The Importance of Having an Employee Handbook
  • Post last modified:October 23, 2020
  • Post category:IC/ISP Contractors

At the Paradiso Insurance and Parcel Safety Program, we believe that through proper safety education and best practices, we can reduce claims and keep premiums low. Over the years we have attended numerous conferences on EPLI (employment practices liability insurance), and the major takeaway from all of these events is the importance of an employee handbook. Employee handbooks are essential for any organization because they set proper expectations and guidelines for your employees and can protect you as the employer.

Why You Need An Employee Handbook

Having an employee handbook in place allows you to set a specific set of guidelines for the employees within your organization. You can set rules on professionalism, deadlines, dress codes, organization procedures, and much more within an employee handbook. The first step you want to take when building your employee handbook is to consult your state’s employment laws to ensure that your handbook and its content comply with state regulations.  It’s imperative that you include a disclaimer, introduction, equal employment opportunity section, attendance policy, non-harassment policy, and fraternization policy, just to cover the basics. You can also include any additional policies you’d like, but make sure they are non-discriminatory and we always recommend having an attorney review your handbook prior to distributing it amongst your team. 

Handbook

Distribution Of Your Handbook

It’s important to require employees to indicate that they’ve received, read, and agree to the policies and procedures that you have dictated within your company handbook by requiring them to sign a document stating this. This way, if they were to break any of the rules or policies outlined in your handbook, you have it documented in writing that they agreed to comply with your company’s guidelines. As we’ve heard, this will help you avoid suffering a follow-up “wrongful termination” trial or having to face any legal liabilities, because if an employee signed a handbook and distinctly went against its policy, it is considered an “at-will” termination, and therefore legal. If an employee refuses to sign your handbook, you may choose to handle that however you wish, but it’s important to understand that you could willfully terminate an employee in that situation if you feel they could be a threat to your organization.

The Takeaway

If you create a handbook with an efficient and clear set of guidelines and require a signature from each of your employees, you will help solidify the safety of your company. But it’s important to remember that not everyone is perfect and mistakes can still happen. That’s why it’s critical to also ensure that you have the proper protection in place in the form of EPLI or Employment Practice Liability Insurance, to protect you in the event that an employee sues your company.

At Paradiso Insurance, it’s our goal to provide our customers with the knowledge they need to run their business as efficiently and safely as possible. For more information or to explore your EPLI options, call our office today at 860-453-0116 or send us a message here and one of our licensed parcel delivery specialists will be happy to assist you.