Required Handbook Provisions

Depending on the size of the business (number of employees), certain provisions are required by law. For instance, if the company has between 1 and 14 employees, it is covered by the law that requires equal pay for equal work. However, companies who have over 15 employees not only are covered by equal pay laws but also by Title VII’s anti-discrimination provisions. The U.S. EEOC website is valuable not just for your use but for your client’s use as well. The EEOC site contains numerous tips sheets for employers including ones specifically tailored to small businesses. When practicing, I always found it helpful to see what my clients read, so keeping up with the EEOC’s site was one practice that I employed while working as an attorney. Provisions that you will likely be required to draft for your clients are:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policy (anti-discrimination)
  • Anti-harassment Policy
  • Anti-retaliation Policy
  • Disability Accommodations Policy
  • Religious Accommodations Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act

Even if not required by law, I always encouraged my clients to go the extra mile and be compliant anyway. If they are not convinced by the benefits of treating their employees well, and on par with larger companies, I remind them that as part of their expansion plan they will hit the requirement soon enough and rather than have to change the handbook and the company policies later, I advised we have them set up from the beginning. Happy to report, many clients were receptive.

💡 Locate language for each of the above policies by exploring the internet and legal research sites. Which sites did you deem most helpful and reliable? Be ready to discuss what you learned from reading the policies.


Icon for the CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) license

To the extent possible under law, Samantha Prince has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation, except where otherwise noted.