Employment Practices

services1An employee handbook is an important communication tool between you and your employees. A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your company. It should also describe your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees’ rights.

In all, your Employee Handbook may contain over 200 policies. This may seem like a crazy number of policies to need, but you cannot afford to leave your business exposed to legal threats. To produce a comprehensive employee policies manual for your company, you’ll likely require all of these policies.

The good news is that David M. Kulawiak, Inc. can do this for you. The other good news is that we can edit and format them to be compliant with Federal and State law.

David M. Kulawiak, Inc. will help you write an employee handbook, which typically includes the following topics.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements
Although NDAs are not legally required, having employees sign NDAs and conflict of interest statements helps to protect your trade secrets and company proprietary information.

Anti-Discrimination Policies
As a business owner, you must comply with the equal employment opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employee handbooks should include a section about these laws, and how your employees are expected to comply.

Clearly explain to your employees that your company will make required deductions for federal and state taxes, as well as voluntary deductions for the company’s benefits programs. In addition, you should outline your legal obligations regarding overtime pay, pay schedules, performance reviews, and salary increases, time keeping records, breaks and bonuses.

Work Schedules
Describe your company’s policies regarding work hours and schedules, attendance, punctuality and reporting absences, along with guidelines for flexible schedules and telecommuting.

Standards of Conduct
Document your expectations of how you want your employees to conduct themselves including dress code and ethics. In addition, remind your employees of their legal obligations, especially if your business is engaged in an activity that is regulated by the government.

General Employment Information
Your employee handbook should include an a overview of your business and general employment policies covering employment eligibility, job classifications, employee referrals, employee records, job postings, probationary periods, termination and resignation procedures, transfers and relocation, and union information, if applicable.

Safety and Security
Describe your company’s policy for creating a safe and secure workplace, including compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s laws that require employees to report all accidents, injuries, potential safety hazards, safety suggestions and health and safety related issues to management.

Safety policies should also include your company’s policy regarding bad weather and hazardous community conditions.

Add your commitment to creating a secure work environment, and your employee’s responsibility for abiding by all physical and information security policies, such as locking file cabinets or computers when not in use.

The Workplace Safety & Health Guide provides information on your legal requirements as an employer.

Computers and Technology
Outline policies for appropriate computer and software use, and steps employees should take to secure electronic information, especially any personal identifiable information you collect from your customers.

Media Relations
It’s a good business practice to have a single point of contact for all media inquiries. Your employee handbook should include a section that explains how your employees should handle calls from reporters or other media inquiries.

Employee Benefits
Make sure to detail any benefit programs and eligibility requirements, including all benefits that may be required by law.

This section should also outline your plans for optional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans and wellness programs.

Leave Policies
Your company’s leave policies should be carefully documented, especially those you are required to provide by law. Family medical leave, jury duty, military leave, and time off for court cases and voting should all be documented to comply with state and local laws. In addition, you should explain your policies for vacation, holiday, bereavement and sick leave.

Some of the sections you might see in your handbook could include:

• Introductory Memo
• Receipt & Acknowledgment of [Company]
• Employee Policies Handbook Cover
• At-Will Employment
• Arbitration Agreement
• Confidential Information

Welcome to [Company]
• Table of Contents

• About the Employee Policies Handbook

Overview of [Company]
• About [Company]
• Background
• Concept
• Vision
• Mission Statement
• Objectives
• Goals
• Core Values & Practices
• [Company] Organization Chart

Employment Policies
• Equal Opportunity Employment
• Age Discrimination
• Disabilities
• Discriminatory Practices
• Equal Pay
• Hostile Environment Standards
• National Origin Discrimination
• Pregnancy Based Discrimination
• Religious Accommodation
• EEO Notices
• ADA – The Americans With Disabilities Act
• Procedure For Requesting an Accommodation
• Grievance Procedure
• Arbitration Policy
• Acknowledgment of an Agreement With [Company] Arbitration Policy
• Employment At-Will
• Employee Selection Process

Hiring Procedures
• Employee Background Check
• Credit Investigation
• Criminal Records
• Driver’s License & Driving Record
• Health Examinations
• Immigration Law Compliance & Procedures
• U.S. Immigration Reform & Control Act
• Nepotism – Employment of Relatives / Friends
• Outside Employment
• Temporary & Contract Workers

Employee Information
• Employment Classifications
• Exempt or Non-Exempt Employees
• Non-Exempt Employees
• Exempt Employees
• Regular Employees
• Regular Full-Time Employees
• Regular Part-Time Employees
• Temporary Employees
• Length of Service
• Hire Date
• Break in Service
• Bridge of Service
• Personnel Records & Administration
• Your Personnel File
• Record Changes Notification
• Your Medical Records File
• Employment & Reference Checks
• Reference Referrals
• Polygraph Protection Act

Starting to Work
• Introductory Period
• Initial Review
• Anniversary Date
• New Employee Orientation
• Temps & Contractors
• Work Schedule
• Business Hours
• Attendance
• Lateness / Tardiness
• Absences
• Break & Meal Periods
• Meal Room Facility
• Low-Need Time
• Severe Weather & Emergency Conditions

• Wage & Salary Policies
• Compensation Philosophy
• Basis For Determining Pay
• Wages
• Computing Pay
• Time Records
• Error In Pay
• Pay Period & Hours
• Payroll Contact
• Payroll Deductions
• Paycheck Distribution
• Direct Deposit
• Time Reporting
• Overtime
• Flex Time
• On Call Pay
• Shift Premium
• Travel Time
• Working on Company Holidays
• Compensatory Time Off
• Non-Exempt (or Hourly) Employees
• Exempt Employees
• Payroll Advances
• Wage Garnishments
• Temporary Employees

Performance Management
• Performance Evaluations
• Performance Reviews
• Compensation Programs
• Compensation Reviews
• Other Compensation Programs & Policies
• Employee Referral Program
• Transfer & Promotion Policy

Professional Standards
• What You Can Expect From [Company]
• What [Company] Expects From You
• Open Communication Policy
• Confidential Information & Inventions Agreement
• Business Conduct
• Business Gifts
• Conflicts of Interest
• Customer Relations
• Outside Employment
• Suggestions

• Eligibility For Benefits
• Insurance Benefits
• Insurance Coverage
• Group Insurance
• [Health / Dental / Vision Insurance
• Disability Insurance
• Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment
• Insurance
• Continuation of Coverage Through COBRA
• Employee Assistance Program
• Domestic Partners Policy
• How To Enroll
• Coverages
• Termination of Coverage
• Leaves of Absence
• Termination of Domestic Partnership
• Government Required Coverage
• Workers’ Compensation
• Workers’ Compensation Fraud
• Recreational Activities & Programs
• Unemployment Compensation
• Social Security
• Profit Sharing Plan
• Retirement Plan
• Statement of Employee Retirement Income
• Security Act (ERISA) Rights

Other Benefits
• Credit Union Membership
• Education Assistance
• Employee Purchases of [Company]’s Product

Paid Time Off
We include a discussion regarding the choice between PTO vs. Sick/Vacation/Personal time policy.
• About Our Time-Off Program
• Vacations
• Sick Days
• How Our PTO / Vacation Plan Works
• How PTO/VACATION Accrues
• Carryover of Paid Time Off
• Borrowing of Paid Time Off
• Scheduling of PTO
• PTO & Termination of Employment

• Holiday Policies
• Personal Leave
• Amount of Personal Leave
• Accumulation Rights
• Sick Leave
• Amount of Sick Leave
• Accumulation Rights
• Vacations
• Amount of Vacation
• Accumulation Rights

Paid Leaves of Absence
• Bereavement / Funeral Leave
• Jury Duty / Witness Duty
• Sabbatical
• School Visits
• Voting / Election Day

Unpaid Time Off
• Approved Leaves of Absence
• Children’s School Activities
• FMLA – Family / Medical Leave of Absence
• Life-Threatening or Debilitating Illness
• Medical Leave
• Military Leave
• Military Reserves or National Guard Leave of Absence
• Personal Leave of Absence
• Disability (Including Pregnancy) Leave of Absence
• Religious Accommodation
• Accepting Other Employment or Going Into
• Business While on Leave of Absence
• Insurance Premium Payment During Leaves of Absence

Information Systems Usage Policy
• Computers, Electronic Mail & Voice Mail Usage Policy
• Information Access & Disclosure
• Communication Etiquette
• Email
• Internet
• Confidential Information
• Copyrighted Information
• Monitoring & Data Protection
• Security
• Passwords
• Software
• Computer and Other Equipment Not Provided By [Company]
• Personal Use
• Prohibited Uses of [Company] Information Systems
• Consequences of a Breach of this Policy
• Computer Protection
• Back-Up Your Computer
• Phishing / Spear Phishing
• Web Logging (Blogging)

Workplace Policies
• Access & Disclosure
• Alcohol Consumption
• Bonding Requirement
• Cell / Mobile Phone Usage
• Communication
• Community Activities
• Company & Department Meetings
• Company Equipment
• Contributions
• Customer Relations
• Dress Code & Personal Appearance
(Including Piercing & Tattoos)
• Food & Beverages
• Containers
• Other Considerations
• Expense Reimbursement
• Kitchen
• Music / Portable Music Player Usage
• Personal Use of Company Property
• Pets At Work
• Recycling, Waste Prevention & Conservation
• Salesperson Agreement
• Service Awards
• Smoking
• Solicitations & Distributions
• Spouse Accepts Employment – or Works For a Competitor
• Telecommuting / Work at Home
• Telephone Usage
• Uniforms
• Use of Company Vehicle
• Violence, Weapons

• General Employee Safety
• Safety Rules
• Working Safely
• Electrical Hazards
• Fire Extinguishers
• Lifting
• Handling Tools
• Using Ladders
• Materials Handling
• Personal Protective Equipment
• Operating Machines & Equipment
• Preventing Falls
• Falling Objects
• Trash Disposal
• Cleaning Up
• Work Areas
• Report All Injuries
• Ask Questions
• Fire Prevention
• In Case of Fire
• Emergency Evacuation
• Housekeeping
• Office Safety
• Property & Equipment Care

• Entering & Leaving The Premises
• Visitors
• Security Checks
• Parking Lot
• Restricted Areas

Drug-Free Workplace Policy
• Fitness For Duty Examination
• Drug-Free Workplace
• Health Risks of Alcohol & Other Drug Use
• Legal Implications of Alcohol and Drug Use
• Where To Get Help

Unlawful Harassment
• What Is Harassment?
• Sexual Harassment Defined
• Other Types of Harassment
• Responsibility
• Liability For Harassment
• Reporting Harassment
• Complaint Procedure
• External Agencies

Prohibited Conduct
• Unacceptable Activities
• Weapons
• Workplace Violence
• Outside Threats

Discipline Policy
• Standards of Conduct
• Open Door Policy
• Probation
• Disciplinary Actions
• Discipline Procedure
• Step One: Oral Reminder
• Step Two: Written Warning
• Step Three: Decision-Making Leave / Counseling Session
• Crisis Suspension

Separation of Employment
• Resignation / Voluntary Termination
• Failure To Report To Work
• Involuntary Terminations
• Reductions In Force
• Voluntary Reduction In Force
• Severance
• Outplacement Services
• Perquisites
• Benefits Continuation / Termination
• Insurance Conversion Privileges
• Exit Interview
• Return of Company Property
• Final Paycheck
• Other Disbursements
• Former Employees
• Reinstatement of Benefits
• Post-Employment Inquiries