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Dear Workforce What Should Go in an Employee Handbook?

A list of some of the policies and sections you'll want to include.
August 13, 2000
Related Topics: Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce
Dear Workforce:
I am beginning to write the employee handbook for a company of about 60 employees. Do you have any suggestions on the essential contents of this book?

--Tamara Tilton, HR Coordinator at Windsor Financial Mortgage Corporation
A Dear Tamara:

Here are some of the items you'll want to consider including in your handbook, which you may want to put on the intranet as well. This is not an exhaustive list, nor should it be considered legal advice. Run your handbook by an attorney.
--For example, you can refer later in the book to your long company name as just "the company." Or to the handbook as just "the handbook."
--Also, some information on how the handbook will be updated, (such as on the intranet), and that the handbook is subject to revision.
--Equal Opportunity Policy
--Explanation of hiring procedures
--Explanation of orientation
--Probationary period explanation, if relevant
--Info on what's in people's personnel files
--Hours, overtime, attendance, absenteeism policies
--Payroll policies
--Performance management policies
--Grievance/discipline/arbitration clause
--Dress code
--Phone calls, e-mail policy, Web policy
--Harassment policy
--Confidentiality of company information
--Telecommuting policy, if applicable
--Solicitation policy
--Drug policy
--Smoking policy
--Other conduct
--Reporting problems, conditions
--OSHA requirements, industry-specific policies
--Sick days
--Other leave, sabbaticals
--Unpaid leave
--Health insurance
--Life insurance
--Workers' comp
--Expense reimbursement
--Tuition reimbursement, training
--Volunteerism, gift matching
You can get some policies at under Policies and Procedures on the right. We keep adding new ones.
SOURCE: Todd Raphael, Online Editor for Workforce, and others at Workforce.
E-mail your Dear Workforce questions to Online Editor Todd Raphael at, along with your name, title, organization and location. Unless you state otherwise, your identifying info may be used on and in Workforce magazine. We can't guarantee we'll be able to answer every question.

 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

If you have any questions or concerns about, please email or call 312-676-9900.

The Workforce fax number is 312-676-9901.

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