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Employee Handbook Part 2

employee handbook

Last week we covered where to start on your employee handbook. Now we’ll cover how to fill in the bones. Read on for a policy outline as well as state and federal regulations.

State and Federal Regulations

Firstly, employment laws change frequently and vary by location. Some recent updates that come to mind include legalization of marijuana and open-carry laws. Both would necessitate an employment policy if these apply to your location.

Second, the best place to start for federal regulations is at the U.S. Department of Labor. We also encourage you to subscribe to their email updates.

Next, each state has an organization that deals with employment law. We recommend you become familiar with your state’s Department of Labor website resources and utilize state contracts. You can find links to individual state offices at the DOL website.

Finally, you always have the option to contract with an employment law attorney who will send you the appropriate legislative updates. This is a huge time-saver and overall the best practice from a liability standpoint.

Handbook Outline

Last but not least, check out below for a way to structure your employee handbook:

  • Introduction to the Company and Values
    • Company mission statement
    • Why you were founded
    • Insight into company culture
  • Employment
    • Local, state, or federally mandated policies
    • General employment policies such as hiring and termination guidelines
  • Compensation
    • Work schedules
    • Lunch and break periods
    • Time reporting
  • Benefits
    • Vacation, sick leave and other time-off policies
    • Employee discounts
  • Workplace Guidelines
    • Safety and security
    • Use of company equipment and services
  • Work Rules / Standards of Conduct
    • Dress code / grooming
    • Cell phone use / personal calls / visitors

We hope you found this information useful in getting started with your employee handbook. Inspiration for this post came from “Yes, You Really Need an Employee Handbook,” by Melisa Morrison published in the February 2022 issue of American Quilt Retailer. Melisa has over 30 years of experience in HR and is the Director of Human Resources for Latex Construction Company.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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