: Llockard@leslielockard.com
Website: www.LeslieLockard.com