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Federal & State Employee Handbook Builder

The employee handbook is one of the most important communication tools between an employer and its employees. Not only does it set forth the employer's expectations for its employees, but it also describes what they can expect from the employer. Regardless of size, all employers should consider creating an employee handbook to make their policies accessible to employees.


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The Federal & State Employee Handbook Builder will guide you through the process of creating and managing a federal- and state-compliant employee handbook.


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Employee Handbook Guide

An employee handbook is an important tool you can use to effectively communicate information regarding your organization's policies, practices, and employee benefits. A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your organization.

Duration : 03:06



Employee Handbooks - Part 1

The employee handbook is an essential tool for onboarding a new employee. With all the paperwork involved in employee orientation, it might be tempting to give the employee handbook short shrift. But don’t do it. Your handbook is one of your first official communications to your new employee, and it should be up-to-date, detailed, and well written.

Duration : 03:58


Employee Handbooks - Part 2

This video addresses the importance of including policies on workplace security, employee benefits, leave, and more in your employee handbook.

Duration : 05:02




Click to download Data Collection Booklet


The Data Collection Booklet is a downloadable Word document that enables you to collect and record the information required to generate an employee handbook using the Federal & State Employee Handbook Builder.


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Employee Handbook Guide

An employee handbook is an important tool you can use to effectively communicate information regarding your company's policies, practices, and employee benefits. A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees and describes what they can expect from your company.

While the policies outlined in your handbook will reflect your company's own unique culture, it is important to consider federal, state, and local laws and regulations that may affect your business when drafting your employee handbook. You may want to create multiple handbooks if you have both exempt and non-exempt employees and/or unionized employees. The employee handbook is the single most important internal document that lays out the policies of your company to each and every one of your employees. As such, it is important to have employment counsel review the handbook before you distribute it.

The following are topics you should consider including in your employee handbook.

Welcome and Introduction to Your Company

The employee handbook provides an opportunity for you to warmly welcome new employees and set the tone for the company's work environment. You may want to consider adding a sincere note from your President or CEO, along with a mission statement that sets out the company's purpose and view of itself. The goal of this introduction is to provide the employee with a reasonably good understanding of the company's culture and a feel for what it is like to work there.

General Employment Information

Your employee handbook should include an overview of your business and general employment policies relating to employment eligibility, job classifications, employee referrals, employee records, job postings, termination and resignation procedures, transfer and relocation procedures, and union information, if applicable.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

As an employer, you must comply with laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your employee handbook should include a section about these laws, and how your employees are expected to comply. This section is also a good place to set out your sexual harassment policy, any affirmative action policies, and a statement of your compliance with all employment discrimination and related legal requirements.


You should clearly explain to your employees that your company will make necessary deductions for federal and state taxes, as well as voluntary deductions for employee benefits. In addition, you may outline your company's legal obligations regarding overtime pay, pay schedules, performance reviews, salary increases, timekeeping, breaks, and bonus compensation.

Work Schedules

Describe your company's policies regarding work hours and schedules, attendance, punctuality, and reporting absences, along with guidelines for flexible schedules and telecommuting, if offered.

Standards of Conduct

Make sure you document your expectations of how you want employees to conduct themselves in your workplace, from dress code to ethics. In addition, it is important to remind your employees of any legal obligations they may need to comply with on the job (for example, your company's legal obligations to protect customer data).

It is also appropriate in this section to describe your company's disciplinary policy (if any) and other standards related to employee discipline.

Safety and Security

This section should describe your company's policy for creating a safe and secure workplace, including compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's laws that require employees to report all accidents, injuries, potential safety hazards, safety suggestions, and health and safety-related issues to management. Safety policies should also include your company's policy regarding bad weather and hazardous community conditions. Finally, add your commitment to creating a secure work environment, and your employees' responsibilities for abiding by all physical and information security policies, such as locking file cabinets or computers when they aren't in use.

Computers and Technology

Computers and communication technology are essential tools for conducting business, but employee misuse can have serious consequences for your company. Therefore, your employee handbook should outline policies for appropriate computer and software use, and steps employees should take to secure electronic information, especially if that includes personal identifiable information you collect from your customers or clients.

Employee Benefits

In your handbook, you should include details on your company's benefit programs and eligibility requirements, including all benefits that may be required by law, such as disability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and COBRA. Alternatively, you may wish to set out the details in an appendix to the handbook and/or a separate booklet.

The employee benefits section should also outline your plans for health insurance options, retirement, employee assistance, tuition reimbursement, business travel, and any other benefits your business provides to attract and retain employees.

Note that separate legal documents (such as a summary plan description [SPD]) may also be required for employee benefit plans.

Leave Policies

Your company's leave policies should be carefully documented, especially those you are required to provide by law. Family and medical leave, jury duty leave, military leave, and voting leave should all be documented to comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. In addition, you should explain your policies for vacation, holiday, bereavement, and sick leave.

Essential Provisions

If your employees are to be employed "at-will," you should clearly state that fact and include a conspicuous disclaimer in the front of the handbook that specifically states that the handbook is not an employment contract and should not be construed as a contract. You will also want to include in the handbook a written acknowledgement by the employee that he or she has received and read the handbook, to be signed and placed in the employee's personnel file.

If you have any questions as to your legal obligations as an employer, or the rights of your employees, you should consult with a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

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Special Note: These materials are provided for your reference only. Although they have been carefully drafted by our team of attorneys, every company's business and circumstances are different. Although federal laws are uniform, state and local laws vary considerably from one state to another and even from one city to another. The particular circumstances of your company, e.g., union or non-union, number of employees, working in one state versus multiple states, etc. should be addressed by competent employment counsel who knows the details of your business. We provide these materials to you as a source of information to guide you in your employment practices and procedures. By accepting and using this handbook builder or other materials from our site, you acknowledge that you understand and agree that we are not providing you legal, accounting or any other professional service. Please review your policies annually to ensure full compliance with the law.

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