What Should Be In Employee Handbooks?

by Adair Melinsky Buckner on May. 31, 2013


Summary: What should be included in an employee handbook

per employment law what should be included in an employee handbookEmployee Handbooks can protect employers in a number of ways.  Each handbook should be tailored to the specific employer’s practices, size, and special business considerations, though.  A total boiler-plate handbook does not fit all employers.  A pro-forma handbook an employer gets off the Internet may commit it to requirements it legally might not otherwise have to meet.

There are some key provisions, though, that all employers should have, some only employers with 15 or more employees should have, and only those with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius should have.

Employers should frequently review their Employee Handbooks to be sure they stay current with ever-changing employment law.

Policies All Employers Should Have: 

Confirming At-Will Employment

Prohibiting Off-the-Clock Work or Work During Lunch Break

Spelling Out Any PTO, Sick Leave, and Vacation Policies

Detailing Absence Reporting Policies

Social Media and Electronic Equipment Use Policies

FLSA Safe Harbor Provisions for Pay Errors

Providing for Suspensions With and Without Pay As Allowed Under FLSA Rules

Spelling Out Drug-Testing Policy (especially if you do random drug testing)

Detailing Legally-Required Leave Policies (Other Than FMLA)

For Employers Subject to Anti-Discrimination Statutes (with 15 or more employees, generally):

Up-to-Date Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies Covering All Protected Categories, including specific reporting procedures for violations of policies and prohibiting retaliaion

Up-to-Date Disability and Religious Accommodation Policies

 For Employers Subject to FMLA (50 or more employees within 75 mile radius):

Spelling Out Full Up-to-Date Provisions of New FMLA Regulations


Adair Buckner is an Amarillo attorney with Buckner & Cross, L.L.P.  She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her other areas of practice include business law, business disputes, commercial litigation, estate planning, and probate. You can reach Adair at (806)-322-7777 or adair@bucknercross-law.com. This material is not intended to be legal advice. The contents are intended for general information purposes only.

To learn more about Adair and her practice visit her profile page andhttp://www.bucknercross-law.com/labor-and-employment-law/ .

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