Dear Reworker: What Belongs in the Employee Handbook?

My company has an Employee Manual stating company policies on vacation, sick time, tardiness, overtime, absences, conduct, appearance, drug testing, etc. We do not, however, spell out company policy regarding the day-to-day operation of our business.

We would like to start issuing written warnings to employees that violate operational policies by being rude to customers, charging items to customers with bad credit, not returning items to vendors in a timely manner and breaking other rules. Can we issue written warnings to employees that violate policies not included in the manual, or does every policy have to be spelled out before we reprimand our employees?

To read the answer, click here: Dear Reworker: What Belongs in the Employee Handbook?

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5 thoughts on “Dear Reworker: What Belongs in the Employee Handbook?

  1. Interesting comment about “status” of an employee after that “probationary period”. I had to comment on that specific item as I have seen drastic changes in employee performance and availability after that probationary period from doing proper performance and open availability to barely meeting the performance and availability because they feel that they no longer can get fired, not releasing than even in a “union” situation job, they can be fired “at will”. This comment by EvilHR lady gives the employer a better way to keep performance and availability at the peak level as expected at hire. It also emphasizes to workers that some “so-called” rights aren’t there because of lack of labor laws for that right. Unfortunately right to work law prevails unless otherwise stated by a law.

    1. I have worked on jobs where the union had so much power that you could no longer be fired at will, but only for reasons specified in the handbook. That’s unusual, but it does happen.

      1. Unions often involve contracts, which are . . . contracts, and override the “at will” default.

        In places, like certain very large school districts, it’s so hard to fire people the district just puts the bad teachers in a separate room with nothing to do. It costs less to pay them until they retire than it would to go through the union process to fire them. But that’s about as extreme an example as you’ll ever find.

  2. One of the most important attributes of any successful business is a relationship built on trust between the employer and the employee. One very important tool to communicate and establish this relationship is through an employee handbook. It is the employee handbook that creates company policies, procedures, and expectations that serve to avoid potential conflicts and misunderstandings. Additionally, a well-written handbook establishes a structured work environment that builds company loyalty.

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