Employee handbooks: love ’em or hate ’em, they are a powerful tool for employers and employees alike. Handbooks benefit employees by letting them know at the outset how they are expected to conduct themselves, how they may be rewarded for good work, how to properly request leave, and so on. Handbooks benefit employers by setting forth policies up front; so, in the event an employee runs afoul of the rules, the employee can’t claim ignorance. One huge pitfall with employers, however, is that either their policies are sorely out of date; or, even worse, they don’t have one at all.
At Eiss Massillon, P.L., we implore our corporate clients to maintain and use an employee handbook. More than that, we make sure that the policies contained therein are up to date with the current laws and include policies covering new employment issues; such as social network harassment, internet use at work, and BYOD** policies.
I’ve always said that small business owners don’t want to be employers per se. Rather, the boutique owner with a shop in Coral Springs wants to sell her handmade jewelry; and the Greek restaurant owners in Pembroke Pines want to share their family recipes with the neighborhood. However, as these businesses grow, each owner may find that in order to continue meeting the needs of their customers, they must hire employees. With that decision comes a whole slew of new laws to learn and navigate to avoid lawsuits and disgruntled employees. An employee handbook, even in its most simple form, is a valuable tool all employers need to have in their arsenal.
If you are a small business owner in South Florida who wishes to protect your business from litigation, please give us a call.
** Don’t know what this is? Your employee handbook may be out of date!