We’ve been having far too much fun lately creating “top ten” lists. Here’s a countdown of 10 good policies you SHOULD have in your Employee Handbook.
Having correctly worded policies on all of these issues can go a long way towards making your management stronger. Just as importantly, expert-written and legally compliant policies are some of your best ways to protect yourself against the issues that often lead to conflict, disputes, and even legal claims against you.
Please Note: These are *general* policy summaries, without any necessary details specific to your state, industry, or number of employees. As such, they are NOT intended to be used as-is in your handbook. Please contact CEDR on how to apply these policies to your handbook.
CEDR’s Essential Policy Countdown: 10 Good Policies Your Employee Handbook SHOULD Include
10. Verification of licenses – If an employee has to maintain a license/certification, they are required to do so at their own expense, and to provide proof of their renewal to the employer. Failure to provide proof and/or to renew is cause for termination.
9. Employee Concern Reporting policy – A procedure for employees to report any concerns to management. Tells them who to report the concerns to, and a generalized step by step process of how the matter will be looked into and resolved.
8. Leave of absence – Employers need to have a straightforward policy defining a set amount of time that employees can request as a leave of absence, and indicating that reasonable extensions may be granted based on medical need.
7. Time off benefits – Who is eligible, when do they become eligible, how much paid time off is available, how is it accrued, how do they request to use it, what happens to unused time at the end of the year, what happens to unused time at separation of employment.
6. Holiday pay – Eligibility criteria to get holiday pay (length of employment, classification as full time), when holiday pay is issued (if holiday pay is issued when holidays fall on weekends), and how much pay is issued.
5. Progressive Corrective Coaching – Employees need to know they may be subject to disciplinary action that may come in various forms, but also aware that there is no promise of a set number of warnings before termination.
4. Anti-retaliation – Employees will not be retaliated against (disciplined, terminated, demoted, etc.) as a result of bringing complaints/concerns/requests to management regarding harassment, discrimination, medical accommodations, work injuries, workplace hazards, working conditions, being paid improperly, etc.
3. Accommodation of disabilities – Not only does the employer not discriminate against employees with medical conditions/disabilities, but they will also consider providing reasonable accommodations that will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job.
2. Anti-harassment, anti-discrimination – Put employees on notice that neither harassment nor discrimination of other employees is permitted in the office. Identify protected classes. Give examples of what harassment is. Reports will be investigated. Reporter and witnesses will not be retaliated against.
…and, last but NOT least (drumroll, please!)…
1. At will employment – Inform employees that they are employed on an at-will basis, and explain what that means. This can only be modified if a separate written agreement is signed by an owner – but a statement about this has to be carefully crafted to comply with NLRA concerns so it doesn’t suggest that a union cannot be formed. This helps clarify that the handbook is not a contract.
So how did you do? Are you missing some of these important policies?
If you’re a healthcare practice owner or manager and you’d like to ask further questions about any of these, give CEDR’s HR Advisors a call at 866-414-6056, or email email@example.com. Currently, we’re even offering a free evaluation of your employee handbook (a $299 value!), in case you’d like help determining if you’ve got protection or policy problems.
And whatever you do and whichever trusted experts you consult, PLEASE make sure your practice is compliant in all of these critical areas. You only stand to gain!
Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.