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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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Employee Handbook

employee handbook

Even if you feel like your employees are your second family, an employee handbook is just a good business practice. Read on for reasons why this helps communication and where to start this seemingly-daunting task.

Why do I need an employee handbook?

There are many reasons you should have an employee handbook.

The first is for time-savings. Instead of answering the same question multiple times, employees can reference the handbook for questions regarding vacation or sick leave.

The second is for consistency. Writing down expectations ensures you’re treating each employee fairly (no matter how well-intentioned you try to be).

Finally, and most obviously, an employee handbook is just a good legal practice. The reality of owning a business is that some day you’re going to have to fire an employee or someone is going to get very sick. Planning ahead and being transparent through an employee handbook is a great way to cut down on any drama that may come up down the line.

Where do I start?

The best way to start is the old-fashioned way—make a list.

You probably already have policies in your head; start with those. As your list expands, you’ll quickly realize which policies you should prioritize.

Consider having your employees at this conversation as well. Employees will have great insight into what sorts of questions have come up for them—policies such as dress code, scheduling, and more.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we go through a handbook outline, as well as cover state and federal regulations.

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.


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.