In this three part series, attorney, Nicholas Porto, will discuss the 15 must-haves that should be in every towing and recovery business’ employee manual.
Don’t have an employee manual yet? It’s time for you to get one. Employee manuals are used a defense when a claims is filed against your business and can often times the manual can be the best exhibit against a claim. In addition, nationwide, in 2014, US companies had at least an 11.7 percent chance of having an employment charge filed against them.*
In this first series, we’ll take you through the first five must-haves that should be in your employee manual.
1. Employment At Will Statement
Your employment at will statement is for you and for your employee. It allows you to terminate an employee anytime for any lawful reason and allows your employee to resign at any time or for any reason (or no reason).
The following is an example of an employment at will statement from The Society for Human Resource Management: Your employment with [company name] is a voluntary one and is subject to termination by you or [company name] at will, with or without cause, and with or without notice, at any time. Nothing in these policies shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of [company name] employees.
2. Equal Opportunity Policy
Employers are required to inform employees that its workplace prohibits discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sex stereotyping, sexual harassment and more.
The following is an example from a tow conference presentation: [Company Name] expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.
3. Harassment/Retaliation/Reporting Policy
In order for an employer to address harassment or discrimination, it must know about it. In your employee manual, you should describe how employees should deliver these reports and who to deliver them to. Expert Tip: The reports should be in writing and delivered to a senior manager. [If you need a form to use, they are available through TowLaywer.com’s subscription service.]
4. Work Hours/Schedule
It is a requirement for companies to keep track of hours worked by non-exempt workers. Exempt employee examples include executives, administrators and professionals.
5. Pay for Training
Your employee training manual should include a section that clearly states how trainings will be handled. In most cases, employees must be paid for their time to take part in trainings and employers are also obligated to pay for such trainings. [You can get more information on training compensation on TowLaywer.com.]
In our next post, we’ll take you through must-haves six through ten that need to be in your manual. Stay tuned!
About the Porto Law Firm
The Porto Law Firm was founded in 2011 with a vision of providing uncompromised legal advocacy to businesses and individuals in a cost effective manner. Each client is provided constant access to their attorney and we are proud that most of our clients turn into our closest friends. Its current practice areas include general civil litigation, real estate law and disputes, business litigation and formation, and personal injury. In addition, the Porto Law Firm has developed a national reputation for our breadth of knowledge in legal issues specific to the towing and transportation industry.
Kansas City attorney Nicholas Porto and Knoxville, Tennessee attorney Michael McGovern are the founders of TowLawyer.com, a subscription-based website dedicated to towing and recovery industry legal issues. Visit TowLawyer.com to learn more about the only website specific to the legal issues in the towing and recovery industry.
*DATA SOURCE: Hiscox 2015 Guide to Employee Lawsuits