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)

___ 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

___ 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

Our fully updated HR Management & Compliance Report the California Employee Handbook Template includes 101 vital policies—written specifically for employers in California—including:

  • 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
  • Bereavement Leave
  • COBRA Coverage for Health Insurance
  • And 79 more!

Click here for a full Table of Contents.

All of the policies are fully editable and customizable—when you order, you’ll get a link to editable Word versions of all 101 policies.

All of the policies in the California Employee Handbook Template have been drafted by an experienced California employment lawyer. Plus, we’ve provided practical information for every single policy on:

  • Which employers the policy applies to
  • Which employees the policy applies to
  • Whether the policy is required or optional
  • Special considerations

It’s like having a California employment lawyer on call, working on your handbook 24/7, at a fraction of the cost!

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