Unit 4: Administrative Operations
Administrative Operations

Section 2. Human Resources

Employee Handbook

Creating an employee handbook is a good way to set forth employees’ expectations and rights in one central place. Such a handbook ensures streamlined communication with employees and also serves as documentation that the employer is communicating and abiding by rules of employment law. An employee handbook should reflect your values and employment practices, should be clear, and should be followed consistently. To protect your organization against violations of employment laws and potential employment practices liability claims, all safety net dental clinics are encouraged to develop an employee handbook and to have the handbook reviewed by an attorney with expertise in employment law.

Developing an employee handbook in-house is important, because each safety net dental clinic offers a unique work environment, conditions of employment, and benefits.

Software programs and preprinted handbooks are available to help you create an employee handbook. If you choose to use one of these templates, be sure it includes your state's employment laws as well as federal requirements. You should also have an attorney proficient in employment law review the handbook.

Information to Include in an Employee Handbook
(Example only; not exhaustive)

  • Welcome to new employees
  • Mission statement
  • Statement of at-will employment status
  • Acknowledgment of receipt (signed proof the employee read the handbook)
  • Statement of equal employment opportunity employment
  • Statement of no tolerance regarding unlawful harassment
  • Definition of a full-time, part-time, and temporary employee
  • On-boarding processes, attendance and participation
  • Work schedules, definition of work week
  • Timekeeping requirements
  • Policy for payment for mandatory meetings, training, overtime, advances, vacation, sick leave, bonuses
  • Pay schedule
  • Frequency of employee evaluations and evaluation criteria
  • Standards of conduct
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Procedures for termination of employment
  • Health and safety issues (includes federal regulations and postings)
  • Emergency protocols for employees and patients
  • Housekeeping (including parking, security, smoking policy)
  • Holidays (office closures and whether holidays are paid)
  • Paid personal or sick leave
  • Insurance and retirement benefits
  • Leaves of absence
  • Family leave
  • Pregnancy-related disability leave, maternity and paternity leave
  • Bereavement leave, personal leave, military leave
  • Time off for voting
  • Workplace training
  • Employee continuing education policy
  • Workers' compensation
  • Inclement weather or natural disaster policies
  • Jury duty policy