Create a Quick and Easy State-Specific Employee Handbook Today

Have you been tasked with writing your company’s employee handbook and you don’t know where you’ll find the time to get it done? Are you not sure what to include – and not to include – in your handbook? Are you unfamiliar with the latest employee-related state and federal laws? If any of these questions apply to you, you have come to the right place.

Below are some quick tips on what to include in your handbook. At the end of this article, you will find a link where you can download a state-specific employee handbook template that has been created by a lawyer, a human resources professional and a graphic artist.

Not only will your handbook include all the required legal statements, it will look great. Your team will be amazed at how thorough your handbook is and how quickly you whipped it together.​

Employees should not view your company’s handbook as just a list of rules that they must adhere to – or else. Make it a give-and-take manual, including what the company expects from the employee and what he or she can expect in return. After all, there should always be a symbiotic relationship between a company and its employees.

The following points will get you into the mindset for completing your handbook as quickly as possible. Read through these issues and questions just to get a feel for some points you might want to include. Not all the questions will apply to your company. When done reading, dive right in to filling out your template.​

Make the New Employee Feel Welcome and Valued

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, welcome the new employee to the team. Express your hopes that the employee will integrate well. State that the handbook is designed to let all employees in on the company’s policies so there is never a misunderstanding.

Give a contact name and phone number if the employee has a question about anything to do with the company. Point out that this person will have the official answer.​

You might want to include the company’s mission statement in this introduction. It’s very important that everyone understands exactly what is important to the company and that everyone should work together to achieve the company’s goals.

What Can the Employee Expect From the Company?

Continue on a positive note. Let the employee know what s/he can expect from the company:

  • To be paid every Friday (or whenever)
  • To be provided with a safe and clean work environment
  • To be treated equally and with respect
  • To be listened to if there is a grievances

State Your Company’s Standards for Conduct

The template will include a legal issues, such as the non-discrimination policy, so these points are specific to your company:

  • How are employees expected to treat each other?
  • How are they to address clients and customers?
  • Can your employees make personal phone calls while on the job?
  • What is the company’s policy regarding gossip and disagreements?

State Your Company’s Dress Code

If an employee is to wear a uniform:

  • Does the company provide a uniform?
  • Can an employee get more than one uniform?
  • What happens if a uniform is ruined and needs to be replaced?
  • Is the employee required to return the uniform if s/he is leaving the company?

If no uniform is required:

  • What are the dress guidelines for men and for women?
  • Is there anything that is specifically not allowed?
  • What is the company policy if an employee arrives on the job improperly dressed?

State Your Company’s Policies Concerning Work Hours

In fact, your Employee Handbook is the single most important internal document for communicating

  • policies
  • practices
  • and employee benefits

It sets forth your expectations for your employees and outlines what they in turn can expect from your organization.

While the policies outlined in your handbook will reflect your company’s own unique culture, these policies also must be drafted in adherence to:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Local laws & regulations

You may even find you need more than one edition of your official handbook.

For example, one for exempt employees and another for non-exempt.

Or, for Union employees and Non-union employees.

In any instance, there are a number of key elements to be included in an Employee Handbook.​

After a welcome and introduction from your president or CEO, begin with general employment information.

Provide an overview of your business and layout basic policies relating to

  • employment eligibility
  • job classifications
  • employee records
  • job posting
  • termination
  • resignation procedures
  • *if applicable* Union information

Next, address your company’s anti-discrimination policies.

Depending on the size of the company, employers MUST comply with a number of different Federal and State Equal Employment Opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination.

Outline them here and set out a statement of your official compliance.


This section is also a good place to set out your sexual harassment and any affirmative action policies.

Your handbook should also cover compensation and work schedules.

With respect to compensation, include information on Federal and State tax deductions, as well as voluntary deductions for benefits.

Also, explain pay schedules, time keeping policies and topics such as performance reviews, raises and bonuses.

You should also clearly state your company’s regular work hours and schedules and your policy on attendance, punctuality and reporting absences.

If telecommuting or flex hours are an option, cover those here as well.

Standards of Conduct is one of the most important sections in your handbook.

Make sure you document how you expect employees to conduct themselves in the workplace, from dress code to ethics.


For your example, dress codes could include ​2 different polices from workplace dress code to dress code for safety.

As the bellow 2 dress code examples:

Workplace Dress Code

ACME COMPANY encourages employees to dress comfortable, with consideration given to maintaining a professional appearance. Appropriate attire should be worn at all times in keeping with commonly recognized standards. If you interface with clients or are scheduled to meet with clients on an occasional basis, be prepared and dress appropriately. Be considerate of the company’s image as well as your image with customers and your co-workers.​

Dress Code for Safety

Long hair as well as certain types of clothing, shoes and accessories may impose unsafe conditions in certain areas of the facility. Loose clothing, neck ties, long hair, jewelry and hanging accessories may get tangled in machinery and cause injury. High-heel shoes may be unsafe in many parts of the production area. Some areas of the plant require safety glasses, hard hats or other personal protection equipment be worn at all times.Safety requirements may vary throughout the day in some areas, based on work functions being performed. Please adhere strictly to notices and management warnings regarding safe dress policies in specific areas of the facility. Area managers have authority to define safety issues in their area as it relates to safety policy, including dress codes.If you have questions or concerns contact

Remind employees of any legal obligations that they may need to comply with such as protecting sensitive customer data.

And, describe your standards related to employee discipline including any progressive discipline policy.​

​In Part Two, we’ll continue our discussion of the Employee Handbook beginning with the topic of Safety and Security.

Want to save time, money, and effort?  Check out the updated 2017 state specific Employee Handbook Template that is attorney drafted, HR reviewed & polished, & designed by graphic artists!