Why do you keep saying I need a handbook?


Courtesy of Mayfield’s Economics Blog

If you have employees, you have to maintain a handbook, and job descriptions.  Not only does this ensure your employees are upholding the same standards as you, it also gives them clear expectations.  They need to know what you expect from the very beginning.

One hiring mistake can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, and you won’t see it coming.  Typically mistakes made by an employer that result in settlements are not obvious to the employer until it is too late.

One example would be you hired an employee and you explained that the office opens at 8:00 and closes at 5:00.  All employees are required to be in the office during those times, unless it is approved by a manager.  New employee shows up for work at 8:30 3 days a week, and leaves by 4:00.  You fired that employee for violating the attendance policy.  He contacts an attorney and states he had no idea that would get him fired.  You have no proof of the policy because there is no handbook.  The judge will simply suggest you get an employee handbook as he hands your business to this former employee.  If you had a handbook and had him sign the acknowledgement form you would bring that to court with you, and there is no question he knew the policy.

Many business owners have had to close their business due to one wrongful termination, or discrimination case with no policy.   Just because you have been lucky so far doesn’t mean that this is not a concern.

There is no law that mandates you must have an employee handbook, but it should be as important to you as business insurance.  The fee for hiring someone to create the handbook is minimal when you compare it to a fine from the court in a wrongful termination case.  Then you are paying an employee who will never have to work again.  Now you tell me that the fee to get a handbook is to expensive.





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