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What's the Deal with Employee Handbooks?

Does your business need an Employee Handbook?

No matter the size of your business, an employee handbook is essential. Employee handbooks define company policies and list procedures for addressing employee questions and issues. They also reference relevant federal and state employment laws your employees need to be aware of. Defining your businesses policies and procedures up-front will help your business run more smoothly and prevent conflicts down the line.

Does the law require your business to have an Employee Handbook?

Not in Wisconsin. However, the best way to demonstrate that your business is complying with relevant federal and state employment laws and regulations is to include them in an employee handbook. Your handbook details your workplace’s rules and policies, as well as employment laws and procedures every employee should follow. Work policies and expectations take on more importance and are more likely to be followed when you document them in an official handbook. Verbal communication of company policies carries no effective proof that you made your employees aware of the rules in the first place. This leaves you open to potential enforcement and legal problems later.

How often should you update your Employee Handbook?

In a perfect world, you should review, and consider updating, your employee handbook any time that a relevant state or federal law changes. For example, when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed in 2020, many businesses’ internal policies were affected, including FMLA and Sick Pay, as well as, remote working policies. If it’s not possible to review and update your employee handbook as laws change, business owners should, at a minimum, review and update their handbook annually. Employment law is constantly changing and staying on top of these changes in your employee handbook protects both your business and your employees.

The New Arena, Co. can review your existing Employee Handbook and propose/implement changes to ensure compliance with relevant state and federal employment laws. We are also skilled at assisting you with developing internal policies or procedures to make the employment culture of your business a competitive and sustainable one.

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