What you must have in your employee handbook

Medical Economics JournalMedical Economics November 2020
Volume 97
Issue 15

If you don't have these six items in your handbook, you are putting your practice at risk.

Many health care businesses have an employee handbook, or employee policy handout, but fail to update them on a regular basis. Here are some items you should be sure to include:

Social media Do you have a social media policy? You can prohibit the use of social media in the work area on business time and on company computers.

At-will employment If your state has an at-will employment law, you should also have a statement that the handbook cannot be considered a contract and that you have the right to make changes in an employee’s status whenever you feel necessary.

Disciplinary procedures Do you have a huge list of things employees might do that would result in disciplinary action? You might want to review that process and delete the list. You might instead have a statement about honesty, ethics, respect and the attributes you expect from them.

Harassment Do you have a policy that says harassment should be reported to the manager or supervisor? Just keep in mind that the manager/supervisor could be the person harassing the employee. You might want the employee to have the option of reporting to any manager. They need a way to report that does not affect their job in any way.

Benefits Have you reviewed your benefits to make sure they comply with federal and state laws?

Leave and personal time off (PTO) Does your handbook explain specifically how these will be calculated? Whether you choose vacation and sick leave in your business or PTO, you need to document how they will be calculated and when the employee will be eligible for these benefits.

Carol Gibbons, RN, B.S.N., NHA, is a health care business consultant. Send your legal questions to medec@mjhlifesciences.com.

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