Do I need an employee handbook?

(This question came to me anonymously)

We have operations/locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. I'm fairly new to my HR role and I was wondering if we're legally required to have an Employee Handbook. 

Now, I know it's a best practice, but I'm exploring all options to see what works best for our organization.

Thanks for any insight you have on handbooks especially in those states.

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  • YES! I have found from experience that you need to be consistent and that starts with guidelines. If you don't have a handbook then you can't expect your employees to follow the rules. 

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  • There is no legal requirement to have an employee handbook. But it is beyond a best practice - it is imperative to have a document that protects you as the employer, as well as giving consistent messages and information to staff. Not having an up to date handbook leaves the organization wide open to interpretation of policies based on more invasive investigations and miscellaneous documents and emails you may have produced. Messy and far more legally risky than biting the bullet and creating a clean and clear reference book for employees. There are good software packages that you can use to create your own - never use someone else's and "adapt". Handbooks should be tied to YOUR organization and it's legal/staff needs. Having operations in multiple states is not a reason to not have clear reference manuals. But please start out the new year with a clearly written employee handbook - it will reduce your organization's risk and provide employees with much needed consistent information. If you'd like to talk more, just email me at darlene@HRPIInc.com

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