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Designing Employee Handbooks. Legal Limitations. Employment At Will. Employees shall not be considered permanent employees. All employment is at-will. Employees may have their employment discontinued for any reason. Not a Contract.

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employment at will
Employment At Will
  • Employees shall not be considered permanent employees.
  • All employment is at-will.
  • Employees may have their employment discontinued for any reason.
not a contract
Not a Contract
  • Nothing in this employee handbook shall be construed as an employment contract.
changes in the handbook
Changes in the Handbook
  • Management may make changes in the employee handbook at any time.
may vs must
May vs. Must
  • “May” statements provide more flexibility than “must” statements.
  • For example: management must complete performance appraisals by March 1 might cause legal problems if that “must” is not obeyed. “May” is much better.
sexist language
Sexist Language
  • Be politically correct in your language
  • Refer to sales people rather than salesman
  • Refer to Workers’ Compensation rather than Workmen’s Compensation
posters federal
  • OSHA—It’s the Law
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Notice
  • Department of Justice Notice—Anti-discrimination
posters idaho
  • Workers’ Compensation Notice
  • Idaho Unemployment Insurance
  • Discrimination
  • Minimum Wage
  • For companies with 11 or more employees, make a provision for safety administration
separate recordkeeping files
Separate Recordkeeping Files
  • Medical records: workers’ compensation claims, exams, and drug and alcohol tests
  • EEO-1 reports for companies with 100 or more employees
  • Reference checks
  • Immigration files
  • The rest
length of time to keep records
Length of Time to Keep Records
  • I9 Form: 3 years
  • Pension-related files under ERISA: 6 years
  • Wage rate tables under the FLSA: 2 years
  • Records detailing exposure to toxic substances: Employee’s tenure plus 30 years
fair labor standards act
Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Overtime
  • Time-and-a-half
  • Independent contractors
independent contractor definition 20 irs rules
Independent Contractor Definition20 IRS Rules
  • Set the hours of work?
  • Dictate the methods by which the task is to be completed?
  • Pay an hourly wage?
  • Supply materials, tools?
  • Furnish space, telephone secretarial services?
  • Set fixed geographic limits on the work?
independent contractors benefits
Independent ContractorsBenefits
  • Don’t have to pay Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation. Contractor does this on his/her own.
  • Don’t have to deal with city, state, and federal income taxes. Contractor does this on his/her own.
independent contractor limitations
Independent Contractor Limitations
  • Lose employer control of contractor
  • IRS penalties for paying a contractor when you really have an employee
top twelve handbook updates 1 workplace violence
Top Twelve Handbook Updates—1. Workplace Violence
  • Provide employees with reporting opportunities, counseling avenues, and general guidelines on how to act when there is a threat.
  • Source:
2 benefits provisions
2. Benefits Provisions
  • Monitor changes in benefits plans—particularly health benefits
  • Obama Health Care Plan--Employers who choose to offer employees health insurance can receive tax cuts of up to 35% of premiums this year, and up to 50% in 2014. More than 60% of small employers will be eligible for these tax cuts.
3 employee free choice act still a bill
3. Employee Free Choice Act (still a bill)
  • Make sure to update bulletin board solicitation in the handbook. Ban all outside solicitation to be consistent.
4 text messaging
4. Text Messaging
  • Texting and Driving
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
5 social networking ii advantages
5. Social Networking II--Advantages
  • Networking
  • Goodwill
  • Idea generation
  • Customer complaints and praise
  • Recruiting
5 social networking iii disadvantages
5. Social Networking III-Disadvantages
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Time Management and Productivity
  • Security
  • Privacy—Confidential Information
  • Accuracy
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination
6 location monitoring
6. Location Monitoring
  • Restrict used of GPS, RFID due to privacy and discrimination concerns
  • Check for problems and policy statements
7 adverse weather other closings
7. Adverse Weather/Other Closings
  • How affect employee compensation for both exempt and nonexempt employees
  • H1N1
8 family medical leave act
8. Family Medical Leave Act
  • Military Families—Up to 26 weeks of leave to handle injured or ill military member of the family
9 americans with disabilities amendments act of 2008
9. Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008
  • Eased definitions of handicapped—creates nonexhaustive list
  • Sitting, bending, caring for oneself
  • Functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, bladder functions
  • Common sense standard—not scientific
10 respectful workplace policy
10. Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Defining respectful workplace behavior separate from harassment policies because harassment is illegal and disrespect is not
11 genetic information nondiscrimination act
11. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
  • Genetic information should be added to the list of protected classes
  • Update wellness programs to protect genetic information
12 charities and tax exempts
12. Charities and Tax-Exempts
  • Revised IRS Form 990 asks whether employer has whistleblower, conflicts of interest, and document retention and destruction policies.
  • Same form asks about executive compensation procedures
sample handbook statements
Sample Handbook Statements
  • Society for HR (have to be a member)
  • Bureau of National Affairs’ HR Library ( Have to be on Boise State campus
  • Federal government page with examples
  • Several state examples
  • Nevada Handbook
  • Generic sample
  • Many university examples