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What should I include in an employee handbook?

Employers in Texas know just how challenging human resource issues can be. Accordingly, the creation of a comprehensive employee handbook is extremely helpful for informing your workers of what exactly is expected of them. A well-written handbook can also greatly reduce the likelihood of litigation, which can be damaging to even the most successful business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a listing of which areas should be covered in your company’s employee handbook. Information regarding general employment procedures is a good starting point. This can include topics like how job positions are classified, the process for keeping employee records, what makes one eligible for employment, and how resignations/terminations will be handled. Relevant federal and local laws should be kept in mind when creating policies to ensure they are legally binding.

You will also need a section that touches upon benefits offered to employees. Again, consultation of laws and regulations is crucial, as employers are obligated to offer certain benefits to eligible employees. Employee leave is another important concern. There are many different types of leave, so it’s vital to explicitly state what is being offered and what is required of the worker requesting leave.

Additionally, security procedures should be addressed within employee handbooks. Accident reporting is a huge concern at most workplaces, so be sure employees are fully apprised of the process for reporting accidents to the proper parties. If your workplace entails certain hazards, be sure to go over what they are and the proper safety procedures that must be followed. Listing employee responsibilities regarding security (such as locking up offices and equipment at night) is highly recommended, as this will deter theft or damage to high-value equipment.

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