Do I Really Need an Employee Handbook?

Your company can and SHOULD protect itself from possible employee discrimination lawsuits by creating an Employee Handbook or some other written documentation that clearly states your company’s expectations regarding harassment and discrimination.

A thorough employee handbooks should include:

  • a mission statement
  • an organizational chart
  • a detailed listing of products and/or services offered
  • policies on:
    • work hours
    • vacations
    • holidays
    • conduct
    • dress code (if applicable)
    • promotions
    • overtime
  • health benefits
  • retirement benefits
  • stated policies on:
    • discrimination
    • harassment
    • drug & alcohol abuse
    • employee safety
    • use of company property

Once your Employee Handbook is in a draft format, have it reviewed by a labor lawyer.

While creating an employee handbook can be a daunting task there are some very good resources and templates on the web – that are free!  One very good resource, that includes a downloadable employee handbook template, is from

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your business is “too small” to have an employee handbook – it could come back to bite you!


October 4, 2010

A new free Employee Handbook template has been discovered, one that I’m fairly certain will appeal to many people.  Find it here.

The Employee Handbook template will provide you with a database of generalized polices for use in assembling an employee handbook.  Many of these policies are ready to use and can be simply inserted into your handbook, however, not every section will be applicable to your specific company or facility.  Therefore, you can choose from the sections provided – if they are relevant for your purposes.

While complete, the policies are general in nature and must be provided with your own company-relevant information such as company name, contact information, etc.  You will be prompted to “fill in the blanks” when necessary.  Further editing may also be necessary in tailoring the sections to your specific requirements.

Once you have selected the policies and sections that you want to include in your employee handbook, click on the “Next” button to proceed.  You will be able to verify the policies that you have selected and your company specific information.   You can return and change this information if you need.   After confirming the policies and specific details click on the “Next” button to down load your employee handbook onto your computer in either a Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format.  The handbook can be downloaded in either English or Spanish.

Key differences in state law covering all 50 states have been incorporated into applicable policies. In your final handbook both a general policy and your state specific policy will appear. You should delete the policy that you do not want included in your handbook once you have downloaded the document onto your computer. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you submit a draft of your handbook for final review by a labor attorney before putting it into use.

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