Owning a business means crossing every “T” and dotting each “i.” Employers who fail to set forth employee expectations by providing clear-cut, legally-sound employee handbooks, manuals, policies, and procedures leave themselves wide open to controversy and confusion — and, even worse, lawsuits and legal liability.
Here are the top five reasons having an employee handbook and personnel policies in place is absolutely crucial to the success of a company:
- Outline employee expectations. Let employees know what the rules and expectations are. Communicate how a worker is supposed to behave, when the working hours are, how compensation works, and what benefits and awards are available. Employees feel more secure when they understand appropriate boundaries.
- Define employment status. Are your employees “at-will” employees? What are the rules for contractors and independent contractors? Let your workers know exactly where they stand with no ambiguity.
- Explain reporting channels. If a dispute or inter-office conflict arises, lay out the proper reporting channels for employees. Explain how to lodge an official complaint if necessary. This is helpful for potential lawsuits, and also lets employees know they have a voice.
- Provide fair treatment of workers. Workers tend to be happier when they know everyone is being treated fairly and consistently. Having the same policies and procedures for all employees helps prevent future disputes and resentments.
- Limit liability. If a serious employment dispute arises — such as a claim of sexual harassment or discrimination — and an employee did not follow the set-forth procedures for reporting the conduct, an employer may be able to deny liability in court.
What happens when my employer doesn’t have a handbook?
Failing to have a manual and HR policies is not illegal — it’s just irresponsible. If your employer does not provide you with clear-cut employment policies, ask what is expected of you. Record any wrongdoing within the company. Save evidence for your own records.
Have you been the victim of sexual harassment, discrimination, or other unfair treatment at work? The NJ employment lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. are here to assist you with all employment-related claims. Contact us today at (908) 561-5577.