Chapter 27:
Employee Handbook


Updated as of June 2006

Employers, regardless of size or type of business, realize the importance of effectively communicating with employees on a daily basis. Employers also must ensure that employees are informed about what is expected from them as an employee, and what is available to them as apart of their employment arrangement. The employee handbook is a primary source of this type of information.The purpose of this chapter is to answer some of the basic questions raised when an employer decides to develop an "Employee Handbook," including suggestions to assist members with solving some of the problems associated with developing a handbook.

Why have a handbook?

In most organizations the handbook helps employees understand the various relationships (functional, operational, legal, paternalistic, humanistic, etc.) created between them and the employer. Some employers put the emphasis of a handbook on creating an open and casual dialog with the employees, while others keep the handbook relatively fact-based and neutral in tone.

The contents of an employee handbook will differ according to the needs, goals and objectives of an individual company. The handbook is not only used as a guide during employee orientation programs, but also may be a recruiting aid or a public relations tool. It is important to remember that an effective handbook will reflect the character and personality of the organization.Although current law does not require an employer to produce an employee handbook, there are several laws that require employers to develop and distribute written policies to employees. For example, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), requires employers with employee handbooks to include written policy statements regarding employees' FMLA rights. California requires employers describing other types of leaves in their handbooks to include a description of the company's California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave and California's Pregnancy Disability Leave policies in the next edition of their handbook published after the rules were finalized in 1995. In addition, employers must notify employees regarding California's paid leave program, Paid Family Leave (PFL)/Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI), effective in 2004.


What are some of the legal considerations?

Many companies choose not to have written policies or handbooks. They prefer to maintain flexibility when faced with individual employee circumstances. Although that premise may be valid, greater problems usually occur when policies are unwritten. Unwritten policies often lead to disparate treatment of employees in violation of many federal and state laws, reduce employee morale, and create a fertile ground for union organization or a discrimination claim. When there are no written policies, manager/supervisors often interpret policies differently thereby being inconsistent in their treatment of employees.

Further, employers must make business decisions and keep promises in the day-to-day operations. Failure to make decisions and keep promises or agreements with vendors and customers is unacceptable.Likewise, the application of policies, promises and agreements with employees is no less important. Since companies must honor commitments they make, it is important to carefully consider what to include in a handbook.An example of how this applies occurred in Scott v. Pacific Gas and Elec. Co. (1995). The California Supreme Court determined that Pacific Gas and Electric Company's "Positive Discipline Guidelines," created an enforceable contract. The court said, "...there is substantial factual evidence of the existence of a contract not to demote without good cause, breach of that contract, and significant, ascertainable pecuniary loss as a result, there is no reason for courts to refrain from awarding damages." This means that an employee handbook provision can effectively compromise its at-will status.When a handbook is carefully drafted, it can serve as a valuable guide to a company's human resources policies, and emphasize the employer's "at-will" statement.


What does "At-Will" mean in California?

California, among other states, is an "at-will" state. In Section 2922 of the California Labor Code it states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means employment for a period greater than one month."This presumption may be superseded by a contract, express or implied, limiting the employer's right to discharge the employee, Strauss v. A. L. Randall Co. (1983).

Under the traditional employment at-will doctrine, employers may discharge employees at any time and for any reason or for no reason at all. But over time the effect of the "at-will" doctrine has eroded or been restricted. For example in Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988), the California Supreme Court found that because an implied contract may exist, discharging an employee without just cause is very risky and must be based on the totality of circumstances. A variety of factors to consider include: the employer's human resources policies and/or practices; employer's actions and/or communications reflecting assurances of continued employment; employee longevity of service; and industry practices.In 1998 the same court determined in Cotran v. Rollins Hudig Hall Int'l, Inc., that if an employee had been working under an implied contract of termination for just cause only, the employer does not need to prove that the misconduct leading to the dismissal actually occurred. At trial, the issue challenging the discharge was not whether the employee's misconduct actually occurred, but rather the objective reasonableness of the employer's factual determination of misconduct. The court chose not to interfere with the employer's freedom to make efficient business decisions.


What are some of the advantages gained with written policies?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidelines for staff who investigate complaints of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. The guidelines state that employers can minimize their liability for the wrongful conduct of their employees, including their supervisory and managerial personnel, with respect to unlawful sexual harassment. If employers publish a written policy prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, it will help minimize liability. It also helps if the policy contains a procedure whereby employees can address their complaints regarding sexual harassment with company personnel other than with their supervisors.

Also, having well-written and well-publicized policies regarding the solicitation and distribution of literature by employees and employee access to and the use of company bulletin boards can also help employers fend off a union organizing drive. Such policies often serve to lawfully inhibit the time during which employees may discuss possible unionization to periods when they are not required to be working and restrict the areas where union information may be distributed or posted. However, employers should be careful when adopting such policies, because implementing them in the face of a union organizing drive may be considered an unfair labor practice.

Written policies help employers chart their course with respect to the policies, guidelines and practices they choose to follow and to minimize their exposure to liability for illegal acts in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, applies to all terms and conditions of employment. Most state and local nondiscrimination statutes apply to all terms and conditions of employment as well. Employers without written policies run a greater risk of treating employees inequitably and perhaps even discriminatorily, in violation of such statutes.


What is usually in a handbook?

In general, the handbook should cover most of the items normally reviewed in the formal employee orientation program, including all of the necessary information regarding employee privileges and responsibilities. Among the more important subjects generally included in the handbook are:

  • A brief review of company history and organization. Be brief. Be factual. Above all, make it interesting. This is NOT the best place to present statistics or to extol the virtues of competitive enterprise.

  • Vision. A short succinct statement of what the organization intends to become and achieve - future aspirations articulated by the Chief Executive or top management, linking current company progress to the vision.

  • Mission. Expands the Vision establishing goals and objectives with direction and purpose for the organization and to motivate employees.

  • A statement of the company's employee relations philosophy. This is where the employer can emphasize its particular ideals in the area of employee relations. Here, too, brevity is a virtue.

  • A statement of company objectives. Goals are usually defined in this segment. This is a logical section in which to talk briefly about the profit making system and mutual opportunities for the individual and company.

  • A description of company products and/or services. This section builds interest and helps employees identify with the company.

  • A statement of each of the principal employee relations policies. These should be factual, clearly stated, and interesting. Avoid cold policy statements, developing them in warm, human terms.

  • A summary of various employee benefit plans. Because benefit plans are subject to change, it is usually preferable to just outline company benefits in the employee handbook. Refer the employee to a separate benefits booklet, a series of booklets on specific subject areas, and/or summary plan descriptions (SPD's). Employers should ensure that the information in the Employee Handbook is consistent with the information in other benefit documents including the SPD and plan document, as discrepancies can cause serious problems.

  • Operating rules and commonly observed customs. These are the company's "rules of the road" and spell out many aspects of day-to-day behavior expected of each employee. Rules and customs should be written in straightforward, easy to understand language. Talking down to or threatening employees may reduce the effectiveness of such rules. Remember, rules that are unenforceable are worse than no rules at all. If you do have written rules, make sure that they are legally enforceable and that they are followed. Along with rules that can be legally enforced, employers should strive to be consistent when enforcing those rules to avoid the appearance of discrimination.

  • A disclaimer. Because contents of handbooks change, a disclaimer is recommended. An example of a disclaimer follows:

    • "This handbook represents an overview of the human resources policies, rules, guidelines, and procedures of the Company and is provided as a matter of information only. The policies, rules, guidelines and procedures represented in this handbook are subject to change, suspension or cancellation, in whole or in part, at any time, at the Company's discretion. Nothing in this handbook shall create, or is intended to create, or shall be construed to constitute, a contract of employment, expressed or implied, or changes employment at-will."

  • Handbook Acknowledgement Form. This form should reiterate the at-will employment statement and include a paragraph indicating that the employee has received, has read, understands and agrees to abide by the policies and procedures set forth in the handbook. The acknowledgment form should be a separate, stand-alone document that is placed in the employee's personnel file after it has been signed and dated.

Who should develop the employee handbook?

Communications or Public Relations Department staff, an outside agency, the Human Resources Department staff, or a combination may all play a part in developing the employee handbook. Experience has shown that those closest to the picture should control the preparation of the employee handbook.

An important point in preparing the handbook is to bring supervisors and managers into the process early in the planning stage. Not only should those who have responsibility for operating the company have a voice in the initial preparation of the handbook, but it may also be desirable to provide them with an opportunity to review each section before it is reproduced. This simple act of inviting their suggestions, comments and criticism will accomplish several things:

  1. Management will feel personally identified with the entire production.
  2. If management and supervisors fully understand the philosophy and the intent behind each section of the handbook, their interpretation of the contents will improve. This will also improve their administration of the company's policies, practices and procedures.
  3. Management will get to know company policy better because of the attention and thought involved before offering suggestions on how to improve certain policy statements.

Active participation by managers and supervisors in development of human resources polices, practices and procedures can be an important step in making the employee handbook a success. But remember the old saying: "A camel is a horse that was designed by committee." So don't let this committee process detract from the goal of a good handbook or prolong the process.


What levels of employees will be covered by the handbook?

An important question to answer before drafting a handbook policy statement is: "To whom does this apply?" The handbook may be written for non-managerial employees only, or for all employees. The answer to this question depends on whether the same terms and conditions of employment govern all employees. If they are the same for all employees, preparing one handbook should satisfy the company's objectives.

However, if managerial employees are treated differently from non-managerial employees, it may be preferable to develop separate handbooks. Thus, the company may find it easier to address certain issues that affect only one employee group (e.g., a bonus program available only to managerial employees) in a separate document. This may also minimize human resources problems with employees not receiving benefits available to other employees (e.g., non-managerial staff questioning why they are not eligible for bonuses).Some organizations that provide different terms and conditions of employment to different employee levels prefer to develop one handbook. They believe that setting forth all benefits and other employment conditions provides an incentive to employees not eligible for these benefits to strive for advancement. Whatever the organization's preference in this regard, a decision should be made before the policy statements are written. It is easier to draft policies if the goals and objectives are clearly defined prior to developing the handbook.Human resources manuals and handbooks should be integrated documents. This means that the handbook designer should factor into each policy, related laws as well as related policies that might impact the policy under discussion. Consider, for example, a medical leave policy. This policy should not only include FMLA, CFRA, PDL, PFL/FTDI, workers compensation, state disability, and long term disability, but also sick and vacation time, as well as a medical leave for employees who are not yet eligible for the previous leaves, provided the employer chooses to offer one. Few things are more frustrating in administering an Employee Handbook than the omission of information that is critical to interpreting the policy.

What are policies, procedures or practices?

A frequently encountered problem in handbook preparation results from confusion in the meaning of the words policy, procedure and practice. For the purpose of this publication, a policy is defined as a statement of company philosophy covering specific aspect of the employer-employee relationship. A procedure is defined as the method or technique by which a given policy is accomplished. Whereas policy states the company's intent and procedure describes how the intent should be accomplished, practice is what is actually being done.

It is possible for all three words to be in agreement, or to have various degrees of difference.However, sound communication and good employee relations require that practice conform with the stated policy, and that procedures established by the organization agree in principle with both policy and practice.

It is then necessary to decide what policies are to be included, why they are to be included and how broadly the company intends to deal with each. Keep in mind those that are mandated by state or federal law. It is suggested that the policies presented in the handbook should:

  1. Be the result of careful analysis of all the facts available;
  2. Be definite, positive, clear, brief, yet sufficiently comprehensive to cover the subject matter thoroughly and understandably by everyone in the organization;
  3. Be an expression of management philosophy;
  4. Cover only one subject area at a time and briefly include those details that may arise under the policy;
  5. Have a high degree of permanency;
  6. Be formulated with due regard for the interests of all parties concerned: owners, employees, customers and the general public;
  7. Conform with all relevant and applicable government regulations; and
  8. Be periodically reviewed and revised to insure relevancy to current facts.

Procedures and practices are sometimes too lengthy to include in a handbook. Frequently a company will have a separate supervisor's guide where procedures are likely to be laid out for daily operational uses. Practice guides are usually limited to the group of employees in a company that deal with a specific function where the practices reside (payroll processing, purchasing, etc.).

After considering all of these aspects and developing handbook material, content should be reviewed for thoroughness and accuracy. Be sure that every important point is covered. This will help provide the employee with a comprehensive and accurate picture of the company's objectives, philosophies, policies, and procedures. Use a checklist of topics like the one listed in the section titled Handbook Preparation Checklist. (See Appendix B.)


What additional issues should be considered?

The laws change, and varying court decisions make it difficult for companies to draft handbooks that will not require ongoing updates. For this reason handbooks should be printed in a format that can be easily amended when necessary. For example, employers can issue handbooks with insertable pages. On-line handbooks are now an option as well. Regardless of the format, to help reduce legal complications employers should consider the following points:

  • Eliminate "for cause" statements. Some handbooks state or imply that employees will be dismissed only "for cause." Such a statement may create obligations that were never intended. Handbooks should be drafted in a broad manner. They should note that specific offenses will be grounds for discipline or discharge. In addition, employers may want to state that company decisions concerning violations of company policies or guidelines will be made on a case by case basis by evaluating the facts and circumstances of each case.

  • Eliminate duration of employment references. Some employers have found themselves in trouble because statements implied that employment was on an annual or semiannual basis. Unless intended to be binding, eliminate those references and disclaim all limitations on terminations. In most cases, such references indicate that pay is being computed on the basis of that time period in your handbook as well as your offer letter. If this is the case, distinguish between an agreement to pay for the period and an agreement to employ for the period.

  • Retain the right to change policies. A prominent statement should make it clear that the employer retains the right to change any of the provisions in the handbook at any time. Arbitration agreements, non-solicitation agreements, at-will statements and other similar agreements should be stand-alone documents.

  • Be consistent. Be sure that application forms, handbooks, policy manuals, etc., are mutually consistent and refer to each other.

  • Avoid ambiguity or intimidation. Handbooks are management tools, not intended to be legal documents. The language should be clear and practical. It should not become so cautionary that it either does not do its job from a human relations point of view, or it leaves employees feeling oppressed.

  • Create effective offer letters. A poorly worded letter can override all the careful language of the Handbook. For that reason, the issues considered when preparing a handbook should again be reviewed with respect to offers of employment, both oral and written.


Laws change and so do company policies and procedures. How often a company revises its handbook may be influenced by how easy it is to make and distribute the revision. Loose-leaf pages can be replaced easily. Handbooks bound in other ways are more difficult to revise but not impossible. This can be accomplished by printing revised pages that can be easily inserted.


Is it necessary to have a company procedure in a handbook?

Company policy states management's philosophy or intent in a specific subject area. Procedure specifies the method, the mechanical sequence or steps to be taken to assure attainment of the policy objective. For example, a vacation policy may state:

"The Company recognizes the importance and necessity for employees to take time off from work with pay for the purpose of leisure, recreation or relaxation."A procedure used to carry out this policy might contain the following considerations:

  1. Eligibility
    • 1 week vacation/PTO upon completion of number of months of continuous service
    • 2 weeks upon completion of number of years of continuous service
  2.  Request procedure
    1. Completion of vacation/PTO request form by employee
    2. Submit vacation/PTO request form to supervisor/manager for approval
    3. Submit approved vacation/PTO request form to Human Resources/Payroll
  3.  Holidays falling during vacation/PTO period will result in time off being designated as holiday pay


As stated earlier, procedures may be too lengthy to be included in a handbook. However, if a procedure can be summarized to give the employee information necessary to comply with a policy (such as where to obtain a vacation request form), then it is important to include in the handbook.

What kind of format should be used in a handbook?

Cost, in both time and money, is probably the most important factor determining handbook design and format. The budget and time available for a handbook project will largely determine how these considerations are to be met. Additionally, the size of the budget and the amount of hours devoted to the writing, editing and finalizing may depend largely on the purposes for which the handbook will be prepared. For example, if the handbook is for employees only, it may not need to be as elaborate a production as it would be if it were also to be used in recruiting "hard-to-get" employees, and used as part of the company's public relations strategy.

More important than appearance is the presentation of well-conceived policies, procedures or practices in a style and language that are readable and understandable. A decision should be made early in the project about the tone of the language. Does the company prefer a formal tone or a friendly and informal tone?


How will the handbook be reproduced?

An employee handbook does not necessarily need to be a professionally printed, multi-colored production. Some very successful handbooks have been prepared on a personal computer and laser printer, and reproduced on an office copier. Artwork, quality paper and use of colors, however, usually improve the handbook appearance. Photo-reproduction is usually the best for low cost, limited runs. Offset or lithography is good for large quantity runs.


What type of artwork should be used?

  • Pictures - The handbook can contain pictures of employees, products or services, and plant(s), including on-the-job shots. You can save costs by using black and white prints rather than color.
  • Drawings and Cartoons - Many handbooks use a cartoon character for continuity. Others use cartoons to illustrate subject or section headings. If well done, cartoons and drawings may add to the interest of the handbook.
  • Charts and Graphs - To be most effective, charts and graphs should be used selectively. The use of a cartoon character may increase the effectiveness of a chart or graph, but above all, keep the chart or graph simple.

 


What size should the handbook be?

The physical size of the handbook is an important consideration that should be made early in the project. Usually handbook page sizes fall within certain dimensions. Smaller handbooks may be 4 1/2" - 5" wide and 6" to 7" long. Larger handbooks may use a standard 8 1/2 " by 11" page size, especially if the handbook is reproduced internally on standard office printers or copiers. Worthy of consideration, however, is a pocket-size booklet that enables a new employee to easily carry it for ready reference.



What kind of binding works best?

No matter what size paper is used, consider the method of binding the printed handbook. This decision is usually based on the anticipated frequency of making occasional or necessary revisions.

Semi-permanent

  • Loose-leaf binders offer the most flexibility in updating the handbook. The cost of loose-leaf binders varies based on the quality of the binder mechanism and the cover. Binders can be the most expensive of the materials used for the handbook project. Loose-leaf binders are most cost effective when frequent revisions to handbooks are contemplated.
  • Spiral binders are less expensive than ring binders. Handbooks bound in this manner may be the choice if large quantities of handbooks are needed and assembled on premises. This method of binding allows for revisions to be incorporated to handbooks before the binding process is completed, but not after the handbook is issued.


Permanent

  • Stitched, stapled or glued handbooks are the most economical method of binding. They are usually bound as part of the printing process when the project is reproduced by a professional print shop that has the equipment to do the binding. This method is not practical for frequent updates.

 



How many copies of the handbook should be made?

Determining the number of copies to be printed should be done as part of the project planning. If the handbook will be printed by an outside vendor, ordering a large quantity (in excess of current and near future distribution requirements) is least expensive per copy. The best way to determine the number of handbooks to print would be to consider factors such as current employee population, anticipated turnover, other persons or groups who would need copies of the handbook, and the number of years this version of the handbook is anticipated to last.

What is the best number of pages for a handbook?

The number of pages a handbook contains may have a positive or negative effect on the interest the employees have in reading and understanding its contents. Lengthy handbooks act as a deterrent. Yet most companies believe they have to include so much detail to protect themselves that the idea of a short and concise handbook is usually a secondary consideration. But a short, well written handbook with fewer pages will be better received and more likely read than a longer, albeit more thorough, version. It is better to consider a handbook as a "summary" of the Human Resources manual, rather than the "pocket-size" version.

What is the best way to distribute the new handbook?

It is management's responsibility to encourage employees to read the handbook and understand its contents. New employees are more likely to read it than those already employed. It is a good idea to have employees sign a statement (acknowledgement) stating that they have received, read, understand and agree to abide by the contents of the handbook.

The organization may consider a "Handbook Roll-Out" activity designed to advertise the many benefits the company has to offer its employees. This would also accomplish the task of making all employees aware of the handbook, and ensuring that there is a clear understanding of the handbook and its contents.

  • Current Employees - Distributing handbooks to employees during group meetings with their supervisors is a preferred method. During these meetings, the various policies and procedures can be thoroughly reviewed and questions answered. Mailing the handbook to the home accompanied by a letter from the president or chief executive is another method. A follow-up meeting with employees to discuss contents should also be held. Finally, having a supervisor present a handbook to each employee is a personal way to distribute it.

  • New Employees - Distribution of handbooks to new employees usually occurs during the employee orientation process. This is a busy time for a new employee and the importance of the handbook may be lost with all of the other items covered in the induction. Make sure that there is some follow-up about the handbook with the employee. Mailing the handbook to the employee's home either prior to or after the orientation meeting is another method of distribution. Having the new employee's supervisor deliver the handbook to him/her is also acceptable, and will reinforce the notion that the supervisor is a source of information.

  • Employees on Leaves of Absence - T he new handbook may be mailed to employees on a leave of absence, with a letter explaining the new handbook and requesting return of the acknowledgement ASAP or by a deadline (e.g. within 10 days or by a specified date).

 


Appendix A: Federal and State Laws and Regulations


Although not a complete or inclusive listing, consider the following federal and state laws and regulations as you plan, review or write your handbook. Refer to Chapter 1 of this Human Resources Reference Manual for employment law requirements by company size.


Laws, Statutes and Regulations


  • Access to Personnel Records Statutes
  • Affirmative Action Obligations
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • AIDS Testing Statutes
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Background Investigations
  • Bankruptcy Laws
  • Cal-COBRA
  • Cal OSHA (IIPP)
  • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • California Labor Code
  • California Wage Order
  • California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) (See PFL - Paid Family Leave)
  • CHAMPUS– Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services
  • Child Support Enforcement Act
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Consumer Credit Protection Act
  • Conviction Records Statutes
  • Department of Defense Drug Testing Regulations
  • Department of Transportation Drug Testing Procedures
  • Discrimination Laws
  • Domestic Violence Leave
  • Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988
  • Electronic Communication Privacy Act
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) (ERISA)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) (See Paid Family Leave - PFL)
  • Federal Arbitration Act
  • Federal Privacy Act
  • Garnishment Laws
  • Handicap Statutes
  • Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) Program - California
  • HIPAA Privacy
  • Holiday Laws
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
  • Jury Duty
  • Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)
  • Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs
  • Medical Examination Statutes
  • Medical Records Privacy
  • Medi-Cal
  • Medicare
  • Military Leave (USERRA)
  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) (Family Temporary Disability Insurance - FTDI)
  • Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
  • Pregnancy Disability Act
  • Privacy Laws
  • Reconstruction Civil Rights Laws
  • Reference Laws
  • Retirement Equity Act
  • Severance Pay Laws
  • State Alternative Dispute Resolution Laws
  • State Disability Insurance (SDI)
  • State Electronic Surveillance Laws
  • State Honesty Testing Laws
  • State Insurance Statutes
  • State Labor Union Laws
  • State Polygraph Laws
  • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
  • Vacation Pay Laws
  • Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Act
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act
  • Voting Laws
  • Wage and Hour Laws
  • Witness Duty
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) – State and Federal
  • Workers' Compensation

 


Appendix B: Handbook Preparation Checklist



To be complete, the handbook should cover all major areas of employee relations. The use of a checklist can help evaluate the content and ensure that nothing essential has been omitted. The responsibility for preparing the checklist is generally assigned to the person who develops the handbook. The following is given as a representative sampling of items often included in a checklist, but not necessarily in this order. Your handbook may not necessarily include all of these items.

  1. INTRODUCTION "Letter of Welcome" and opening remarks by chief executive
    1. Chronology tracing the growth of the company or organization
    2. Organization of principal functions and services
    3. Statement of company objectives
    4. Description of products or services
    5. Statement of employee relations philosophy
    6. Vision
    7. Mission
    8. Statement of "Why Your Job is Important and Why you are Important"
    9. Employment at-will statement.
    10. Harassment (Sexual - Other).
    11. Equal Opportunity Employer
  2. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
    1. Employment and Selection Procedures
      1.  Basis of selection and placement
      2.  Basis of selection for rehire
      3.  Basis of selection for reinstatement
      4.  Probationary period
      5. Definitions of Employees
        1. Exempt
        2. Non-exempt
        3. Full-time
        4. Part-time
        5. Temporary
        6. Casual - "as needed"
      6. Seniority
      7. Promotions and transfers
      8. Methods for advancement
        1.  Job bidding
        2. Career planning
      9. Employment of relatives
    2. Employee Records
      1.  Records for current employees
      2. Change in status
      3. Change of address or telephone number
      4. Emergency notification
      5. Viewing and copying personnel files
  3. WAGES, HOURS AND WORKING CONDITIONS
    1. Wage and Salary Administration
      1. Pay grades and levels
      2. Wage increases
      3. Work schedule
      4. Workday and workweek defined
      5. Shift differentials
      6. Overtime premium
        1. Daily
        2. Weekly
        3. 7th consecutive day in the workweek
      7. Doubletime
      8. Bonuses
      9. Incentives
      10. Call-in Pay
      11. Call-back Pay
      12. Rest periods
      13. Meal periods
      14. Pay days
      15. Time cards or time records
      16. Reporting time pay
    2. Employer-Employee Taxes and Deductions
      1. Income tax (withholding)
      2. Social Security (FICA)
      3. Unemployment Insurance (UI)
      4. State Disability Insurance (SDI) & Paid Family Leave/Family Temporary Disability Insurance (PFL/FTDI)
      5. Deduction(s) authorized by employee
    3. Employee Benefits
      1. Life insurance
      2. Health insurance
        1. Major medical
        2. Indemnity
        3. HMO
        4. PPO
        5. Dental
        6. Prescription drugs
        7. Vision
        8. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
        9. COBRA rights
        10. HIPAA rights
        11. HIPP rights (California)
      3. Group disability insurance
        1. Short-term
        2. Long-term
      4. Employee counseling (EAP)
      5. Worker's Compensation
      6. Prepaid legal
      7. Retirement plan
        1. Profit sharing
        2. Thrift Plan
        3. 401(k)
        4. 403(b)
        5. Stock purchase plan
      8. Time off with pay Plan
        1. Vacations
        2. Paid Time Off (PTO)
        3. Personal Days
        4. Holidays
        5. Floating Holidays
        6. Sick pay
      9. Leaves of absence
        1. Bereavement
        2. Personal
        3. Military
        4. Medical
        5. Leaves (as required by law)
          1. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - federal
          2. California Family Rights Act (CFRA) - California
          3. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) - California
          4. Victims of Violence/Domestic Violence
      10. Civic duties
        1. Jury duty
        2. Witness duty
      11. Other Services
        1. Blood bank
        2. Parking lots & speed limits
        3. In-plant eating facilities
        4. Credit union
        5. Length of service awards
        6. Employee purchases
        7. Educational reimbursement
        8. Employee recreational activities
        9. Suggestion program
        10. Car pools
      12. Company publications
        1. Bulletin boards
        2. Newsletters
        3. Intranet
  4. EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND SAFETY
    1. Injury Prevention Programs
      1. Safety committees
      2. Company safety equipment
      3. Personal safety equipment
      4. Working areas
      5. Violence in the workplace
    2. Personal Conduct
      1. Smoking
      2. Horseplay
    3. Handling materials
      1. Housekeeping
    4. Accident reporting
  5. WORK RULES
    1. Personal mail, telephone calls, e-mail, cell phones, internet access, blogging
    2. Garnishments and attachments
    3. Entering and leaving work
    4. Disorderly conduct
    5. Willful damage to property or equipment
    6. Insubordination
    7. Absences & tardiness
    8. Use of company vehicles, computers/laptops, pagers, telephones/cell phones and other company equipment
    9. Solicitations and collections
    10. Discipline Process (General)
      1. Verbal
      2. Written
      3. Suspension
      4. Termination
    11. Termination
      1. Discharge
      2. Resignation
      3. Lay-off
        1. Temporary
        2. Permanent
        3. Recall
      4. Death
  6. SECURITY AND PLANT PROTECTION
    1. Identification cards
    2. Visitor passes
    3. Package passes
    4. Right to inspect or search employees' personal property or their vehicles on company premises
    5. Emergency and disaster planning
    6. Computer backup storage
    7. Work from home
    8. Telephone tree
    9. Fire evacuation
    10. Food and water storage
    11. Employees have extra pair of shoes