In this three part series, attorney, Nicholas Porto, explains 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.
- Cell Phone Policy
Be clear on how employees can use their cell phone while driving a commercial vehicle (driving includes time while stopped!). The policy should state that the use of handheld devices is not permitted while driving and absolutely no texting while driving.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
Your manual should outline all instances when an employee could be tested for drug and alcohol use. These situations include: pre-employment test, post-accident test, random test, reasonable suspicion test, return to duty test and a follow up test. For more information on each of these situations, check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Employee Agreements
You should have three basic agreements outlined in your manual.
- Non-Disclosure Agreement – This protects “trade secrets” of an organization e.g. customer lists, business methods, marketing plans, personnel information and more.
- Non-Solicitation Agreement – This prohibits former employees from contacting your customer base.
- Non-Compete Agreement – This restricts former employee’s ability to work for competitors for a certain amount of time.
- Arbitration Agreement
Arbitration is a process that resolves disputes outside the courts. An arbitration agreement should be an addendum to your handbook and contain this phrase, “THIS CONTRACT CONTAINS A BINDING ARBITRATION PROVISION WHICH MAY BE ENFORCED BY THE PARTIES.”
- Acknowledgment of Employee
The acknowledgment of employee should the last page of your handbook and is normally something your employee signs. This acknowledgment can be a powerful tool in eliminating possible claims.
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.