Not all companies have an employee handbook. You’re not obligated to give workers documentation that they can refer to when learning the ropes or asking questions about the processes used in a new job. However, if you’re considering it, there are some major benefits to keep in mind.
One is that you may be able to avoid litigation or win a case if it does arise. The handbook helps to eliminate miscommunication. Plus, if an employee claims they didn’t know something, it at least gives you a document to point to as you indicate what they should have known.
For instance, perhaps you tell all employees that they get two warnings before getting fired. It’s a three-strikes rule. You don’t have to offer this under at-will employment laws, but you do it anyway to give the employees you hire more security.
However, the handbook notes that any evidence of racial discrimination or harassment on the job will be grounds for immediate dismissal that is not subject to the three-strikes rules. That’s how important it is to you and your company culture.
If you hear a worker use a racial slur and fire them on the spot, they may threaten to sue you for wrongful termination since they did not get a warning. Your employee handbook now becomes tremendously important as you work to defend your decision.
This is just one example, but it helps to show how these handbooks can be used to define workers’ rights, to protect the company and to help things go smoothly. If you do find yourself facing litigation, be sure you know what steps to take to protect your business and personal interests.