What does an employment handbook cost? This is a question that new business owners who just started hiring employees may ask. So let’s explore this question and review some general information about employment handbooks.
How Much Does an Employment Handbook Cost?
An employment handbook is used by a company to inform employees about the company’s rules and regulations. In addition, it serves as a code of conduct for new employees. It helps introduce them to the new company they are now employed by.
Some employment handbooks also include necessary employment contracts like confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements. The new employee will be asked to sign these documents after reviewing and agreeing to all the terms in the employment handbook.
Employment handbooks can be very complicated and intricate depending on the company and the employee’s new role. Writing an employee handbook can be a daunting task, so many employers hire an attorney to handle this project on their behalf. An attorney specializing in employment law will know what the handbook must include and how to protect the company's rights best and avoid future human resource issues.
Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a project involving an employment handbook is $1,125.00.
What’s Typically Included in an Employment Handbook?
Employment handbooks will differ in length and complexity based on the company and the employee’s role. At a minimum, the employment handbook should include these key provisions:
- Nondiscrimination policy
- Communication policy
- Compensation and benefits
- Separation policy
- Employee dress code
- Code of company ethics
- Workplace safety guidelines
- Sick days, vacation requests, attendance policies
- Disciplinary procedures
- Employee termination policy
An employer can add or remove provisions to tailor the employment handbook to their specific company needs. It is good to consult with an attorney to make sure that all necessary provisions are included in the employment handbook.
Some employment laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may affect the rules you include in your employment handbook. However, your handbook rules cannot violate federal or state labor laws.
A knowledgeable attorney will understand these laws and know how to word the employment handbook to ensure these laws are met while still enforcing the company’s policies.
Who Needs an Employment Handbook?
Any company that hires employees should have an employment handbook. Although they may seem inconsequential, employment handbooks serve a very important purpose for a company.
The employment handbook protects both the employer and employee’s rights while encouraging compliance among the staff. It allows a company to clearly and effectively communicate rules and standards to new employees and disciplinary procedures if the employee fails to comply with the rules.
Companies who use employment handbooks typically reduce the number of human resource issues and avoid employee disputes.
Examples of Employment Handbook Projects
Examples of employment handbook projects include employment handbook drafting services and employment handbook review services.
Employment Handbook Drafting Service
It is common for new companies to hire an attorney to draft their employment handbook. A new company owner is often busy with other projects. An employment handbook takes a good amount of time to complete.
A lawyer will be familiar with all applicable laws and what provisions must be included in the employment handbook. The lawyer can also draft documents the company may need, such as a non-compete agreement or confidentiality agreement. These contracts are often presented to employees with the employment handbook.
Before beginning drafting services, the company owner and lawyer have a consultation to discuss the company and understand what provisions are in the handbook. The lawyer will draft the handbook after the consultation. The parties may need to meet again for revisions or add additional clauses to the handbook.
Employment Handbook Review Service
Several employment handbooks templates are available online so that a company owner can draft their own handbook. However, even if an employer writes the handbook, it is still encouraged to meet with an attorney for document review services.
During the document review, the attorney will go over the employment handbook to ensure all necessary provisions are included. The handbook must follow federal, state, and local employment laws, and rules in the handbooks cannot go against these laws.
A lawyer will ensure that the employment handbook sufficiently protects both the employer and the employee and will make revisions or add new provisions as necessary.
Employment Handbook Drafting Costs
Hiring a lawyer to draft an employment handbook will incur legal fees. In addition, the lawyer will bill the client for the amount of time they spend working on the project.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average employment handbook drafting costs are $1,250.00 across all states and industries.
Employment Handbook Review Cost
Hiring a lawyer for review services will also incur legal fees, but they will generally be less than drafting fees. A lawyer conducting document review still uses their time and legal expertise to complete this task.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average employment handbook review costs $1,000.00 across all states and industries.
How Do Employment Handbook Lawyers Charge?
Hourly Rates for Employment Handbook
Lawyers who provide document drafting services can charge clients using an hourly fee structure. When a lawyer uses an hourly rate, they first inform the client of their set hourly rate. Then, if the client agrees, the lawyer will bill the client for hours spent working on their project.
Lawyers will often send bills periodically, like monthly. The client will be expected to pay these bills until the project or case is complete. Sometimes, lawyers will also bill for any work done by their paralegals or office staff.
Hourly rate fee structures ensure that a lawyer is fairly compensated but could lead to a client being surprised by an unexpectedly high bill. Therefore, clients and lawyers should often communicate to ensure they are informed of their legal bill.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average hourly rate for an employment handbook lawyer ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Employment Handbook
Flat fee rates are commonly used when lawyers are hired for a one-time project like drafting an employment handbook. Instead of billing hourly, the lawyer will estimate the number of hours the project will complete and charge the client accordingly. Under a flat rate fee structure, the attorney usually requires that the fee be paid upfront.
Clients prefer the flat fee rate billing structure because they know exactly what they will be paying for an attorney’s legal services. However, the client should be sure what this fee covers because a lawyer may charge additional fees for more meetings or revisions.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for an employment handbook is $1,125.00.
Get Help with an Employment Handbook
Do you need help with an employment handbook project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from business lawyers to handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel’s platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top tier service.