Every company is different. Maybe you own a retail shop with eight employees, or maybe you inherited your grandfather’s trash hauling business, or possibly you started your own company and it has grown from just you to 100 employees.
An employee handbook does more than just set out the expectations and policies to your workers. In fact, employee handbooks can be called into evidence in employment law cases. When an employee handbook is drafted by a legal professional for your business it can be advantageous to your daily business operations and to the future of your business should a dispute arise.
Compelling reasons to invest in a well-drafted handbook
A well-crafted employee handbook is essential for several reasons. It can potentially protect your interests in court. More importantly, an employee handbook can prove useful in resolving issues that otherwise may result in costly litigation. Other benefits include:
- You can create an arbitration clause that protects your business from having to go to court.
- You can decide and clearly state what constitutes grounds for termination.
- You can reaffirm that the employment is “at will” and can be terminated at any time. This is especially important if you own a company in Montana.
- The policies for benefits, paid time off, workplace conduct, timekeeping and attendance can all be clearly stated to avoid misunderstandings.
- A handbook can provide employees with the protocol to register a complaint and require them to report all incidents of harassment to their supervisor.
One significant case of an employee handbook being used in the defense of an employer is Churchey v. Adolph Coors. In this case the employer policy entitled “Work Rules and Corrective Discipline” was used in court to show that the employer had a procedure in effect for AWOL employees and that the employer was following that procedure. The employer prevailed due to a summary judgment ruling.
Additionally, handbooks are very beneficial for employee onboarding, expectations, employee rights, training and the success of your company.
No matter what service or product your company provides, if you have employees it’s a good idea to work with an attorney who handles employment law to create an employee handbook.