Why You Need (Or Should Update) A Company Handbook

Why You Need (Or Should Update) A Company Handbook
employee reading company handbook connecticut business attorney

A company handbook, or policy manual, benefits employers and employees alike. If your business does not already have one, it may be at risk. Companies with a handbook should regularly review and update it as well. Let a Connecticut business attorney help draft or update your manual. We can review recent legal revisions and other changes which can be incorporated into your handbook.

Some things are better left to individual decision-makers and cannot be easily reduced to a policy. But for other matters, written policies help avoid arbitrary decisions which can be misinterpreted. Without clear rules, those with authority can be accused of abusing employees and subordinates. Naturally this exposes the company to allegations of discrimination, harassment, creating a hostile work environment, and more. These distractions can quickly turn into legal problems.

Policy manuals help to not only protect the company but to make the work environment more beneficial to your employees. This keeps workers happy and contributes to the success of your company. Every business is different, but there are some basic policies that a Connecticut business attorney will suggest for your organization:

Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. Everyone in your company needs to know about the various state and federal protections against workplace discrimination and harassment. Comprehensive policies will address hiring, promotions, wages, discipline, training, terminations, and more. When everyone knows the rules, conflict becomes less likely and it becomes easier to discipline violators.

Complaint policies. Your company should also adopt a complaint policy to govern how allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other problems are handled. Part of this includes documenting how complaints are addressed and using detailed procedural steps. A Connecticut business lawyer understands that a well-drafted policy keeps the process objective and fair to everyone.

Compensation policies. Employees should know how often they are paid and how bonuses and raises are given out. Clarify pay schedules as well as withholding procedures for taxes, insurance, and more.

Benefits policies. Most companies offer benefits like insurance and retirement plans. Your employees will want to know about them, so they need access to relevant details. Handbooks also help employees understand what benefits may not be available to them, or not available until a later time.

Vacation days, sick days, and leave policies. Write out the procedures necessary for workers to take time off, whether it’s paid or not. This will help make sure the company is given notice for when someone will be absent. Maternity and other forms of leave should be controlled by clear rules as well.

Prohibited conduct policies. Connecticut business attorneys know that safety means something different to every company. You need a customized policy that explains what behaviors are not acceptable, and the consequences of breaking the rules.

Performance review policies. Periodical reviews help management make promotion decisions. They also help employees meet productivity targets and other goals. Policies should address how and when these meetings will take place, and provide guidelines to conducting them.

Other policies your company may consider will depend upon the nature of your business. You may, for example, wish to specify rules about internet and phone use. If your employees handle confidential information, you may want to adopt non-compete agreements. Some companies need rules for governing behavior outside the workplace. All of these can be discussed with a Connecticut business attorney who will draft a handbook specific to your organization.

Contact a Connecticut Business Attorney at Aeton Law Partners

Any policies your company has will necessarily involve complex legal questions. There are laws that deal with taxes, pay, discrimination, labor, and more. Drafting policies without the input of counsel risks unknowingly violating employees’ rights and opening your company to a lawsuit. You need an experienced attorney who knows how to draft appropriate policies that fit your business. Aeton Law Partners can help. Give our team a call today to set up a consultation.

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