Free Employee Handbook

An Employee Handbook is a written booklet outlining the duties of the and responsibilities of an employee towards the company.

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When someone is first hired at a new job, getting acquainted with how things work takes a little time, to make that process a bit smoother, companies often choose to create an Employee Handbook.

This is not a legal document of any kind but is a useful tool for both the employer and employee. Without knowing the established culture within the company, they're more likely to make a mistake.

Similarly, the employer uses the Employee Handbook to provide specific legal protections and lawsuits.

What Is an Employee Handbook?

An Employee Handbook is not a typical corporate document. It's a manual, and as such, it's much longer than your average document. If a company decides to need an Employee Handbook, they'll need HR help to write it.

The handbook requires a great deal of information, so taking the time to do it right is essential. A company's Employee Handbook has to provide all the necessary information to any new employee joining the company.

If possible, there should be no ambiguity or any invitation for further questions. Beyond that, the Employee Handbook represents the company's foundation and a window to how things work daily.

Other Names for Employee Handbook

Depending on your state, an Employee Handbook may also be known as:

  • Employee Field Guide
  • Staff Manual
  • Employee Manual
  • Employee Booklet
  • HR Manual
  • Human Resources Handbook

Who Needs an Employee Handbook?

While there are no set rules, it's recommended that every company with more than five employees have an Employee Handbook, including family businesses. This is so everyone has a clear understanding of what's expected of them and what they will be getting in return.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for Your Employee Handbook?

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Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Employee Handbook.

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All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create an Employee Handbook with 360 Legal Forms

Creating an Employee Handbook can be a confusing task. You want to make things as straightforward as possible for the sake of your employees and your company. That's why having a template can be so immensely helpful.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Employee Handbook?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Company details: The legal name of the company, address, and governing law.
  • Disclaimer: A short explanation that an Employee Handbook is not an Employment contract.
  • Employment policies: An outline of the relevant federal employment laws regarding payments.
  • Payroll information: The company policy regarding payroll per the law and the schedule.
  • Benefits information: Detail benefits offered like 401K, expense reimbursement, or work perks.
  • Vacation information: Details any state-mandated leaves, paid vacations, sick leave, and military leave.
  • Discrimination policies: Details the company policy regarding discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Drug Testing Policy: Details whether the company tests its employees for drug use and what happens if they fail the test.
  • Other policies: Any other relevant policies, such as separation policy, dress code, hygiene, discipline, office romance, or conflict of interest.

Employee Handbook Terms

  • Disclaimer: A statement that the company won't be responsible for inaccuracies in the handbook.
  • Non-Compete clause: One party agrees not to compete professionally with the other.
  • Non-disclosure clause: In this case, the employee cannot take sensitive information related to work outside the company.
  • Privacy Policy: Company's internal rules regarding privacy practices.
  • Dress Code: Established regulations about what the employees should and shouldn't wear to work.
  • Shareholder: A person or entity owning shares in a company.
  • Board of Directors: A group of people appointed to manage and oversee a company on behalf of its shareholders.

Employee Handbook Signing Requirements

The Employee Handbook doesn't require any signature, and it comes directly from within the company's HR department. It should contain the company's logo and corporate seal as applicable. Also, since it's not a legal document, you don't need a notary public or a witness to make it official.

What to Do with Your Employee Handbook?

When a new employee joins the company, they are usually provided with a copy of the Employee Handbook. Some companies may also require new employees to sign and acknowledge having read the Employee Handbook. However, an employee can decline to sign the handbook, which may be noted in the HR department.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main difference between the two is the intended audience. The Employee Handbook is written for the company's employees to inform them of the basic policies. On the other hand, the Company Policy Manual is written for the managers and supervisors. It’s usually a more detailed manual that contains information on how to implement certain policies. The Company Policy Manual may have federal and state law references related to any listed policy.

The corporate culture is the overall values and governing style of a company. There is more than one type of corporate culture. For example, the team first culture focuses on cooperation, communication, and open feedback. The horizontal culture is more common in smaller companies that have a looser idea of hierarchy. Also, the conventional corporate culture corresponds to a firm hierarchy and is commonly observed in banks and law firms.

The most important differentiation is that the Employment Contract is a legally binding document. Another crucial difference is that the Employment Contract is unique to every employee and the handbook applies to everyone the same. However, the Employment Contract will not contain all the guidelines and policies mentioned in the handbook. The employer can update the Employee Handbook without previously discussing it with employees but needs to send out the revised version.

Some companies choose to include a mission statement and vision statement in the Employee Handbook. A mission statement explains why the company came into being in the first place and its general purpose and goals. A vision statement is a mental image of how the company intends to accomplish those goals. It's a more strategic outline of what employees can expect while working in a company.

Like the mission and vision statements, the value proposition is often a part of the Employee Handbook. The main purpose is to act as a sort of moral compass for the employees. It's also an internal leadership framework that depicts the code of ethics expected of all employees in the company.

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Applicable to all 50 states
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