While you are in start-up mode, many business decisions seem to be made on the fly as issues pop up, but it is wise to establish some formal business policies and procedures early – especially if you have employees. Written policies may seem stuffy and not in keeping with your invigorated entrepreneurial spirit, but they can save you years of headaches and legal battles.
The following employee and business policies are a good place to start as you begin drafting your first policies and procedures manual, and they apply to small firms and big corporations alike. These policies help establish your intent to comply with federal, state and local labor laws. The U.S. Department of Labor has compiled a booklet for new and small businesses that helps explain some of these laws.
- At-will employment
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance
- Anti-retaliation, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
- Disability and accommodation
- Payroll and compensation policies
- Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance, including overtime and child labor policies
In addition, your employees will often have questions about the following benefits and policies that can vary from company to company. These policies help prevent confusion about the terms of employment with your company, including whether employees have rights to the intellectual property they produce while employed by you.
- Holidays observed
- Vacation and sick time policies
- Internet usage, e-mail monitoring and employee social media conduct
- Overall employee code of conduct and ethics
- Conflict-of-interest policies
- Intellectual property agreements/waivers
- Expense reimbursement policy, including mileage
Find more employee handbook best practices here, and please contact us if you need legal assistance in creating your workplace policies and procedures. Employment law can be difficult to navigate, and working with a skilled business law attorney can give you the peace of mind that your employees and your business are protected.