Now more than ever, businesses need policies and procedure manuals, also known as employee handbooks, to govern the workplace. These manuals protect the employer in many ways by laying out the expectations and duties of its employees. Adopting a handbook can help minimize the risk of a lawsuit from a current or former disgruntled employee.
If you have not adopted a manual, or you haven’t updated it lately, speak with a Houston business attorney. The Oracle Legal Group is here to serve you and your company’s best interests.
Why Have an Employee Handbook?
In two words: managing expectations. A well-drafted, comprehensive policies and procedures manual informs workers what to expect from their employer. This can help protect the business from unfounded allegations of misconduct.
For instance, by defining employee benefits and when they vest, the company can avoid complaints of unjustly withholding said benefits. It’s much harder for an employee to claim he or she is owed something when a handbook flatly contradicts it.
These manuals consist not just of policies but also procedures. When a business details how certain internal matters will be handled, it’s more difficult to allege discriminatory conduct. Take performance reviews, for instance. A handbook can dictate how exactly these reviews will be undertaken.
The employee’s job expectations will be defined, periodic reviews set up, and a procedure for evaluating the employee established. As long as the employer enforces these procedures, there’s little room for employees to claim illegal or unfair business practices.
What Do Policies and Procedures Manuals Attempt to Accomplish?
Considering the above, these are a few objectives of drafting an employee handbook:
- Avoid or reduce the likelihood of harassment claims.
- Avoid or reduce the likelihood of discrimination lawsuits.
- Set clear procedures for handling a variety of internal issues, such as performance reviews.
- Define conflicts of interest and how they will be addressed.
- Reduce workplace conflicts among employees by setting rules of behavior and conduct.
- Define compensation, benefits, bonuses, insurance, vacation and sick days, etc.
- Protect the company’s trade secrets and other confidential information from being divulged.
- Establish workplace conflict resolution methods.
- Promote workplace safety and security.
There are many other ways these manuals can protect your business’s legal rights and interests. Ask a Houston business lawyer for more information.
How Our Law Firm Can Help Your Organization
When a client retains us to assist with their employee manuals, we get to work reviewing their internal operations. That means taking a look generally at how the company is run and identifying legal risks. It also includes examining existing policies to see how they can be strengthened. We draft these manuals with an eye toward being comprehensive and compliant with relevant business laws and regulations.
Finally, we can help you update an old manual that has not been revised in a while. This is critical because laws and regulations are constantly changing and your policies and procedures must keep up. It’s our job to understand how and when business rules change. We can therefore apply our knowledge and experience to help modify your handbook.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Houston Business Law Attorneys
Don’t allow your business to be left vulnerable to needless legal risks and potential lawsuits. Talk to the Oracle Legal Group about how a policies and procedures handbook can help. We can also advise on other ways to reduce the chances of adverse legal action taken against your company. Give us a call today.