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Why get a legal consultation before making an employee handbook?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2022 | Employers' responsibility

There are many benefits to having an employee handbook. You can use this handbook to talk to your employees about basic expectations, such as their work hours, vacation time and expectations in the workplace.

In California, all employers should aim to have an employee handbook made for their employees, even if they’re a smaller employer. The purpose of this book is to outline important topics in advance, so there aren’t questions that pop up later on.

Establish your workplace policies up front

One of the main reasons to have an employee handbook is to establish your workplace policies and to have them easily accessible to employees. Keep in mind that your policies do need to be within the limits of the law.

This is one reason why it’s a good idea to go through a legal consultation before printing your employee handbooks. If you include discriminatory text or rules that are not legal, employees would have that information in print and could end up using it against you later on.

When your employee handbook is written correctly, it may help you:

  • Avoid misunderstandings
  • Make it easier for new employees to adapt to the workplace
  • Ensure consistent, fair treatment of your employees
  • Educate supervisors
  • Establish legal protections
  • Comply with federal and state regulations

You should include all mandatory policies in your employee handbook. In California, it’s required that you include a written harassment, retaliation and discrimination prevention policy.

Making your employee handbook the right way the first time will make it easier to update if policies change or you find you need further protections down the line. When you create your first handbook, it’s a good idea to work directly with your attorney to build a handbook that meets the state’s requirements. You can include topics like a dress code, discrimination support, workers’ compensation and more, so long as those topics are addressed correctly.

A good handbook can help you avoid legal trouble and help your employees understand their rights while working for you. Get support to make sure your handbook meets all state and federal requirements before you publish it.