Basic Training: Making the Most of Free Employee Handbooks

Posted on July 31, 2019 in Employee Issues

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Q: I’ve found various sites that have templates for employee handbooks, including one at Business.gov.  Am I putting myself at any risk by using this as the basis of my employee handbook?  What sorts of legal issues should I take into consideration before using any employee handbook in my business?

A: Templates are great as a place to start and a way to identify some of the issues you need to know.  But, like downloading anything else from the internet, it’s hard to know what’s in the template that could hurt you . . . and what’s not in there that could help you.  Also, because templates are, by their nature, somewhat “vanilla” forms, there may be quirks in the local laws of your state, special circumstances in your business or recent laws that have been passed that may not be included.

After you read through the template (or different templates, to get a sense of the issues you want to make sure you cover with your employees), your best next step would be to have the document reviewed by a local attorney to make sure that everything is covered properly.

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