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Hiring new workers? Make sure to update your employee handbook

One of the most important signs that your business is succeeding is the need to hire more workers. This growth is a sign of confidence and optimism, not just for an individual business but also for the economy. And recently, it was announced that there was a six-point increase in job creation among small businesses last month. 

However, keep in mind that it can take many small business owners a long time to get to the point where they are ready to add employees. This means that if it is time for you hire new workers, you would be wise to review your employee handbooks and make any necessary revisions.

Below are four areas in particular that you will want to pay attention to.

  1. Confidentiality clauses: To be competitive you need to protect sensitive information and trade secrets. Confidentiality clauses can allow you to do this.
  2. Wage and hour information: Federal and Georgia state laws change with regard to minimum wage, overtime eligibility and meal breaks. Make sure the information in your handbook is current.
  3. Instructions for reporting harassment or discrimination: If you previously had just a few employees, you may not have had any reason to put in place a formal process for reporting misconduct. This is especially true if you worked with family members. However, expanding your workforce means that you would be wise to formalize and clearly define the protocol for filing complaints.
  4. Explanations of benefits: Your obligations as an employer change based on the size of your company. As your company grows, you may need to start providing benefits you didn't have to before. Review your handbook and make sure the information it contains is accurate and updated to reflect new responsibilities and provisions.

Your employee handbook can effectively prevent many disputes from arising with your employees. However, it can only be effective if you have one in place and it is updated. 

While it may seem confusing or overwhelming to create this type of document, you don't have to do it on your own. You can develop or review your handbook with the help of an attorney, as well as your contracts and employment policies, in an effort to avoid costly disputes in the future. 

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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