Employee Handbook Template

Take advantage of our Employee Handbook template to help your workers get up to speed as quickly as possible. Inform them of your business’s rules, objectives, and more in a clear manner.

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Last Update June 12th, 2024

Also Known As

Staff Handbook

Company Manual

Employment Handbook

Employee Manual


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What Is an Employee Handbook

An Employee Handbook is a document that outlines the policies, procedures, and expectations between an employer and its employees.

It serves as a guide for employees to understand their rights, responsibilities, and the company's standards of conduct.

This essential document covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Company culture
  • Values
  • Legal obligations of both the employer and the employee
  • Workplace policies
  • Employee benefits

Unlike an employment contract that outlines the specific terms of an individual's employment, the Employee Handbook provides a broad overview of the company's operational practices and expectations.

Use our customizable Employee Handbook template as a reliable foundation to help you develop a clear and comprehensive guide for your employees.

Types of Employee Handbooks

Employee policy handbooks are tailored to suit organizational needs, reflecting company size, culture, and industry specifics. Here are common types:

  • Standard Employee Handbook: Suitable for most businesses, covering general policies and company expectations.
  • Small business Employee Handbook: Focuses on essentials for smaller workforces, with simplified policies.
  • Corporate Employee Handbook: Addresses extensive policies across departments in larger corporations.
  • Industry-specific Employee Handbook: Tailored to meet unique operational and regulatory requirements of specific industries.
  • Digital Employee Handbook: Online or intranet-based, easily updated, and can include interactive elements.
  • Culture-focused Employee Handbook: Highlights company culture and values alongside standard policies.

Choosing the right type of Handbook is key to effectively communicating expectations and fostering a positive workplace culture.

Sample Employee Handbook: Start Building Yours Today

To draft your document correctly, it’s important to study finished Employee Handbook examples.

Review the sample we’ve provided below to better understand what your finished form should look like.

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employee handbook example

How To Write an Employee Handbook

Crafting an Employee Handbook is a critical step in setting clear expectations and guidelines for your employees.

Here's a concise guide to ensure you create an Employee Handbook that can help you and your workers:

  1. Gather company information: Begin by detailing your business's basic details, including its name, size, history, mission, products, and location.
  2. Define terms: Outline your business's work terms, such as full-time employment hours, remote or on-site work policies, flexible working arrangements, core operating hours, and meal and rest break rules.
  3. Mention time-off and leave policies: Include policies on sick leave, holidays, observed holidays, vacation time, and any state-mandated leaves.
  4. Add payment information: Describe the payment schedule and methods, ensuring employees understand how and when they will be compensated.
  5. Include additional policies and benefits: Cover any other important aspects like dress code, health insurance, retirement plans, performance reviews, and any specific rules or regulations.
  6. Add an acknowledgment form: Conclude with an acknowledgment form for both you and the employee to sign to confirm they have read and understand the company's policies and procedures.

Is an Employee Handbook Required by Law

While no federal law mandates the creation of an Employee Handbook, there is information that you need to share based on your state.

A good place to mention this information would be after your **welcome statement for the Employee Handbook. **

For example, specific states, such as California, have particular requirements that necessitate the inclusion of certain policies within a California Employee Handbook.

For instance, the California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (AB 1522) requires employers to provide paid sick leave, accruing at least one hour for every 30 hours worked.

Familiarize yourself with your state's labor laws to guarantee you comply with local requirements.

States With Employee Handbook Requirements

Creating an Employee Handbook isn't just about setting company policies; it's also crucial for ensuring compliance with state-specific legal requirements.

Here are essential laws and policies that often necessitate inclusion in Employee Handbooks:

  • Paid sick leave: States like California mandate paid sick leave, requiring detailed policies on accrual and usage to be clearly communicated to employees.
  • Harassment and discrimination policies: Jurisdictions such as New York require strict anti-harassment and discrimination policies, including training schedules.
  • Family and medical leave: States like New Jersey offer additional family leave provisions, demanding guidelines on eligibility and application processes.
  • Breaks and meal periods: Some states, including Colorado, have specific requirements for meal and rest breaks, surpassing federal standards.
  • Final paycheck laws: States like Oregon dictate the timing for issuing final paychecks, with different rules for voluntary resignations and terminations.
  • Overtime rules: In places like Alaska, overtime pay is required for working more than 40 hours a week and more than 8 hours a day.

Other Employment Forms

If you are a business owner or deal with employees, it’s essential to have all the right employment forms available.

Here are other forms that are critical to use when dealing with employees:

FAQs About Employee Handbook Templates

If you have any doubts about creating an Employee Handbook, our answers to the following commonly asked questions can help you better understand how to make your document and all legal requirements.

How do I Get an Employee Handbook Template?

You can download our Employee Handbook template in PDF format as a smart legal solution.

With our Handbook template, you can easily include all the information that is necessary for your business and employees.

Keep in mind that you should be aware of all the circumstances specific to your case and may need the guidance of a legal professional.

What Should Be Avoided in an Employee Handbook?

When drafting an Employee Handbook, exclude anything that could conflict with the National Labor Relations Act.

Aim for a clear, concise handbook that avoids:

  • Discriminatory content
  • Legal documents
  • Company procedures
  • Job descriptions
  • Complex legal terms

This ensures your Handbook is accessible and useful for employees while protecting your business or company.

Are Employee Handbooks Legally Binding?

Employee Handbooks are not binding legal contracts. However, they can play a crucial role in the workplace.

They protect both you and your employees in legal disputes or employment-related issues, providing a layer of protection and clarity on company policies and expectations.

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employee handbook example

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