As companies grow and hire employees, many business owners are so busy they don’t realize there are things they can do to avoid expensive lawsuits in the future. One of them is a well written employee handbook.
An employee handbook is a description of the company’s mission, values, and policies that impact employees. There a number of ways it can prevent or minimize future liabilities. A few of them are:
1. If one of your employees is accused of sexual harassment, a handbook can help prevent your business from being liable as well.
2. A handbook will confirm that your employees are “at will” which means you don’t have to go through a prolonged legal process to let go of an employee who is hurting the business.
3. It can significantly limit the time period a disgruntled employee can file a lawsuit against your business.
4. If your employees or customers’ social security numbers are stolen, a handbook can prevent you from also being liable.
5. If you need to investigate an employee’s behavior on social media or your technology (like email or text messages), it can make clear what rights you have and avoid a legal dispute.
There are a lot of employee handbooks on the internet and it can be tempting to just use one you download. But, you run the risk that it doesn’t cover Michigan law and it isn’t written with your company in mind. A handbook needs to include “your” policies and not another companies.
If we can be of help in developing this and limiting your company’s liability, let us know.