Employee Handbook Templates
Using an Employee Handbook Template as a starting point
Even if you are going to be writing your own employee manual, you will probably benefit greatly by starting with an employee handbook template. Likewise, if you choose to have an attorney write your company handbook, it will probably still save you money to start with an employee handbook template and ask him or her to revise it for your particular needs. Alternatively, before you begin writing, you can try to gather as many employee handbook templates as you can find (e.g., from other companies you may know). This will help you know what sections to include in your own employer handbook, and how you might word them.
The sections that should be included in all employee handbook templates are: Sexual Harrassment (and other unlawful conduct), Equal Opportunity Employment, Family Medical Leave Act information, At Will Employment, Immigration Code Compliance and an Acknowledgement of Receipt.
As part of your employee handbook template, you should also consider having your employees sign an Employment Contract. An employment contract sets forth the terms of employment and usually includes more detailed "at-will" employment language and non-compete information. An employment contract will also contain a "Termination Certification" which is signed when an employee leaves the company (and reminds them of their continuing duties).
The remainder of the employee handbook template should focus on communicating company policies. This ensures that employees are "on the same page" with regards to working hours, vacation time, leave policies and other company policies. You may also want your employee handbook template to include policies on pay periods, holidays, benefits, email and telephone usage and other important areas. While these areas are not as critical, they help complete a uniform employee handbook template.
If you purchase employee handbook templates, make sure that they contain as many of your requirements as possible.
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