Outline of an Employee Handbook

"If you take the time to consolidate your personnel policies in a thoughtfully crafted handbook, you will do a better job of making sure your employees know the rules and what is expected of them, and your supervisors will do a better job of keeping you out of trouble..."

So states this article by Sidney F. Lewis V (pdf)that suggests considering the inclusion of the appropriate provisions in the following areas:

"A. EEO Statement
B. Pre-Hire Information
C. Orientation/Probation Period
D. Access To Personnel Files
E. Exempt/Non-Exempt Status
F. Incentive Bonuses
G. Vacation Policy
H. Holidays
I. Health Insurance Information
J. Sick Leave
K. Family and Medical Leave of Absence
L. Other Leaves of Absence
M. Maternity Leave
N. Military Leave
O. Jury Duty Leave
P. Funeral Leave
Q. Sexual and Other Types of Harassment Policy
R. No Solicitation Policy
S. Union Free Statement
T. Performance Evaluations
U. Discipline Policy
V. Attendance Policy
W. Internet Access/E-mail/Voice Mail Policy
X. Workplace Violence Policy
Y. Dress Code Policy
Z. Drug Testing Policy
AA. Open Door Policy
BB. Reimbursement for Uniforms, Equipment, etc.
CC. Handbook Disclaimer
This is an important provision. In the disclaimer you should indicate that the individual’s employment is at will and that the handbook does not constitute a contract of employment. Employers should also indicate that no one has the authority to create a contract of employment other than a specified individual. While it is not a good practice to deviate from the provisions in an employee handbook, you want to make it clear that management has that right, in its discretion, to deviate from the handbook at any time and take any action deemed appropriate.
DD. Signature Page
The signature page on the employee handbook is extremely important. It should be removed from the handbook and placed in the personnel file. Handbook disclaimer language discussed above should be contained in the signature page. It may be preferable to have such strong language removed from the handbook and placed in the personnel file."