Do I Need an Employee Manual?

Do I Need an Employee Manual?

I stopped in recently to see a client who is rapidly expanding his business, to invite them to our employee manual seminar.  The owner asked, "What is the purpose of an employee manual?"  I responded that ideally it is an efficient way to communicate your company policies to your employees.

He laughed as he told me a story that recently happened when an employee had been out sick for 3 days.  When the employee returned, the employer asked him for a doctor's note. Do I Need an Employee Manual Apparently the company had a policy that if you are absent for 3 days then you need a doctor's note to return to work.  Unfortunately, no one had communicated this policy to the employee, and therefore there was no way to enforce it.  The company adopted an employee manual shortly after this incident.

Some employers have heard that employee manuals are bad because you shouldn't have written policies.  It is true that the company needs to follow its formalized policies or the lack of consistency can cause them legal trouble.  However, the situation that I see far more often is when a disgruntled employee calls the Department of Labor. The DOL then calls the employer to ask them what their policies are and how they were communicated to the employee.  If the employer has nothing written then the DOL often finds on behalf of the employee.

A manual should be written carefully in order to avoid common legal employment issues.  Our Business Solutions Department can assist you with this task and help you Be Ready for Anything. Contact Clark-Mortenson Insurance today at 877-352-2121, or e-mail us at

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