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On-the-job policies for your handbook

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On-the-job practices and policies

In every handbook, you need a place for your company's operating policies, standards, and norms. Your “on the job” policies content should cover the nuts and bolts of daily operations and the expectations for employees. Providing this clarity reduces the friction that comes from unmet expectations. The policies included here are:

  • Health and safety policy
  • Open door policy
  • Employee introductory period
  • Payroll
  • Working schedule policy
  • Direct deposit policy
  • Company vehicles policy

Open door policy

The open door policy is important to establish a culture that promotes transparency, and speaking up when genuine concerns arise. It also helps reduce the risk that might arise if an employee raises a (potentially serious) concern to their supervisor, who then fails to take action. An open door policy gives that employee license to escalate their concern and management a chance to address the concern.

[Company name] has an open-door policy and takes employee concerns and problems seriously. The company values each employee and strives to provide a positive work experience. Every employee is encouraged to speak with their immediate supervisor at any time with questions or problems relating to the job while employed. If you are unable to satisfactorily resolve your question or problem with your supervisor, or if you prefer not to approach your supervisor with your problem or question, you can request a meeting with a manager or with the Human Resources Manager.

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Introductory period policy

Many companies choose to have an introductory period for new employees. This gives the company (and the employee) a chance to determine whether the job is a good fit for them. You can adjust the length of your introductory period.

The first 90 days of employment is an introductory period. This is an opportunity for [Company name] to evaluate your performance and suitability for the role. It also is an opportunity for you to decide whether you are happy being employed at [Company name]. The company may extend the introductory period if it desires. If at the end of the introductory period, the relationship is satisfactory to the new employee and the supervisor, the employment relationship will continue. Successfully completing the trial period doesn’t alter the employee’s at-will status.

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Employment records policy

The employment records policy exists for at least two reasons. First, it places responsibility on the employee to update the company when their address, phone number, emergency contact, or other information changes. It also helps you comply with laws requiring employees can view their personnel records. Note that there are many states that have record-keeping requirements as well. You can refer to our state-by-state guide.

In order to obtain employment, all employees provide the company with personal information such as their address and telephone number. This information is saved in the employee’s personnel records. Please inform the Human Resources Manager of any changes to personal employment information, including emergency contact. Changes to your address, marital status, etc. can affect your withholding tax and benefit coverage.

Upon written request, the company will permit employees to inspect their personnel records. Employees should contact the Human Resources Manager to schedule a time to view personnel records. Inspections will occur in the presence of a company official. If an employee disagrees with any portion of the personnel record and a correction cannot be agreed upon, the employee may submit an explanatory statement to be attached to the records. The company complies with all state and federal laws regarding employee access to employment records.

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Payroll policy

Setting clear expectations for your employees on when and how they will be paid is important for obvious reasons. Here’s an example of a payroll policy:

All employees of the company are paid [weekly]. The employer takes all reasonable steps to ensure that employees receive the correct amount of pay in each paycheck and that they are paid promptly on the scheduled payday.

By law, the company is required to make deductions for Social Security, federal income tax, and any other appropriate taxes. These required deductions may also include any court-ordered garnishments. Your payroll stub will also differentiate between regular pay received and overtime pay received. If you believe there is an error in your pay, bring the matter to the attention of the Payroll Manager immediately so that the company can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

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Working schedule policy

This is where you establish expectations around reporting hours worked and overtime policies (if applicable).

It is the employee’s responsibility to accurately report time worked and to conform to work schedules and overtime policies in effect at the time. Work performed outside of authorized work hours may lead to disciplinary action unless approved by a supervisor in writing.

Employees will be provided with meal and rest periods as required by law. Your supervisor will provide further details.

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Nursing parents policy

Besides being the right thing to do, having a clear policy for nursing mothers is just good business. Note there are many state policies that may include additional requirements.

[Company name] supports breastfeeding parents by accommodating those who wish to express breast milk during the workday while separated from a nursing child. For up to one year after the child’s birth, any employee who is breastfeeding their child will be provided reasonable, unpaid break times to express breast milk. Hourly employees will need to clock out for any break taken to express breast milk. The company will designate a private, non-bathroom space for this purpose as needed.

Additionally, the company permits the storage of expressed breast milk on the property, either in a refrigerator or an employee-provided cooler, so long as the storage container is clearly labeled. Employees storing milk on the property assume all responsibility for the safety of the milk and the risk of harm for any reason, including improper storage, refrigeration, and tampering. Any questions regarding the Nursing Parents Policy may be directed to Human Resources.

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