Employee Policies and Handbook

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Employee Policies

A prudent employer will prepare and distribute an employee handbook. A handbook provides clarity to employees regarding your policies and expectations. The absence of a formal handbook or policy​ manual or a poorly drafted one puts you at a disadvantage to defend yourself should you face a lawsuit. Numerous federal, state, and even local laws affect the content of policies and procedures to be included in such handbooks. These laws are discussed throughout HR Library.

Employers should:

  • Define who is covered by the handbook
  • Review existing policies and practices
  • Include relevant topics
  • Draft consistent, understandable and legally permissible employment policies
  • Review the handbook with management prior to implementation to obtain feedback
  • Submit the draft handbook to experienced labor law counsel for review

These are some of the sample policies you may wish to include in an employee handbook. Adapt each sample policy to meet the particular needs of your company and review each one carefully.

PolicyDescriptionSample Policy
Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Policy - Five or More EmployeesProvide this policy to employee which states that you prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. A written prevention policy is mandatory for California employers. You must also ensure distribution of the policy to all employees.
Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Policy - Less Than Five EmployeesProvide this policy to employee which states that you prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. A written prevention policy is mandatory for California employers. You must also ensure distribution of the policy to all employees.
FMLA Sample Policy (50 or More Employees)Use this sample to create your policy that communicates any employee requirements and gives notice to your employee of their right to family and medical leave.
Pregnancy Disability Leave Sample PolicyUse this sample to create your policy that communicates compliance requirements for pregnancy disability leave.


Employee Handbook Creator®

An employee handbook is one of the best ways to avoid misunderstandings and ensure fair, consistent treatment of employees. Creating a handbook that complies with California and federal laws helps protect your business from lawsuits. For more information on why a handbook is important, read the Top 10 Employee Handbook Mistakes White Paper.


Use CalChamber’s ​Employee Handbook Creator®​​ tool to clearly communicate company policies and set expectations in an employee handbook you create online. The ​​Employee Handbook Creator​®​​​ is both Windows and Mac compatible, plus you can conveniently access it from your desktop or tablet.​​​​​​​