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Employee Manual Guidance for California Businesses

1208424_woman_using_computer sxchu.jpgAn effective employee manual is an essential tool for any business or corporation that employs workers. It is a valuable way for businesses to communicate a company’s expectations to its employees. A well written employee manual will outline company procedures, policies, and expectations. A poorly written manual can create both legal and personnel headaches for your business.

The following policies are important for any employer to consider when writing or revising an employee manual:

  • Each employee manual should include a disclaimer which states that the publication is not an employment contract. This can protect a business from terminated workers filing breach of contract claims against the business.
  • An employee manual should successfully communicate company objectives and the organization’s mission statement. By doing so, the manual can foster each employee’s understanding of business goals and provide them with an enhanced sense of purpose.
  • An effective employee manual will state your business has a zero tolerance policy for any kind of discrimination or harassment. The manual should also explain how to identify and report harassment. A company’s employee manual should also specifically prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
  • Employee leave and termination policies should always be addressed in an employee manual. Any leave eligibility differences or restrictions based on job functions or employee status should also be addressed. A well written manual will also remind employees that any discrimination based on disability will not be tolerated, and also discuss the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • An employee handbook should define worker misconduct and discuss the company’s disciplinary process. A disciplinary policy should be flexible and include a disclaimer which states misconduct is not limited to behaviors specifically outlined in the manual.
  • A well written employee manual will describe the process for raising workplace issues and filing a formal complaint or grievance. This is important because it shows workers the company will take employee concerns seriously.
  • Because no one should feel threatened at work, each employee manual should provide workers with guidance regarding how to address and respond to workplace violence and other conflicts. An employee handbook should also include a zero tolerance policy for workplace bullying.
  • Finally, as the use of social media such like Facebook and Twitter becomes more common, it is essential for businesses to address employee use or misuse of social networking websites. An employee handbook should discuss what sort of workplace-related communications are inappropriate and remind workers that disseminating confidential or proprietary information is prohibited. A social media policy should also address disparaging or harassing the company or fellow employees.


If you would like to write or revise your business or corporation’s employee manual, contact the Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh. Our Beverly Hills business law attorneys have experience helping business clients with all of their corporate legal needs. To speak with a qualified corporate lawyer today, contact the Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh through our website or call us today at (310) 694-3034(310) 694-3034.

Additional Resources:

Top 10 Essentials to Include in an Employee Handbook, by R. Joseph Stennis, Martindale.com