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Employee Handbook Basics

Every employer in the State of Florida is advised to have a set of written policies and procedures collected in what’s commonly called an “Employee Handbook” that is distributed to new hires. While some very small businesses (with fewer than two or three employees) may feel safe going without this formality, the fact is when you hire an employee, you open yourself to liability, and having written policies can help defend you against claims.

The question of what should be contained in your employee handbook is best directed to a qualified employment law attorney in Florida, who can help analyze your specific business culture, but there are some basics that should always be included.

Basic Background

Your handbook should include a short history of your business, a statement about its goals and culture, and a statement declaring you are an at-will employer.  Your employment law attorney in Florida can help you with the precise wording of these statements.

Office Policies

The handbook should also clearly state your policies regarding harassment, discrimination, and other office behaviors, as well as clearly set out the procedures employees can follow if they find themselves victims of these or any other negative situations.

Employment Mechanics

Your handbook should make clear how employment works, from dress code and performance reviews to pay frequency and procedure, vacation and sick day policies, attendance requirements, bonus structure (if any), and holiday schedule.


Your handbook should also include all benefits offered standard to all employees, with clearly-worded language (crafted by a Florida employment law attorney if possible) detailing when employees are eligible for benefits and what those benefits are.

Your employee handbook should be written in simple, clear language and be confined to statements of fact. The more detailed it is, the more beneficial it is.