Custom Employee Handbooks

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16 Best HR Practices and Critical Forms for Healthcare Owners and Office Managers

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No two practices or specialties are the same. That’s why every employee handbook and problem we solve is customized just for you. Start by selecting your specialty.

An Employee Handbook Made Just For You

Have you ever wished for an “easy button” to make managing your team and running your practice feel less complicated or overwhelming? That’s what working with CEDR feels like.

First, our employment law experts craft an employee handbook that is individually customized to fit your practice AND complies with all state and federal laws that apply to you. We do all the research, writing and updating so you can focus on what you do best. The end result is a powerful tool that you can use to prevent issues and manage more effectively.

Then, we add the icing on the cake: Unlimited HR guidance to make management easier.

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Customized Policies that Transform Your Team

You want your medical practice and team to work like a well-oiled machine, but sometimes it can feel like all you do is put out HR fires and answer questions instead of focusing on patient care. CEDR can help you get your practice back on track.

Our employment law experts will custom-build you an employee handbook packed with powerful and enforceable policies that suit your specific needs and goals, yet also comply with all federal, state and local laws that apply to your practice.

Then, we give you unlimited HR support so you can implement your new policies effortlessly and get back to what you do best.

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Don’t See Your Specialty?

If your business is involved with human or animal healthcare, CEDR HR Solutions can help! We have worked with hundreds of doctors in a variety of specialties, including:

  • Medical Marijuana Dispensary
  • Veterinarians and veterinary surgeons
  • Medical spas and estheticians
  • Urgent Care centers
  • Plastic surgery clinics
  • Physical therapists and chiropractors
  • Optometrists and ophthalmologists
  • Cardiologists
  • And more!

Our team of employment law experts and attorneys will custom-create and tailor our full range of products just for your industry, your practice and team’s needs, and YOU. To get started, call us at 866-414-6056 or click on the button below.

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CEDR HR support to go along with your employee handbook

Direct access to HR experts and attorneys with a combined 80+ years of experience means you never face tough HR or employee issues alone.

You can relax if CEDR writes your employee handbook

Customized, powerful, and protective policies lower your risks and save you time and money. The end result is priceless: peace of mind.

HR Ninja Silhouette

You’ll have experts working behind the scenes to help you prevent and resolve employee issues and keep you up-to-date as laws change.

Employees CEDR can help manage

Workplace harmony is effortless with proactive solutions and company policies that are fair to employees, yet protect your interests.

See Why Doctors & Office Managers Love Us

Employee Handbook FAQs

What is an Employee Handbook?
Do I Need an Employee Handbook?
Can I Write My Handbook Myself?
Can I Use an Employee Handbook Template?
Why Not Just Hire a Lawyer?
Isn’t Having No Handbook Better?
Why Should I Pick Custom-made?

What comes to mind when you think of an employee handbook? Is it a dry collection of company rules that is read once, then thrown into a desk and promptly forgotten about? For many, it’s not something they’ve considered at all, due to thinking their practice is too small to even worry about such a thing.

The truth is, a professionally written, legally compliant employee handbook is the single most cost-effective tool your office can have. This is true whether your office has 2 employees or 50. It prevents and solves disputes, sets you and your team up for success, and makes virtually all aspects of your business run more smoothly.

The policies and rules included in an employee handbook are important, because they serve multiple purposes. Your office can only be productive if it has clear guidelines that are followed by every member of team, so those expectations need to be explained and disseminated to everyone in your practice. When they are written correctly, these guidelines will greatly benefit both you AND your employees.

It is no exaggeration to say that your employee handbook is the most important written document in your practice, and one of your strongest management tools. A well-written handbook is like a roadmap to success. It provides guidelines and information to help both you and your employees navigate the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of working in an office, in a way that benefits the practice and your patients. It is also the best way to show your commitment to provide your team with an environment where they can learn and grow.

Simply put, an employee handbook is a powerful tool to make running your practice easier.

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Yes! A professionally written employee handbook, kept up-to-date and in compliance with all state and federal laws that apply to you, is the most powerful document in your practice. It’s the go-to resource for you and your employees when it comes to office rules, legal compliance, and what to do in day-to-day workplace situations.

Your employee handbook helps prevent many headaches for your office, before they ever happen. They provide a common resource for everyone, from the office manager to a brand new employee on their first day, to handle many of the day-to-day issues they encounter. With fair rules being applied consistently to everyone, you’ll avoid many of the common dilemmas that occur at so many small practices.

Professionally written employee handbooks also tend to discourage lawsuits from being brought by unscrupulous lawyers. The case against an employer becomes much more difficult when there is an updated and compliant employee handbook in place that it often it’s simply not worth their time, with so many easier targets available.

In the event an employee does bring a claim against your business, whether that claim is justified or not, your employee handbook serves as powerful evidence that your office makes every effort to treat employees fairly. This can mean the difference between winning and losing a case. Even in the worst case scenario, the consequences are likely to be far less severe for a business that can provide evidence of good-faith efforts to follow all applicable employment laws.

So the question is: why wouldn’t you have such a powerful tool at your disposal?

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Self-made or DIY handbooks are very popular with doctors looking to save a few dollars. But just like you wouldn’t recommend that a patient do his own root canal at home to save money, it is just as dangerous to attempt to write your handbook on your own.

The harsh reality is that doctors are 5x more likely to be the target of a complaint from a former or disgruntled employee than a malpractice lawsuit from a patient. And the disgruntled employee does not even need to have a good case in order to get you in trouble. All they need is for their lawyer to find a problematic or illegal policy in your self-written employee handbook.

Writing a handbook requires advanced knowledge of federal, state and even your city’s employment laws, and includes factors such as how many employees you have and what industry you’re in. Plus, these complex laws change so frequently that only an HR expert or an attorney who specializes in employment law has the tools (and the time!) to fully comprehend and keep up with everything.

You went to school to become a doctor, not an employment law attorney. You need someone with specialized knowledge to write your handbook for you so it protects you, not endangers you.

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Using a purchased or free employee handbook template sounds like a good alternative to writing one yourself, but more than 95% of handbook templates available on the Internet contain dangerous omissions, errors, and out-of-date policies that can obliterate your ability to defend a claim, result in hefty fines or settlements, and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

And since hundreds of state and federal employment laws are changed or created during the course of each year, a one-size-fits-all template cannot possibly be kept up to date. (This is even more true in states like California, New York, or some others, where the legal provisions employers must comply with are especially numerous and strict.) How many employees you have, your industry, and your office culture also matter when it comes to what policies and protections you need to have in place.

In order to gain all of the benefits and protections available to healthcare employers, you need to have a customized employee handbook written by HR experts and attorneys who specialize in employment law. Besides, there’s no substitute for working with human beings whose knowledge and understanding you can trust.

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We hear doctors say this all the time: “I asked my brother’s friend’s cousin, who is an attorney, to write my policies for me,” or “My real estate attorney said he could write my handbook.”

But consider this: An attorney’s specialization is just as crucial as a physician’s. Would you let a cardiologist give you a root canal? Your employee handbook should have the same specialized attention.

Not all attorneys are created equal, and unless the attorney specializes in employment law, they simply don’t have the in-depth knowledge to properly write your handbook. In fact, their process would look a lot like yours: Ask colleagues, make educated guesses, and make liberal use of Google.

There IS one important difference between their research and yours: theirs will cost you upwards of $350 an hour! And of course, the next time there’s a law change in your state, you’ll have to pay them again to update the handbook. And the next time. And the next time. If you need guidance on implementing the policies they come up with, there’s likely to be a hefty hourly consultation fee for that as well.

While there is no replacement for direct legal representation when the situation calls for it, CEDR’s services can help prevent most problems from escalating. Between the lawsuit deterrence a well-written employee handbook provides, and the unlimited HR support and guidance offered by our Solution Center, we can alleviate the need to have your employment law attorney on speed dial.

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Many doctors are told by their attorneys or colleagues that having no handbook is better than having one that requires constant updates. Their argument is, with no handbook, you won’t have outdated policies on record every time employment laws change.

In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Your handbook is often the ONLY evidence of your intention to comply with state and federal laws and to treat all of your employees fairly and consistently. It lays out rules that apply to everyone, and shows your commitment to providing employees a safe, fair environment to perform their duties.

In addition, by having no handbook, you also don’t have any of the numerous safe harbor policies available to you as an employer, such as burden shifters or alternative dispute resolution requirements. Remember, most employment laws are written for the benefit of the employee, not the employer. An employee simply has to walk through your door to enjoy all the protections available to him or her. But as an employer, you can only claim yours by putting it in writing.

Finally, why REACT to a problem when you can PREVENT it? An employee handbook can help you prevent, address, and solve most common issues before they can escalate. After all, the easiest lawsuit to overcome is the one that never happens!

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Just like a “one size fits all” business suit will never match the comfort, fit and utility of one tailored for your body, a generic employee handbook is not as effective as one written specifically for your business.

Here’s why:

  • Each state has hundreds of unique employment laws, and they are often more specific, more strict, and more broadly applicable than federal laws. And your handbook must comply with them all.
  • Depending on the number of employees in your office, different laws and protections at both the state and federal levels will apply to you. A company with 5 employees needs different procedures than one with 15, and they have different rules than at 25 employees or 50+.
  • The demands of every medical subfield are unique. Whether you’re a dentist, an orthopedist, or a veterinarian, your employee handbook needs to take into account the recent legal and practical changes happening in your field.
  • Just like a fingerprint, there is no other practice quite like yours in the world. You need something tailored to your office culture and your business’ values and goals to get the greatest benefit from the document.

Combined together, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all solution can’t address all of these areas properly for everyone. Something, somewhere, will be missed. And correctly merging your unique office culture with the policies and protections you need takes legal and HR expertise. That’s what CEDR is for – to make sure you get what you want, while still getting what you need.

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Latest Employment Law Updates


February 12, 2018

California has released its model employee notice for immigration agency inspections. Providing notification to employees within the correct timeframe is one requirement of the new CA immigration enforcement law that went into effect on January 1, 2018.


January 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its guidance regarding unpaid internships. In January 2018, it shifted from the previously used multi-factor test to a more flexible seven-factor test as a way to determine if an internship should be paid or unpaid.

New Jersey

January 31, 2018

New Jersey has expanded its anti-discrimination laws to provide protections and accommodation rights to nursing mothers. This “protected class” status protects employees who are breastfeeding from discrimination and requires employers to make workplace accommodations by allowing reasonable break time to express milk.


February 9, 2018

Washington released new guidance on its break requirements. Non-exempt employees must receive 10-minute paid rest periods that offer a true rest from work activity for each 4 hours worked. The guidance gives examples of what types of intermittent breaks are (and are NOT) acceptable.

New York

January 1, 2018

New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act went into effect on January 1, 2018. This law applies to all private employers in the state of New York, and requires employers to add additional PFL coverage to their short-term disability insurance policy. Employees who meet eligibility requirements can use PFL for job-protected paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with serious health condition, or address family needs when someone is called to active military service. In addition, the state recently released an updated Statement of Employee Rights. This document is a required notice that must be distributed to employees who request or inquire about PFL. The notice must also be distributed to an employee who takes time off for a qualifying PFL purpose, even if the employee has not directly requested leave time.


January 1, 2018

The IRS has released new mileage reimbursement rates used for calculating deductible costs of operating vehicles for business purposes. As of January 1, 2018, the rate increases to 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven. Employers who reimburse employees for business travel mileage, either voluntarily or as required by state law, should take note of this rate increase and utilize it going forward.


January 1, 2018

California passed Assembly Bill No. 168, which prevents employers from asking applicants about salary history. The law applies to all employers, regardless of size.


January 1, 2018

All employers in Washington state will be required to provide paid sick leave to their non-exempt employees. Employees need to accrue sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per 40 hours worked, and employers must permit employees to use any of the paid sick leave they accumulate throughout the year.


January 1, 2018

Nevada employers must permit employees to take unpaid time off for reasons related to being a victim of domestic violence. Employers are also required to display a poster that informs employees of their rights.


January 1, 2018

California employers are subject to yet another leave of absence requirement, officially titled the “New Parent Leave Act,” but also commonly known as “Baby Bonding Leave.” Under the New Parent Leave Act, employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child. It applies to employers who have 20 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.


January 1, 2018

California has passed a law restricting an employer’s ability to request information about an applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The law applies to all employers with five (5) or more employees.


January 1, 2018

Minnesota employers are reminded that the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota enacted a paid sick leave ordinance that went into effect on July 1, 2017. All employers with more than 23 employees had to comply with the sick leave law by July 1, 2017, while smaller employers were given until January 1, 2018 to comply.


January 1, 2018

Employers in the City of San Francisco, California are subject to new strict requirements for accommodating lactation in the workplace. When an employee requests a space to express milk, employers must respond to the request within five (5) business days, and maintain records of the request and accommodation process for at least three (3) years. The space that is provided cannot be a bathroom, but it can be a space that is used for other purposes. However, San Francisco employers must make clear to employees that if it is a shared space, lactation breaks take a priority over other uses of the room.

New York

December 6, 2017

Albany County, New York passed a law preventing employers from asking applicants about salary history. The law applies to all employers in Albany County who employ four (4) or more employees.

New York

October 31, 2017

New York City law will prevent employers from seeking out salary history about applicants during the hiring process. This includes a prohibition on asking an applicant’s current or prior employer about their pay rates. The law does not prevent applicants from volunteering salary history, as long as that information is disclosed without any prompting by the employer.

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