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employee handbook

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by soccer coach, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. soccer coach

    soccer coach LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 104

    Any suggestions on things to include? Is it important for a very small company? I just felt if we had one and had them saign off on it it might prevent a misunderstanding in the future. Do most other lco's have non compete clause as part of package?
  2. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    Non-competes can be touchy if not written well. And, I wouldn't recommend them for front line production workers. We use them for upper management and ours is written by our labor lawyer, and has been tested in court. It'll hold up... however, as I said - be careful where and how you use them. You can't stop people from earning a living.

    As for a handbook, we use one - and most larger companies have them.
  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    I think a handbook is very important. I started using one about 8 or 9 years ago and we've gone through a bunch of revisions because new things come up. Your handbook can start out very simple. Which might include:

    1) Staring time, ending time, pay day, overtime, etc.
    2) Uniform
    3) Company rules
    4) Policies about smoking, use of personal cell phones, etc.
    5) Rain day, lay off, call back issues
    6) Use of company equipment, etc.
    7) If you have company health insurance, a drug policy, etc., define it.
    8) What happens if the employee doesn't show for a day? Is that voluntarily quitting?

    A handbook should give answers to many of the day to day things that you're constantly having to police or answer. It will make your life a little easier. However at the same time you may not want to be too lucid in your handbook as you do not want to back yourself into a corner on things. Use it for general information at first. As you have more problems that you think need to be defined and as your business grows with more employees you might consider having an attorney look over it to show you where some of your liability exists.

    There are several good books that have sample paragraphs and items that you could include in your book. Keep it simple and readable. Otherwise it'll just collect dust and won't be read.

    It is then a good idea to have someone sign off on that they've read it and any questions they've had have been answered. It's maybe not so much a legal deal - but it puts the manual in front of the employee and they have to have the presence of mind to say that they read it and understand it. It adds credibility to your manual. Just make sure you have the same practices for each employee you hire - be consistent. That's the key!

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