In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed the basic steps all employers should follow when bringing a new hire aboard. Those basic steps included:
- Draft a formal offer letter.
- Consider a formal employment agreement that includes confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses.
- Consider running a background check, with the employee’s authorization.
- Deliver all necessary new hire paperwork that should be completed prior to the employee’s first day.
- New hire paperwork should include the most up to date version of the following forms:
- Federal I-9 for employment eligibility
- Federal W4 for federal income tax
- State / Local Income Tax form for those states with income tax requirements
- Direct Deposit Form to electronically deliver net wages and eliminate paper checks
- Benefits Enrollment Forms specific to your organization’s available benefits
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This is all information that the employee needs to provide to their employer. What do you need to provide to them?
Every company should have an employee handbook that clearly defines the company’s policies and procedures. Without such documentation, managing employee performance and expectations can be difficult. HR loves the word “compliance” and unless you have written policies, you don’t have anything for your employees to comply to.
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Let’s say you have an employee that takes two hour lunches every day. Do you have a policy that details what the allowed lunch break is? If not, how can you tell the employee they can’t take a two hour lunch?
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Every employee handbook should be specific to the company and its needs while ensuring compliance (there’s that word again!) with local, state, and federal laws. All handbooks should contain some basic policies including:
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statement of compliance with non-discrimination against protected classes
- Anti-harassment policy
- At-Will employment
- Leaves of Absence
- Workplace safety
- Security – both physical and electronic
- Disciplinary action
- Hours / Overtime
- Standards of conduct
- Meal breaks (to avoid those two hour lunches!)
- Paid time off
There are no laws either requiring or governing employee handbooks, but it’s definitely a best practice to have one. They should also be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure continued compliance with ever-changing HR laws and guidelines. You should also make sure to obtain written acknowledgment of receipt from every employee so no one can say “I didn’t know!”
SmartBooks can help update or draft your employee handbook as part of our HR Services. Please inquire with your accountant or client service manager if you have questions.