HR Management & Compliance

Check Over This Employee Handbook Checklist

Yesterday, attorney Marc Jacuzzi laid out pitfalls in employee handbook writing, and the challenges handbooks and at-will statements may face. Jacuzzi is a shareholder at Simpson, Garrity, Innes & Jacuzzi, P.C., in South San Francisco. Today, Jacuzzi offers his detailed handbook checklist―compare it against your handbook to see how you stack up.

Introductory Statements
___ Statement welcoming employees
___ Statement of employer’s right to amend handbook and benefits
___ Employees covered by handbook
___ History of the organization
___ Discussion of products and services
___ Company philosophy

Recruiting and Hiring
___ Equal employment opportunity commitment
___ Affirmative action (ONLY where applicable)
___ Prohibition against discrimination
___ Hiring and employment of relatives/persons
       with relationships with employees
___ Posting policies
___ Promotions, transfers, reassignments

Organization and Structure
___ Locations
___ Organizational hierarchy―org chart
___ Personnel/HR department

Training and Orientation
___ Application and interview process
___ Hiring and selection process
___ Introductory period (do not say "probationary period") 
___ Preemployment post-offer examinations
___ Preemployment post-offer alcohol/drug screen
___ Injury and illness prevention
___ Trade secrets and confidential information
___ Job description
___ Eligibility to work in the United States

Employee Classifications—Categories of Employment
___ Regular
___ Full-time
___ Part-time
___ Temporary
___ Seasonal
___ Per-diem
___ On-call (stand-by)
___ Exempt
___ Nonexempt


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Compensation, Meal Periods, and Rest Periods
___ Wages and salaries
___ Paydays
___ Place of wage payments
___ Pay period
___ Business hours
___ Work schedule
___ Overtime
___ Definition of workweek
___ Alternative workweeks
___ Make-up time
___ Rest periods
___ Meal periods
___ Meal period waiver―on-duty meal period
___ Other wages (tips, meal or lodging credits, gratuities)

Benefits
___ Introduction to benefits section
___ Disclaimer addressing conflicts between brief handbook 
       summaries and official plan documents
___ General description of benefits for eligible employees
___ Vacation
___ Holiday
___ Sick
___ Paid time off
___ Health insurance
___ Dental
___ Optical
___ COBRA continuation coverage
___ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
___ Accident and disability benefits
___ Life insurance
___ Pension, profit sharing (401k, ESOP, etc.)
___ Cafeteria plan benefits under IRS Code §125
___ Deferred compensation plans
___ Stock options
___ Employee discounts
___ Education assistance

Other Leaves of Absence
___ Other medical (family medical leave or not)
___ Pregnancy-related disabilities
___ Work-related disabilities
___ Family care*
___ Drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation
___ Other personal leave
___ Education
___ Military
___ Family military leave*
___ Bereavement
___ Jury duty
___ Volunteer firefighter*
___ Literacy education*
___ Time off for voting*
___ Time off for parents to visit child’s school*
___ Time off for parent to participate in school or day care activities*
___ Time off to appear as witness*
___ Time off for domestic violence victims*

*State-specific leave rights―make sure you know the applicable rights in all states in which you do business.

Standards of Performance
___ Performance expectations
___ Examples of unacceptable conduct or behavior
___ Examples of type of discipline
___ Absenteeism
___ Dress or appearance requirements
___ Rules regarding solicitation and distribution
___ Firearms and weapons
___ Communication skills (including languages)
___ Outside employment
___ Confidential information/trade secrets
___ Employee expectation of privacy
___ Inspection of desk, lockers, tool boxes, etc.
___ Smoking rules

Dispute Resolution Policies
___ Open door policy

Time Cards/Timekeeping
___ Use of time-clocks
___ "Punching in" practice
___ Correction of mistake in notations or punches
___ Timecards are employer’s property
___ Unauthorized destruction, use, or removal of cards
___ Falsification of information on time cards
___ Punching or recording on another employee’s card
___ Recording meal periods
___ Shifts

Termination Procedures
___ Advance notice resignation
___ Notice of involuntary termination
___ Severance or other exit benefits
___ Return of company property
___ COBRA continuation coverage―update for ARRA
___ Final paycheck
___ References―letters of reference or recommendation

Safety
___ IIPP
___ Commitment to safety statement
___ Disaster plan
___ Fire prevention
___ Reporting unsafe conditions
___ Emergency medical treatment
___ Good housekeeping
___ General security―locking doors, etc.
___ Saving energy

Personnel Records
___ Contents
___ Property of employer
___ Confidentiality of medical records
___ Inspection of personnel file
___ Copy of personnel file
___ Copy of payroll records


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Drug/Alcohol Policies
___ Separate policy

Miscellaneous Policies and Provisions
___ Lockers
___ Supplies
___ Conference rooms
___ Business cards, stationery
___ Suggestion boxes
___ Duplicating services
___ Communications with the press or media
___ Newsletters or intranet
___ Parking
___ Concluding statements

Employee Acknowledgment

Be sure employees acknowledge receipt of the handbook.
All The California-Specific Employee Handbook Policies You Need

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  • At-Will Employment
  • Employee Classifications
  • Social Media Code of Conduct
  • Right to Observe Employees
  • Voice Mail, Email, Electronic and Computer Files, and Usage
  • Appearance and Courtesy; Uniforms
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Harassment Prohibited
  • Retaliation Prohibited
  • Bullying Prohibited
  • Accommodation of Disabilities
  • Zero Tolerance for Drugs or Alcohol in the Workplace
  • Terminations
  • Final Pay
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Rest Periods
  • Meal Periods—fully updated to reflect the California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker!
  • Overtime Pay, Authorization, and Mandatory Overtime
  • Payroll Deductions
  • Travel Time Pay
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Click here for a full Table of Contents.

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