Clyde Snow

5 Must-Have Policies Every Business Should Have in Their Employee Handbook

by | May 8, 2024

In today’s competitive labor market, employers are striving to create positive and respectful workplace cultures. One of the foundational tools for achieving this goal is a comprehensive employee handbook. As experienced Utah employment lawyers at Clyde Snow, we understand the importance of implementing appropriate handbooks and company policies and procedures. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five key policies every employer and HR team should have in their Employee Handbook to promote a positive and respectful work environment and comply with the law.

1. Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

It is crucial to have an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy in your employee handbook. This policy should describe in detail various types of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. It should also provide examples to help employees understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The policy should instruct employees on how to report discrimination and harassment, as well as describe the investigative process that will follow an internal complaint. The policy should also prohibit retaliation against any employee who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation. As a bonus, this policy can be useful to support an affirmative defense to certain harassment claims.

2. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy

An EEO policy states your business’s commitment to equal opportunities for all employees and applicants. When implementing an EEO policy, state that your company does not discriminate against employees based on race, color, national origin, citizenship, veteran status, sex, gender and gender identity, age, religion, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions; or sexual orientation. When writing this policy, emphasize your company’s stance on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and refer to the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy.

3. Disability Accommodation Policy

Generally, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities who request an accommodation. The purpose of an accommodation is to enable employees with disabilities to perform their essential job functions. A disability accommodation policy informs employees of their right to request an accommodation and should outline the process for requesting an accommodation.

4. At-Will Employment Policy

An at-will employment policy clarifies the nature of the employment relationship. This policy states that the employer or the employee may terminate the working relationship at any time, for any reason or no reason. This policy is also a good opportunity to specify unambiguously that the handbook is not an employment contract and does not create contractual liabilities for the employer or the employee.

5. Timekeeping and Overtime Policy

A timekeeping and overtime policy is essential to ensure compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws. The policy should establish guidelines for accurately recording hours worked, taking meal and rest breaks, and requesting overtime. The policy should also describe the difference between hourly non-exempt positions and salaried exempt positions.

Let Us Help Create an Employee Handbook for Your Business

Implementing these essential policies as part of your handbook and providing them to every new employee will help you create a legally compliant work environment where all employees feel respected, valued, and protected.

At Clyde Snow, we have a team of experienced employment lawyers. We can assist you in creating these policies to ensure compliance with state employment law and promote a harassment-free workplace. If you want to speak with any of our Labor & Employment attorneys, contact us today to learn how we can support your legal needs. or 801-322-2516

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