Naperville Business Lawyer on Four Topics to Cover in Your Employee Handbook

handbook, Naperville business law attorneysClearly outlining your company’s policies, standards, and expectations is one of the most effective things you can do as a business owner to create mutually beneficial relationships between you, the owner, and your employees. Establishing thorough employee policies will not only help you clarify operational standards with your staff, it will also help reduce your chances of running into problems with various business law compliance issues. In my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped many small business owners create clear, concise policies that cover a wide range of concerns.

Employee Handbook Necessities

The purpose behind an employee handbook is to clearly communicate your expectations with your employees. However, an employee handbook is also designed to provide details regarding what your employees can expect of your business as their employer, too. This communication tool should serve as an unambiguous reference for you and your staff in the event there are disputes over issues such as work performance, pay, or equality.

Whether you are assembling a handbook as a new employer or are simply brushing up on an existing one, be sure to touch on the following four key topics to protect your rights and the rights of your employees:

  1. Basic Standards of Conduct: Work performance disputes often arise from miscommunication, disagreement, or blatant disregard for standards of conduct. It is important to outline what kind of behavior you, the business owner, deem acceptable in the workplace, and what you consider inappropriate. You should also address employee appearance expectations, including attire and grooming requirements.
  2. Compensation Details: Pay is another big reason disputes often arise between businesses and their staff. It is crucial to clearly describe your overtime policies according to the law, how you compensate in regards to work performance reviews, and how your break times and bonus payments work. Also, be sure to properly articulate how and why you are deducting federal and state taxes from each paycheck.
  3. Leaves of Absence: Various state and local laws will require you to document specific types of leave, such as jury duty or family medical or military leave. Be sure to notify your staff of this documentation and also inform them of your policies on vacation and sick time.
  4. Anti-Discrimination Laws: Legally, you are required to include a section in your handbook that addresses your obligation to equal employment opportunity laws. This section should describe these various laws and let employees know they are to comply with them at all times.

Speak with a DuPage County Business Lawyer Today

You may include a number of other topics in your company’s employee handbook, including everything from work schedules and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws. As you begin to draft the essentials of your company’s workplace policies, speaking with a competent Naperville business law attorney can provide you with the resources and guidance you need to ensure you are covering all the necessary bases. Contact the Gierach Law Firm at 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation.


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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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