Brown Law Office 972-355-0092
Brown Law Office 972-355-0092
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Employer Law FAQ

What Should Employers Include in Employee Handbooks?

All employers, even small business owners, should create handbooks of the company's policies and procedures and provide copies to all of their employees. While handbooks are not a legal requirement, they provide a simple way for employers to record their policies and disseminate them to the workforce. They also provide a reliable tool supervisors and employees can refer to when in doubt of a particular policy.

Employers may want to provide a mission statement or other statement regarding the company's goals and visions in the first pages of the employee handbook. It is also an appropriate place to discuss the company's history, principles and values.

Some of the information that should be present in the handbook includes:

  • Job descriptions
  • Employee status regarding exempt or nonexempt
  • Employee status as at-will employees, if applicable
  • Attendance policies
  • Employee benefits: health insurance, retirement, pension, disability and others
  • Leave policies: sick leave, maternity leave, funeral leave
  • Vacation and holiday policies
  • Time reporting and expected work hours
  • Dress code
  • Equal opportunity employment statement
  • Sexual harassment policy
  • Appropriate use of company property by employees
  • Performance review policy
  • FMLA policies
  • Worker's compensation
  • COBRA rights
  • Military leave
  • The company's smoking policy
  • The company's substance abuse policy
  • Contact information for human resources, benefit plan administrators and others

Employers should require all employees to sign an acknowledgement form stating they have received a copy of the handbook. Employers also may want to include a disclaimer in the handbook to prevent it from being viewed as a contract with the employees.

Since legal requirements vary by state, employers should have an employment law attorney review their employee handbook to make sure it is in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws. Employers also need to review their handbooks periodically and update them as needed to comply with any changes in the law.

For more information on creating an effective employee handbook or for assistance reviewing your handbook for compliance with state and federal laws, contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney in your area today.

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Betty L. Brown
Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
in Labor and Employment Law
Fountain Park
1021 Long Prairie Road, Suite 402
Flower Mound, TX 75022
Phone: 972-355-0092
Fax: 972-899-9635