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 Their argument is, with no handbook, you won’t have outdated policies on record every time employment laws change.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 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 protective policies that are available to you as an employer. These are important because most employment laws are written for the benefit of the employee, not the employer. But with the right language, some responsibility can be transferred back to the employee to let you know of issues or problems in your practice.
Finally, why REACT to a problem when you can PREVENT it? An employee handbook, together with other tools like a separate Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy, 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!