Why a Business Law Attorney Should Help With Company Handbooks
If you are creating company handbooks, you should consult with a King of Prussia business law attorney for assistance. You want to make sure that your handbook does not cause any legal problems for you and that it protects your business against liability as much as possible.
Curley & Rothman, LLC can provide you with assistance in creating your handbook and in resolving any type of disciplinary issues or employment issues that arise when your handbook has been created. To learn how a King of Prussia business law attorney can assist your business as you set forth the rules for your employees to follow, give us a call today.
Why Create an Employee Handbook
The Small Business Administration explains that: “An employee handbook is an important communication tool between you and your employees. A well-written handbook sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your company. It also should describe your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees' rights”
The employee handbook should set forth some of the important obligations that employees have, as well as establish the obligations of an employer. Many of the clauses contained within the handbook can protect your company's business interests and help to shield your organization from legal liability. For example, the handbook may contain:
- Non-disclosure clauses: A non-disclosure clause can protect your company by restricting employees from disclosing private and confidential information which you share with them. When you include a non-disclosure clause, an employee cannot make your trade secrets public or share proprietary information with competitors.
- Anti-discrimination policies: Your organization must comply with various anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Failure to comply with any of these policies can result in legal liability. When you establish anti-discrimination policies, you set expectations so your employees will know discrimination is not tolerated. You should also include details on how to report discrimination and how your company will respond to it, so you can reduce the chances of being held liable for hostile work environment discrimination if any workers create an unpleasant work environment for their peers based on race, religion, gender, or other protected status.
- Standards of conduct: You should set forth requirements on how employees should act, and should explain legal obligations to workers. If employees violate regulations or laws in the course of doing their work, your company could possibly be held liable as the employees are considered your agents. Establishing the parameters of acceptable behavior can help prevent problems.
- Disciplinary procedures: You may wish to include details about when and how employees will be disciplined for failing to fulfill work responsibilities. Including disciplinary procedures, and following those procedures, can help you to defend your organization if you are sued for wrongful termination.
These are just a few of many several different clauses your employee handbook can include which will help to protect your business from being sued or facing other legal consequences.
Why Talk with a King of Prussia Business Law Attorney About Your Handbook
Your employee handbook not only sets forth clauses which protect your business, but it can also impose requirements on your business. For example, if you specify a term of employment and/or specific reasons for termination, this could effectively create an employment contract which takes an employee out of at will employment. This could make you more vulnerable to being sued for wrongful termination if you act outside of the bounds of the contractual agreement.
You need to make certain you understand what your contract obliges your company to do so you do not accidentally create obligations which you do not want to follow. You also have to ensure your handbook provides the protections from liability and the protections for your business interests that you expect it to provide. Having a business law attorney help you to draft the handbook ensures it will be written properly and that you will understand the full impact of all of its clauses.
A King of Prussia business law attorney can provide you with invaluable assistance in making sure your handbook provides the legal protections and risk mitigation that your business needs. To learn more about how Curley & Rothman, LLC can assist you in the creation of your company's handbook, give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us online today.
You can also download our Free guide to Wages, Overtime and Severance in Pennsylvania to find out some of the state rules governing employee/employer relationships.