A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Multi-State Hiring

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Multi-State Hiring

Expand Your Business Nationwide: A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Multi-State Hiring

You may be looking to expand your business into new states as a small business owner. This can be a great way to grow your company and increase profits. However, there are some things you need to know before expanding into new states. For example, do you see the hiring laws in each state? If not, you could run into compliance issues with the IRS and state agencies. This blog post will discuss the basics of multi-state hiring and compliance. We will also provide tips for small business owners looking to expand their businesses nationwide!

Defining multi-state hiring and compliance

Multi-state hiring and compliance refer to recruiting and onboarding employees in multiple states. This can be a challenge for employers, as each state has its laws and regulations about employment. Furthermore, if an employer has employees in multiple states, they must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

There are a few things to keep in mind when hiring and onboarding employees in multiple states:

  1. It is essential to be aware of the laws and regulations in each state.
  2. Employers must ensure that they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
  3. Employers should have a plan in place for how they will handle multi-state hiring and compliance.

Multi-state hiring and compliance can be challenging, but employers need to be aware of the different laws and regulations that apply in each state. By being aware of these laws and regulations, employers can ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, having a plan for handling multi-state hiring and compliance can make the process easier for employers.

The importance of understanding state laws before multi-state hiring

When expanding your business, you must understand the state laws that will govern your new venture. Depending on the type of business you are starting, there may be different regulations in different states. For example, if you are starting a restaurant, you will need to obtain a food license from the state where you will be operating. Failure to comply with state laws can result in hefty fines or jail time.

It is essential to research the laws of the state where you will be doing business before you start operating. You can find this information online or by contacting the Small Business Administration. Once you understand the laws, you can determine if your business will be able to comply. If not, consider changing your business model or locating to a different state.

Understanding state laws is essential for any business owner, but it is necessary when expanding your business. By taking the time to research the laws that apply to your business, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your new venture is compliant with all applicable regulations.

The potential consequences of non-compliance with state hiring laws

Employers who do not comply with state hiring laws may face several potential consequences. First and foremost, they may be subject to legal action from the state. This could result in significant financial penalties and, in some cases, jail time. Additionally, non-compliant employers may find it challenging to fill vacant positions, as potential employees will be aware of their illegal practices and may be reluctant to work for them. In the worst-case scenario, non-compliance with state hiring laws could lead to the shutdown of a business.

Tips for small business owners looking to expand their businesses nationwide

When expanding a small business nationwide, there are a few things to keep in mind to be successful:

  1. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the marketplace and the competition. It is also critical to have a solid business plan that includes a marketing strategy tailored to each state or region where the business will expand.
  2. Building relationships with the local Chamber of Commerce and other business groups can help small business owner get their foot in the door in new markets.
  3. It is also essential to ensure that the business has the financial resources to support an expansion.

With all of that said, here are some tips for small business owners looking to expand their businesses nationwide:

1. Understand the marketplace and competition.

Before expanding a small business nationwide, it is essential to have a clear understanding of both the marketplace and the competition. This will allow you to tailor your marketing strategy to each state or region where you will expand. Additionally, it is essential to research the local Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in each area as they can provide valuable insights and connections.

2. Develop a solid business plan.

A solid business plan is critical when expanding a small business nationwide. This plan should include a detailed marketing strategy that considers the specific needs of each market where you will be expanding. Additionally, your business plan should outline your financial goals and how you intend to achieve them. With a well-thought-out plan, it will be easier to expand your small business nationwide successfully.

3. Build relationships with local businesses.

Building relationships with local businesses is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door when expanding a small business nationwide. This can be done by joining the local Chamber of Commerce and other business groups. Additionally, attending trade shows and networking events in each state or region where you will be expanding can help you make valuable connections with potential customers and partners.

4. Make sure you have the financial resources in place.

An expansion of a small business nationwide can be costly, so it is important to ensure that you have the financial resources before proceeding. This includes having enough working capital on hand to cover unexpected expenses as well as having adequate insurance coverage in place. Additionally, obtaining financing from banks or other lenders may be necessary to fund your expansion plans.

How to research state hiring laws 6.

The benefits of compliance with state hiring laws

State hiring laws ensure that employers treat job applicants fairly and without discrimination. Compliance with these laws can help employers avoid costly litigation and ensure they are hiring the best-qualified candidates for their open positions.

Employers need to be aware of several different state hiring laws. The most well-known of these is the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, other state hiring laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees who are over 40 years old; and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing equal work.

To comply with state hiring laws, employers must have clear policies and procedures governing the hiring process. These policies ensure that all job applicants are treated fairly and equally, regardless of their protected status. Employers should also provide training to their managers and other employees involved in the hiring process so that they are aware of the requirements of the law and how to avoid discriminatory practices.

By complying with state hiring laws, employers can protect themselves from costly litigation and ensure they are hiring the best-qualified candidates for their open positions.

The importance of working with Startup Tandem HR when multi-state hiring

When expanding your business into new states, working with a professional who understands the process and can help you navigate the challenges is essential. There are several things to consider when expanding your business, including market research, business planning, and regulatory compliance.

Working with Startup Tandem HR will help you ensure that you take all the necessary steps to expand your business successfully. They can help you with market research to identify the best markets for your products or services and assist with business planning to develop a solid growth plan. They can also help you navigate the regulatory landscape in new states, ensuring that you comply with all laws and regulations.

There are many benefits to working with a professional when expanding your business into new states. With their help, you can increase your chances of success and avoid costly mistakes.

1. Multi-state hiring, and compliance refer to ensuring that a business complies with the hiring laws of multiple states.

2. It is important to understand state laws before expanding your business to avoid any potential consequences of non-compliance.

3. Tips for small business owners looking to expand their businesses nationwide include researching state hiring laws and working with a professional when expanding into new forms.

4. The benefits of compliance with state hiring laws include avoiding penalties and legal action, protecting your business reputation, and attracting and retaining employees.

5. Working with a professional like Startup Tandem HR when expanding your business into new states can help you navigate the complex landscape of multi-state hiring and compliance and avoid costly mistakes.

Contact us to stay compliant as you expand nationwide!

What Should I Pay an HR Consultant?

What Should I Pay an HR Consultant?

Startup Tandem Inc.

As a new small business owner, you may not have in-house HR. Our previous posts covered what an HR consultant does and why, how, and when to hire one. We did the research on what you should expect to pay, so you don’t have to.

This blog will discuss what to pay an HR consultant, broken down into several factors influencing the price, including types of services, location, frequency of assistance, expertise, and trust. We’ll also walk you through how to spot what you want and how to negotiate the price you deserve to pay.

Compared to other types of Consultants

Tax consultants charge around $200 per hour. Web designers charge around $30 to $80 per hour, with $75 being the average. So, overall we see business consultants have an hourly cost range of about $30 to $200 per hour. HR consultants charge between $95 to $190 per hour, with $140 being the average.

Compared to the Type of Services within HR 

Not all HR consultants do the same things. Some do everything, while others specialize in one thing, for example, writing employee handbooks. Specialized services can range from requiring assistance with recruiting and hiring efforts or strategic integration of HR programs, processes, policies, or practices.

Compared to other Locations

HR consultants often factor in how their rates compare to local and regional practices. It is important to consider their location’s cost of living and the overhead costs of their company. Where they are might also mean they are more connected to other HR professionals, banks, businesses, etc. The highest paying states are Nevada, DC, Delaware, Alaska, Washington, New York, VIrginia, and Rhode Island. Some states have more jobs available than others and some states have a higher concentration of worthy candidates than others (i.e. less concentrated means less competition).

Remote work has eliminated must of our comparisons of location and also overhead costs. The most important thing to consider is regional employment law. Ideally, look for someone from a strict state like California or New York. Or – even better – look for someone in your businesses’ state. This includes where you are incorporated AND where your employees live AND where you have facilities AND where your headquarters is located. So, even if you’re incorporated in Delaware, you will want your HR person to be knowledgeable about California if you have employees who live in California.

Frequency of Use

Hourly consultants may request a minimum number of hours (ranging from about 2-5). Some consultants may have a daily or half-day rate/fee. For the aforementioned options, the consultant may request out-of-pocket expenses, like travel and lodging or site visits. These charges and their reimbursement are often more subject to negotiation than the basic rate/fee, so don’t be shy to ask questions.

A project rate or fee to handle longer-term assignments such as writing an employee handbook or developing a performance management and appraisal process. The consultant may establish a list of deliverables or milestones for a long-term project and bill the client when a milestone has been reached instead of waiting to be paid when the project is completed. These terms are usually outlined in the written contract describing deliverables and pay arrangements, including the ability of the client or consultant to alter the terms of the contract if necessary. A retainer is an upfront fee the client pays to reserve a specific date or contract. Retainers may also be used in conjunction with any of the above pay arrangements  (SHRM, 2000).

Based on Experience

Experience and track record will need to be taken into account. A brand-new consultant may charge closer to $50 or $75 per hour. With 20 years of experience, they may charge $150 or even $200 per hour. When you are hiring, be sure to hone in on this one. Make sure the relevant experience is there. You may even ask for references or look for reviews on the internet.

Trust

Hiring an HR consultant is a great way to handle your employment relations matter. They are professionals on this topic, and you can trust them to do their work well. Still, it is extremely important to interview them several times to know that you can trust their consistency. Consider referrals from friends who are also small business owners or at the very least, consider reviews. They could be a tremendous help for many things like hiring new employees, planning and executing training, and performance management.

Companies such as Startup Tandem offer outsourced HR solutions for startups and small businesses in various industries all over the country. Learn more about Startup Tandem and the Tandem Culture and give them a call for a free quote on services.

References

SHRM. (2000). How should an HR consultant charge for services? SHRM Resources and Tools. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/pages/default.aspx

Zippia. (2022, September 9). Human resources lead demographics and statistics [2022]: Number of human resources leads in the US. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.zippia.com/human-resources-lead-jobs/demographics/ 

Why, How, and When to Hire an HR Consultant

Why, How, and When to Hire an HR Consultant

As a new small business owner, you may not have in-house HR. Now that you know what an HR consultant does (see our last blog) and that it can save you time and money, let’s delve into why you should hire one as soon as possible.

This blog will discuss why, how, and when to hire an HR consultant.

When to hire an hr consultant? Why do you need an HR consultant?

Even with an HR department, a consultant can advise you on HR functions that can maintain employee productivity and performance. Ineffective recruitment strategies can cost small businesses time and money. An HR consultant can advise you on how to attract suitable candidates.

Hiring human resources consultants reduces the cost of hiring individual employees, time, and resources to train and develop them in-house, retain the trained talent, and invest in HR-related technology and tools. This time, money, and effort can be better utilized in developing core business.

Benefits of hiring a HR consultant

  • Competencies. An outsourced HR Consultant can provide you with Leadership and Navigation, Ethical Practice, Business Acumen, Relationship Management, Consultation, Critical Evaluation, Global and Cultural Effectiveness, Communication, and HR Expertise (SHRM Competency Model, 2021).
  • Compliance. They can ensure your contracts are amenable and your employee handbook includes equal employment and non-discrimination laws, anti-harassment laws, and workers’ compensation laws (Square, 2021).
  • Urgent Response. They will ensure compliance with workplace safety and wellness. They will create a proactive set of plans, policies and procedures, so it is clear to everyone involved what is to be done in unexpected situations.
  • Time Management. They will assist in the coordination of tasks and activities to maximize the effectiveness of your team’s efforts. Enabling each employee to get more and better work done in less time. They may recommend software to help you track your team’s time and remain compliant.
  • Employee Development and Training. They will help your team develop and improve technical and soft skills and knowledge to do each job more efficiently, productively, or safely. They may help you create development plans for each employee, which supports and tracks their progression.
  • Performance Management. They will ensure that a set of activities and outputs meets an organization’s goals effectively and efficiently. They may focus on the performance of an organization, a department, an employee, or the processes in place to manage particular tasks.
  • Recruitment/retention. They will help you identify, source, screen, shortlist, and interview candidates. They will also help you keep and sustain your employees. They will provide you with strategies and evidence-based plans.

How can an HR consultant specifically help my business?

They will assess specifically what your business’s needs are and create an action plan. HR consulting helps train and coach your employees to help them improve in specific areas and develop professionally. HR consulting can work with management to handle various HR issues, such as retention, recruitment, terminations, compliance, and performance management, and help improve daily operations, such as time management.

When to hire an HR Consultant?

Right away

You should hire an HR consultant as soon as your business allows, which for most small startups is whenever you have raised around 500K through fundraising. Many believe an HR consultant is essential before you even hire anyone else, as they can help you with the entire hiring strategy.

When revenue increases

When your revenue increases to over a million dollars, you may hire an internal human resources employee. You must ensure that you can hit all milestones in your business plan and work within a robust financial model.

Considering costs as you scale

Employees are expensive to hire and retain. But hiring and firing in the same position is much more expensive than retention, so retention is an essential goal for all employees you hire (independent contractors [IC] may be useful when a project has a known completion date, and the IC understands the probability of the work ending). If your employees are not bringing you an ROI within a set amount of time, an HR consultant can help you consider layoffs and devise a plan for better hiring in the future.

Scaling will be organic

Having an HR consultant will also help you as your business scales up because you will have someone on hand to help hire and onboard new employees as new work and/or new clients come in. They will help you in nearly every single stage of your business.

When NOT to hire an HR consultant

Hiring an expert full-time for your team can be very expensive, so as long as you have budgeted for HR consultant work, full-time or part-time, including their benefits if they are in-house, then you should definitely keep that HR consultant close.

Hiring an HR consultant is a good decision if you care about the growth of your business. Your people are your most important asset. Without them, you are doing everything yourself and will never be able to scale competitively.

Companies such as Startup Tandem offer outsourced HR solutions for startups and small businesses in various industries all over the country. Learn more about Startup Tandem and the Tandem Culture and give them a call for a free quote on services.

References

Society for Human Resources Management (2021, August 25). SHRM Competency Model. SHRM. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://shrm.org/learningandcareer/career/pages/shrm-competency-model.aspx
Square (2021, August 4). Employee handbooks – how to write one and what to include. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://squareup.com/us/en/townsquare/how-to-write-an-employee-handbook

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Multi-State Hiring

How to hire an HR consultant

As a new small business owner, you may not have in-house HR. In our previous posts, we have covered what an HR consultant does and why, how, and when to hire one. Let’s delve into HOW you should hire one as soon as possible.

This blog will discuss HOW to hire an HR consultant, with a complete list of interview questions and things to look for.

HR consultant for startups USAWhat makes a good HR consultant?

Excellent communication skills are essential for an HR Consultant. The ability to communicate, understand, empathize, and problem-solve with individuals from all levels in the company is imperative. People assessment skills are highly desired for this role.

What are the five roles of HR?

Human Resources manages five primary duties:

  • talent management,
  • compensation and employee benefits,
  • training and development,
  • compliance,
  • and workplace safety.

An HR department can help provide organizational structure and the ability to meet business needs by effectively managing the employee lifecycle.

Verify their HR service delivery model

HR service delivery is a term that explains how an organization’s human resources department offers services to and interacts with employees. Traditionally, human resources service delivery was as simple as an open door policy where employees could stop in, ask questions and pick up needed paperwork.

While that’s still in effect, trends are moving toward a fiercely proactive model, which includes strategy, purposeful implementation, increased capabilities, flawless and streamlined processes, a vision of the big picture, and using business partners when appropriate (Mercer, 2022).

Questions to ask your prospective HR consultant

  • How long have you done HR consulting work?
  • What kind of experience do you have?
  • How much of your experience has been in (the state your business is in)?
  • How much of your experience has been in a management-level position?
  • How do you keep up-to-date with changing HR laws?
  • How do you investigate and handle legal complaints, like sexual harassment or workplace discrimination?
  • How are our communications protected to remain confidential?
  • What HR tasks can you help me with?
  • What services do you not provide? Do you have referrals for those services?
  • Do you work onsite or remotely?
  • What do I need to provide for you?
  • What are your rates and payment options?
  • What happens if I disagree with your advice?
  • How often can I contact you to ask questions?
  • How quickly do you respond to questions?
  • How do you prefer to communicate with clients? (

Other considerations when hiring a HR consultant

  • The duties of an HR consultant.
  • Experience matters.
  • Find out details of their previous projects.
  • Focus on their area of expertise.
  • Assess how connected they are with the latest updates.
  • Set expectations to gauge their level of commitment.

 

Remember that this role is vital to your business, as your people ARE your business. Be sure to understand their roles and responsibilities, what skills make them good at what they do, their service delivery model, and other considerations like their level of expertise and ability to keep current. Communication and commitment are also hugely important.

Companies such as Startup Tandem offer outsourced HR solutions for startups and small businesses in various industries all over the country. Learn more about Startup Tandem and the Tandem Culture and give them a call for a free quote on services.

References

Emerzian Shankar Legal Inc. (2022, February 16). What questions should I ask an HR consultant? Emerzian Shankar Legal Inc. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://eslegalinc.com/what-questions-should-i-ask-an-hr-consultant/

Mercer (2022). It’s time for the next generation HR Service Delivery Model. Mercer. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from https://www.mercer.com/content/dam/mercer/attachments/global/Talent/Assess-BrochureHRAssessment.pdf

What services do human resources (HR) consultants provide?

What services do human resources (HR) consultants provide?

What services do human resouorces hr consultants provide

You may not have the time or money as a new small business owner to hire an in-house human resource person or department. That’s where human resource consultants come in and can provide you with the extra help you need. But what services do human resources (HR) consultants provide? Outsourcing by using a consultant instead of hiring in-house saves you time and money and potentially even saves you money on benefits premiums (e.g., employee retirement plans). This is because they are connected and they come with a plethora of experience.

HR consultants services“HR consulting is the practice of delivering all aspects of human resource management as an external provider” (SHRM, 2022). Human resources is extremely important in protecting your business against employee lawsuits and claims, like wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. Additionally, HR helps you with compensation and benefits, recruitment/retention, hiring/firing, and keeping up to date with any laws that may affect the company and its employees.

Many small businesses wait until they are sued or need to fire someone to consult with an HR professional. This could be too late. If you haven’t hired an HR consultant yet, you should do so right away. A new business needs a professional HR consultant to develop the best strategies and policies for hiring and retaining talent. It’s also best practice to have policies and procedures, an employee handbook, payroll, compensation and benefits early on – to make communication and expectations very clear to employees. Even employee training and development is important early on to keep you competitive as an employer and to keep employees engaged. HR consultants can take care of all of these things – and more!

This blog will discuss the standard HR consulting’ services you can expect and what Startup Tandem does above and beyond.

Standard HR Consulting Services:

  • Developing, revising, and implementing HR policies and procedures.
  • Analyzing a company’s current HR programs and recommending solutions.
  • Writing or revising your company’s employee handbook.
  • Payroll processing.
  • Employee benefits administration.
  • Professional Recruiting Services.
  • HR Audit and Operational Review.
  • Compensation /benefits Strategy and Planning.
  • Employee Training Programs.
  • HR Strategy.
  • Succession Planning.
  • Leadership Development & Coaching.

Startup Tandem’s Human Resource Consultants Twist:

We heard your questions, so we will walk you through HR consultants’ services and what Startup Tandem does differently.

  • Recruiting – Once you are ready to hire internally, we will write clear descriptions and find, screen & hire talent for you. If you prefer coaching, we can guide you in completing these crucial steps yourself by creating a process specific to your company’s product, stage, needs and current employees.
  • Compliance – We will help you with payroll, HR policies, and systems, including employee handbooks, policies and procedures (P&Ps), and finding the best human resources information system (HRIS). We keep you up to date on federal and state equal employment and non-discrimination laws, anti-harassment laws, and workers’ compensation laws. See our recent blog on how to write an employee handbook here.
  • Retention – Once your talent is on board, we will train them, grow them professionally, and succession plan when you know that key employees are moving on. We uncover what your employees’ motivations are and build on their specific needs, wants and appreciation at work languages.

Startup Tandem will help you with all the hard stuff, too

  • Layoffs/terminations – We provide strategies, conversation counseling, and guidance for your business. This will help you to support transitional employees and avoid wrongful termination. For an additional fee, we will terminate your employees for you, ensuring all legalities and taking out the emotion.
  • The Hard Stuff – We will ensure your contracts are valid and up-to-date and your HR investigations are unbiased. For an additional fee, we will conduct your investigations or write your contracts for you.
  • Onboarding – We provide checklists, mentorship programs, and other best practices tailored to your organization, from the new hire’s first engagement to the end of their introductory (probationary) period.
  • Culture & Leadership – We will help you build a culture where employees feel happy to work, using evidence-based culture and leadership programs specifically customized for your organization. The process starts with conflict, personality, strengths, and appreciation assessments that help individuals and groups discover themselves and work better together.
  • Compensation – We look at your budget and business strategy to analyze and advise on pay increases and recommend staying competitive with talent yet staying within your means. Additionally, we work with our CFO, financial advisory department, tax department, and financial analysis department to fit your employees and their compensation into your unique financial puzzle.
  • Benefits – We have licensed insurance agents that can write life & health insurance and retirement plan policies. We also consult on mandatory benefits and recommend discretionary benefits that keep employees thriving at work (according to the literature on job satisfaction and retention).

How Can Startup Tandem Human Resource Consultants Help?

Aside from tapping into any of the outsourced HR services mentioned above, we want you to know that Startup Tandem provides full-cycle services to startups with you from beginning to end.

Startup Tandem believes in using unique pricing structures that enable startups to receive valuable services for a fixed price (rather than billable hours).

Want to know more about what our human resource consultants provide? Get in touch now.

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References

SHRM. (2022, April 26). Introduction to Consulting. SHRM. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/Pages/default.aspx

How to Write an Employee Handbook

How to Write an Employee Handbook

How to write an employee handbook

As a new small business owner, you may not know how to write an employee handbook.  of all your policies, procedures, and all other employment and job-related information employees need to know and acknowledge.

There are many reasons to have an employee handbook that new hires read over and sign immediately.

  • That it sets clear expectations for your employees
  • States your legal obligations
  • Defines their rights.

The handbook protects your business against employee lawsuits and claims, like wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and discrimination.

This blog will discuss steps to build your personalized employee handbook without adding too much information.

Step 1: Work Hours, Compensation, and Benefits

A fundamental expectation to set is when employees start/ come into the office and when they leave. Time tracking is also extremely important to protect the employee and your business.

There is even an obligation to that effect in California. This section should also include overtime policies, probationary period policies, and leaves of absence (sick, vacation, PTO, etc.) Be sure to research what is mandatory, both federally and state.

Although pay is covered in an employment contract, pay raises and bonuses can be outlined in the handbook if they are standardized. For example, employees may get a pay raise each year after a positive performance review. Or pay may increase with inflation. This is not mandatory but will give employees something to look forward to.

Be sure to research minimum wage and overtime laws. Also, check out exempt versus non-exempt employees and part-time versus full-time employees. Independent contractors and hourly or contract employees all have different privileges and responsibilities.

Pro tip: Read about How to Deal with Quiet Quitting Trend – Startup Tandem

Step 2: Explain your Company Culture & How Employees Stay Aligned

First, include your Code of Conduct, which “lays out the company’s principles, standards, and the moral and ethical expectations that employees and third parties are held to as they interact with the organization” (GAN Integrity, 2020).

Performance Reviews and progressive discipline keep your employees in line and A-aligned with the culture. Performance reviews are an opportunity to look not only at performance but also at how closely the company’s values and mission align with the employees.

These “hook” an employee at onboarding when the culture is strong and well-defined. Employees feel safe knowing what you’re doing, and they’ll be more likely to stay and perform well.

Pro tip: Read more about How to Make a Hybrid Model Work for your Business – Startup Tandem

Step 3: Don’t forget all the legal stuff

Include equal employment and non-discrimination laws, anti-harassment laws, and workers’ compensation laws (Square, 2021).

You can find the federal ones here:

and state ones here: State Labor Laws. Some US states explicitly state the specific legal content you need to have in your handbook. For example, in California, the Department of Industrial Relations has instructional manuals and pocket guides to help you construct employee handbooks for various industries.

Should you consult a lawyer when writing your employee handbook?

You probably want to consult a lawyer during or after writing your handbook’s legal section(s). Remember, your employees have a copy of the handbook and use it as a guide. Still, you can include a disclaimer such as, “I understand that this handbook is NOT a binding contract but provides guidelines for personnel concerning the company’s policies and benefits.” You can also state that the company “may change, rescind, or add to any policies, benefits, or practices described in the handbook at its discretion, without prior notice.” Finally, include the nature of employment, such as “at-will” in California, and have the employee acknowledge receipt by signing the last page to keep in their personnel file.

Lastly, keep your handbook up to date, even when it comes to mandatory laws and benefits. For example, in 2020, California’s Employment Development Department

Implemented a new form: DE4 (Employee Tax Withholding for your company’s records, incorporating a new law: ABC (an employment status test), and made COVID-19-related changes to a tried-and-true form: the I-9.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what to include. A more comprehensive list is here:

  • Equal employment opportunity (antidiscrimination)
  • Antiharassment
  • Antiretaliation
  • At-will nature of employment
  • Code of conduct
  • General employment information
  • Safety and security
  • Pay policies such as information on paydays, timekeeping, overtime eligibility, meal and rest periods, etc.
  • Benefits
  • Sick leave policy
  • Paid vacation policy

Other chapters to include in your employee handbook

  • Family and medical leave — if a business has 50 or more employees, it often needs to have an FMLA policy
  • Assessment process for promotions and raises
  • Process for filing a complaint
  • Welcome letter from CEO or founder
  • Company’s mission statement
  • Company culture
  • Annual office closures
  • Behavioral expectations including attendance and dress code if relevant
  • Standard operating hours including rules about employees being onsite outside of these hours
  • Review process and how to get a promotion/pay raise
  • Progressive discipline or policy when behavior doesn’t meet expectations
  • A form to sign saying they’ve read the staff handbook and agree to the terms (Square, 2021).

Pro tip: Read more about Steps to Retain Employees – Startup Tandem

How Can Startup Tandem HR Help?

If you follow these simple steps, you can avoid lawsuits/claims like wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. Also, you can set clear expectations with employees, which helps with trust and communication, and thus, job satisfaction and retention. Trust and communication help them perform better too! Startup Tandem provides human resources consulting services to help you write your employee handbook – or we can write it for you! We include policies to keep you compliant and away of trouble. 

 

 

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