If you are like most employers, staffing issues are probably one of your top concerns lately. Hiring and retaining quality staff is a constant struggle for many companies – especially during the “Great Resignation,” in which people are leaving positions in droves.
One of the best things employers can do to increase their workforce's efficiency and protect their company against lawsuits is to draft a robust employee handbook. If you are a business owner and do not yet have an employee handbook, consider working with an employment law attorney to make sure all of your bases are covered.
Drafting a detailed employee handbook and following through with its provisions is one of the best ways for employers to avoid lawsuits. Being sued for discrimination or wrongful termination can be devastating to your company’s reputation as well as your bottom line. A strong employee handbook is the first defense against allegations and lawsuits.
Employee handbooks do not only protect your company legally, they also promote consistency and ensure fair treatment of employees. Your handbook should explain what is expected of employees as well as what employees can expect of you as their employer. The handbook becomes the final word on employee matters and company information.
Most employee handbooks address:
Illinois at-will employment
The company’s mission statement, values, and goals
Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies as well as the procedure for reporting harassment or discrimination
Employee conduct and workplace behavior
Information about benefits and compensation
Rules about timekeeping, overtime, and paid time off
Employee discipline procedures
Hiring and termination policies
Privacy and security policies and information
Workplace health and safety
Cell phone use during work hours
Social media policies
Acknowledgment of receipt
The key to maximizing the effectiveness of an employee handbook is consistency. Managers should use the information in the employee handbook to guide their decisions. Employers should update the handbook as needed so the information is compliant with Illinois employment law.
Employee handbooks establish employee expectations, explain company policies and procedures, and provide valuable information to employees, managers, and supervisors. Most importantly, employee handbooks protect businesses from avoidable lawsuits. If you are an employer and you do not yet have an employee handbook, this should be a top priority.
At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we know that employers are currently facing unprecedented challenges. Between labor shortages, inflation, and supply chain issues, many business owners are struggling.
Richard J. Miller is an accomplished Illinois employment lawyer with ample experience representing business owners during legal proceedings. Call our office today at 847-995-1205 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help your company.