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The Importance of a Current Employee Handbook

September 6th, 2018

Employee Handbook Image

State and Federal regulations are fluid, with each year bringing changes and updates affecting businesses across the board. In 2018, California amendments to current laws and the addition of new ones are significant and range from new data privacy laws, minimum wage increases, and background access to candidates, among a host of others. As an employer, the importance of staying on top of these numerous changes may feel like a fulltime task but it is a necessary one. Disseminating this information to employees can be tricky, but businesses with an Employee Handbook in place may find it easier to communicate.

Employee handbooks extremely important to your business. They should be tailored to your industry, with polices relatable to your business, and should be updated, at a minimum, annually. The material included in an employee handbook may cover topics affected by State and Federal regulation changes, making it important to keep your company handbook as current as possible. As a binding, legal document, Employee Handbooks set the tone for legal action for and against your company.

A current, relevant employee handbook with clear policies eliminates guesswork and loopholes and promotes and protects your company in several ways by setting expectations for the office in terms of performance and behavior while establishing consequences for those not meeting expectations.

Handbook content may contain topics from dress codes and parking space protocols to discrimination, drug testing, harassment, and even paid leave policies. It is important to remember that whether your company employs five or 5000, state and federal laws still apply so covering a variety of topics protects your business all the more. It is wise to include topics specific to your business but to also cover state and federal laws, such as:

  • Paid and Unpaid Leaves, including FMLA
  • Anti-harassment and Discrimination Policies
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • At Will Statements

Topics covered in your employee handbook should be pertinent to your business, so these are just a starting point. Some other suggested topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Overtime and Attendance
  • Drug & Alcohol Abuse Policies
  • Codes of Conduct to include dress codes, disciplinary procedures, and even e-mail, social media, and technology policies
  • Workplace Violence Prevention
  • Disclaimers

The idea of creating an employee handbook may be daunting, but it does not need to be. Our Brown & Brown Employee Benefits Advisors are available to get you started. Our suite of solution-based services includes options for creating an employee handbook for your business, with assistance in choosing topics to include, and best practices for preparing a strategy to ensure your handbook is always current.

As the 6th largest broker in the nation, Brown & Brown has the resources and industry knowledge to get you started on the right path with innovative Human Resource Management solutions. If you are interested in learning more about available solutions, contact our Employee Benefit Advisors today.

Brett Struiksma

Employee Benefits Consultant

Brett takes a strategic approach when assisting his clients navigate compliance and health insurance reform, providing comprehensive analysis and creative plan design for optimal benefit plan communication and compliance.


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