The Essential Components of Your San Diego Employee Handbook
Every San Diego business that has employees should consider having an employee handbook. There are many state- and federally-mandated notices that must be provided and a host of company policies that must be summarized for your existing and new employees. Now that the Dynamex decision is here to stay, any formerly classified independent contractors should likely be treated as “employees.” All of those workers need copies of the same notices and company policies as are provided to employees. If you need an employee handbook crafted and/or need to update your current employee handbook, it is essential to retain an experienced San Diego corporate attorney for advice and counsel.
Notices Mandated by Federal and California Statutes
As noted, both federal and state laws require that you as the employer must provide various notices to all employees. These notices comprise a large component of most employee handbooks. Most of these notices are related to worker rights, but the notices also include rights and information with respect to harassment and discrimination. Including the notices in your employee handbook is a useful way to:
- Ensure that all the notices are provided — the handbook becomes a sort of checklist
- Help with annual updates as notices are changed and/or as new notices are required
- Document provision of the notices if there is litigation
Note, however, that some notices must be “standalone.” It is useful as a reminder to list standalone notices in the handbook (with a notation that they are provided as standalone documents).
Company Policies and Procedures
Another large component of a well-constructed employee handbook are the company policies and procedures. Usually the policies and procedures are long and often quite detailed, which is why you need to provide your employees with the ability to review the full policy/procedure. Examples of policies and procedures would include:
- Sexual harassment
- Equal employment
- Worker leave
Any and all company policies must comply with federal and California law. Your handbook should also provide a description summarizing the company’s disciplinary procedures and the procedures for notifying the company of harassing or discriminatory behavior by supervisors, other employees, contractors and others.
Your San Diego employee handbook should also contain general information about your workplace such as expected time of arrival, dress code, workplace demeanor, parking, and similar.
Legal Statements and Disclaimers
Finally, it is essential that your handbook contain legal statements and disclaimers. Among many other statements and disclosures, the two most crucial are that the employee handbook does not constitute a contract between the company and its workers and that all workers, unless actually under contract, are employees “at-will.” Furthermore, the handbook should state that it can be amended and changed at any time at the discretion of the company. To avoid issues with the joint employer doctrine and to comply with state law, the handbook should state the exact legal name of the company and the business address of the company.
Contact San Diego Corporate Law
If you would like more information about drafting and implementing your employee handbook, contact attorney Michael Leonard, Esq., of San Diego Corporate Law. Mr. Leonard can also assist with any other employment or business-related matter. Mr. Leonard proudly provides legal services to business owners in San Diego and the surrounding communities. Mr. Leonard can be reached at (858) 483-9200 or via email. Like us on Facebook.