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HR.BLR.com Benefits is the complete set of benefits compliance content for HR professionals.

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Additional HR Resources

Combating Workplace Violence
Workplace Policies are essential to your defense when violence does occur.

Swine Flu and Illnesses
Whether it's the H1N1 virus or the common cold, when one employee comes to work sick, everyone at your organization is at risk for infection.

Pandemics and H1N1
Learn how to prepare your organization for a flu outbreak with the FREE HR Hero Sample Policy

Documenting Behavior
Report shows you how to correctly document performance problems

Auditing Your Policies
How to conduct a self-audit of your organization's policies

State-Specific Guidance
50 employment laws in 50 states, including verification of policies

Employment Law Manual
All-new 2012 Edition is fully up-to-date with the latest revisions to FMLA andCOBRA and other laws!

Employee Handbooks and Workplace Policies

Employee handbooks are a simple way of organizing and summarizing the main points of the larger body of information about the company. Typically, they are used to consolidate the information that a new employee would need to know about compensation, benefits, rights, and the company’s rules and policies.

Audit your policies and practices with the Employment Practices Self-Audit Workbook

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Updating or creating handbooks can be expensive. Employee Handbook Cookbook allows you to build your own custom, compliant handbook at one low price.

There are certain policies that every handbook should contain, regardless of the size or type of employer. Even if you decide to create a handbook on your own, you’re well advised to have an employment attorney review the policies to ensure legal compliance and effectiveness. At a minimum, your handbook should include the following policies:

Sample policies and letters for HR

  • An at-will employment statement — for example, to prevent a court from finding that you entered into an employment contract with an employee and breached the contract by terminating him.
  • An equal employment opportunity statement that covers all the characteristics protected by state and federal law but doesn’t extend beyond those classes unless your company makes a conscious decision to do so. Be sure you’re offering all the benefits required by law and that if you’re offering benefits not required by law, you’re doing so by choice, not by mistake.
  • A harassment policy that covers all types of illegal harassment. Many employers mistakenly associate “harassment” with only sexual harassment. Unlawful harassment, however, can occur when an employer (or its agents) creates an intolerable work environment based on an employee’s protected class. That means there can be race-based, national-origin-based, or religion-based harassment because all of those characteristics are protected by law. Double-check your manual to ensure that you haven’t limited your harassment policy only to harassment based on gender, i.e.,sexual harassment.
  • Additionally, a harassment policy must include a clear, step-by-step guide for employees to report any harassing behavior. The policy should include actions that will be taken in response to a complaint as well as consequences for employees and managers who fail to report harassment. There should be a zero-tolerance policy for managers who fail to properly respond to a complaint.
  • A policy and corresponding written acknowledgment for the company’s right to monitor employees’ use of electronic communications systems. Telephone calls in and out of the company’s phone systems, use of company e-mail, and use of the Internet on the company’s computers all constitute “electronic communications.”

HRHero White Paper: Combating Workplace Violence