Very important! Not only do they reflect a company’s culture and values but they also communicate important policies and procedures, and can even help shield employers from litigation.
Examples of topics that effective employee handbooks cover include:
Anti-discrimination policies- Handbooks should include a section on sexual harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and equal employment opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment.
Standards of Conduct- Employers should document their expectations of employee conduct, attendance rules, and company dress code and ethics.
Safety and Security- The company’s policy regarding bad weather and hazardous community conditions, information security rules, drug and alcohol policies, and compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) laws and reporting rules.
Compensation, Benefits, and Paid Time Off Policy- How the company will make required deductions for federal and state taxes, as well as voluntary deductions for the company’s benefits programs. In addition, outline the legal obligations regarding overtime pay and breaks, and info on how vacation time is earned, what holidays the company observes, different types of leave, etc.