Most New York employers have a company handbook or a similar written document, designed to outline the rules and policies applicable to the workplace. Sometimes it may be difficult to determine what policies should be in writing.
For established businesses, there may be a tendency to think that certain policies are automatically understood. However, there are some policies common to most workplaces that should be in writing, to prevent future problems and disputes.
Health and safety
It is essential to have a workplace health and safety policy in writing. Accidents and health issues can arise in workplaces in nearly every industry, no matter how unforeseen. A written health and safety policy will also send a strong message to your employees that you care about their well-being.
Having a written policy related to time off is another way to show your employees you value them. Employees will appreciate a clearly written policy outlining the terms surrounding vacation or other leave time, as well as leaves of absence.
Today’s employees usually assume that their employer is an equal opportunity employer. It is still a good idea to put this policy into writing, to show employees that you take things like discrimination and fair treatment of workers seriously.
Clear expectations are key
Employers have rules they expect to be followed, but employees will have a hard time following them if they are not clearly set out in writing. A written code of conduct will help communicate employer expectations. A good code of conduct includes rules on major issues, such as theft or fighting in the workplace, as well as minor rules regarding things like break times or phone use at work.
Likewise, a disciplinary action policy should be in writing, so employees know the specific consequences for rule violations. Having both policies in writing will contribute to a more productive and successful workplace environment.
Overall, more written policies can result in less workplace conflict. An experienced attorney can help with drafting these and other types of workplace policies.