Palm Beach County Law Firm Consults on Employee Handbooks

Handbook policies that comply with federal and Florida employment laws

The employee handbook is a vital document to any company. The information contained in its pages guides your workforce and sets the tone for the type of environment you want to create. Most importantly, the employee handbook expresses the legal rights and obligations of your employees. Pfeffer & Associates has represented employees in discrimination, harassment, wage disputes, drug testing, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations and other employment law matters for almost 30 years. Our goal is to support positive working conditions for Florida’s employees. With this objective in mind, our attorney consults on employee handbooks that foster fair and productive workplaces.

The connection between the employee handbook and employment law

The employee handbook does not waive the at-will status of a Florida employer, but the provisions bind the company and employee to important rights and obligations — much as a contract would. For example, a business may violate workers’ rights if it denies them the holiday time they earned as clearly explained in the handbook.

Unlawful employee handbook policies

Employers cannot include unlawful policies in employee handbooks, such as discriminatory practices. This law applies to de facto and express discrimination. For example, a dress code that requires employees to wear ties might be considered gender discrimination if there is not a valid reason for the rule, even if the handbook does not explicitly exclude women from the job.

Matters that should be covered in an employee handbook

A well-written employee handbook should give employees a clear understanding of their rights and obligations and may include:

  • Expected standards of conduct — Include ethical and professional standards expected out of employees, such as dress code, interaction with customers and cell phone and computer use during business hours
  • Antidiscrimination mandates — Clearly state that discrimination is not tolerated
  • Nondisclosure and conflict of interest agreements — Protect trade secrets of the company
  • Security and safety procedures — Create a protocol that protects employees and the company
  • Leave policies — Explain the company’s policies and laws affecting Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences, jury duty, military leave, holiday time, vacation days and the procedures for taking leave
  • Employee benefits — Describe employee benefits offered by the company
  • Compensation — Discuss wages, hours, employment taxes and workers’ compensation
  • Work schedule and shifts — Outline company policy regarding attendance, punctuality, flex time, comp time and other schedule-related issues
  • Employment hiring and termination policies — Provide information about immigration policies, pre-employment background checks, drug testing, the right to join a union and termination of employment

Develop an employee handbook that supports a positive working environment in Florida

For more information about creating a well-written employee handbook, call Pfeffer & Associates at 561-745-8011 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. While our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., we have a policy of returning calls after hours for your convenience. Our Jupiter, Florida location features ample parking.

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