Does My San Diego Business Need an Employee Handbook?
If you have employees, then, yes, your San Diego business needs an employee handbook.
As we have written previously, employee handbooks (“EH”) do not have to be complicated. Basically, EH combine into one “book” all the various information that you give to employees with respect to expectations, how they are paid, how they are disciplined, vacation days, overtime, etc. This information is probably already typed up, but is not bound up nice and neat into a “book.” In this sense, EH are “easy” to create: Compile and collate the individual company policies and put them into a binder. Now you have a company HB. Obviously, it is not quite that simple, but getting started is probably a lot easier than you might think.
Here are three quick reasons that your business need an EH.
San Diego Corporate Law: Complying With Labor Laws
Aside from establishing YOUR expectations of what employees are to do and how they are to behave, your EH allows you to comply with various state and federal labor laws. For example, California law requires that businesses notify their employees of many different aspects of their rights as employees. Examples include notice of:
- Minimum wage and overtime laws
- Rights to paid family leave
- Unpaid family leave policies
- Vacation pay
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Unemployment benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits
See here for information from the California Employment Development Department. Many of these notices can be added to your EH thereby establishing that your business has complied with the notice laws. If an EH is “standard practice and policy” for your business, then you have some protection against an employee who claims in litigation that he or she “never got the notice.” Your business responds: “We are sure the notice was given because it is in our EH and we give every employee a copy of the EH.”
San Diego Corporate Law: Creating Your Business Culture
Aside from providing basic information to your employees and complying with labor laws, an EH is also a good way to establish your “business culture.” This can be done by the “optics” of the EH — colors, fonts and photos — and also by the content as it relates to such matters as dress code, attitude, and other workplace policies and procedures. Is your company “laid back” or it is “straight-laced?” Both are great, of course, and your EH can help foster the workplace atmosphere and environment.
San Diego Corporate Law: Establishing/Managing Worker Expectations
While your EH can help create your business culture, it is just as important to establish and manage worker expectations. This is key with respect to ensuring that workers do not violate anti-discrimination policies, misuse company resources, and/or take other actions that would embarrass or expose the company to liability. An EH must also communicate expectations about what work is expected and procedures for discipline and termination.
Contact San Diego Corporate Law Today
If you would like more information about employee handbooks that are drafted to fit your business and your specific needs, contact attorney Michael Leonard, Esq., of San Diego Corporate Law. Mr. Leonard has extensive experience in drafting employee handbooks, employment contracts, and the other contracts and agreements necessary for running your business. Mr. Leonard can be reached at (858) 483-9200 or via email.