Why do Employment Contracts and Employee Handbooks Matter

Why do employment contracts and employee handbooks matter from an employer’s perspective?  San Diego employers must take many precautions to protect against employee disputes and ultimately lawsuits.  Plaintiff’s attorneys are filing more and more lawsuits against employers for everything from retaliation and hostile work environments to wage and hour issues and unpaid overtime allegations.  The employment contract and employee handbook are the first lines of defense against these lawsuits and disputes.

It is important to cover issues such as overtime as early as your offer letter to an employee.  Overtime policy should be clearly addressed in any employment contract as well.  One example would be to require all employees to obtain written authorization from an appropriate supervisor for overtime in advance of work.  You could also address your policy on accessing company voicemail, email and business application systems after hours.  The clearer your policies in the pre-employment conversation the more success you will have defending them down the road.

This must be followed by company policies and procedures which back up information provided to employees at hire and onboarding.  In addition, your management team must strictly adhere to these policies and procedures and document every step of the process along the way.  Disciplinary procedures should be based upon measurable performance metrics which are clearly communicated.  The San Diego Lawyer for Employers team works with our business clients to structure every element of their operations to reduce the risks associated with employees, while guiding the employees themselves to actions and behaviors which benefit and profit your company.

Why do employment contracts and employee handbooks matter from an employer’s perspective? They form the foundation of employee productivity and a smooth relationship between your company and the people who work for you.  They provide a sound defense against future employee allegations and lawsuits.  Learn more by calling for a free consultation at 619-996-9960.