A well-crafted employee handbook can be a valuable tool for making sure members of your staff understand their obligations and responsibilities in the workplace.
According to the Small Business Administration, there are several major topics and federal regulations to include. Laws guiding employment in Arizona are listed by the Industrial Commission of Arizona at www.ica.state.AZ.us.
- General employment information: Include policies covering employment eligibility, job classifications, employee referrals, employee records, probationary periods, termination and resignation procedures, etc.
- Standards of conduct: Define acceptable conduct, including dress code and ethics.
- Compensation: Explain the required deductions for federal and state taxes and voluntary deductions for the company’s benefits programs. Outline obligations for overtime pay, performance reviews and breaks.
- Employee benefits: Detail benefit programs and eligibility requirements, including health insurance, retirement plans and wellness programs.
- Work schedules: Describe policies regarding work hours, attendance, punctuality, reporting absences and guidelines for flexible schedules and telecommuting.
- Leave policies: Identify policies like family medical leave, jury duty, military leave, time off for court cases and voting, vacation, holiday, bereavement and sick leave.
- Non-disclosure agreements and conflict of interest statements: Having employees sign these statements helps protect your trade secrets and company proprietary information.
- Anti-discrimination policies: Include equal employment opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, plus the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and how employees are expected to comply.
- Safety and security: Describe the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s laws that require employees to report all accidents and safety-related issues to management. Include policies such as locking cabinets or computers when not in use.
- Computers and technology: Outline policies for appropriate computer and software use and steps to secure electronic information, especially personal information collected from your customers.
Diane Diamond is the vice president of media relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For more information, go to www.southernarizona.score.org, send email to email@example.com or call 505-3636.