Whether you operate a small business or a large corporation, an employee handbook is an important resource to have in place to outline your expectations of your employees. An employee handbook template can help you easily create guidelines for your employees that are specific to your business or organization and that comply with federal, state, and local laws in which you are located. If you are based out of Chicago, there are certain regulations that will need to be included as you create an employee handbook for your business. To ensure you have taken all necessary steps for compliance, consider working with an experienced lawyer on UpCounsel to help you create a legally compliant employee handbook for your business.

This article will answer some common questions that Chicago-based business owners and executives have when creating an employee handbook. Our team at UpCounsel is here to help you every step of the way to ensure that your employee handbook is compliant with all laws and that your expectations are met.

What should be included in an employee handbook?

The specifics of what should be included in your employee handbook will vary depending on factors such as the size of your business, its location, and its industry. The handbook should include essential details about the business including who is in charge, benefits, terms of employment, vacation and sick leave, and general policies and procedures. You should also include federal and state laws applicable to your employees that pertain to the workplace. Some of the required laws in Chicago include the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, Minimum Wage Law, and Equal Pay Act.

What are the benefits of having an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is important for businesses, especially larger ones, because it can be used to protect the rights of the business. It ensures that everyone is aware of expectations and responsibilities to avoid confusion.

Having an employee handbook can help reduce claims of discrimination and harassment by clearly outlining expectations for behavior in the workplace. It should also include a neutral dispute resolution policy, which can help prevent costly litigation.

Finally, an employee handbook can be useful for new employees to understand the company culture and expectations, and it can be used to orient them to the company’s mission and goals.

What legal considerations should I take into account when creating an employee handbook?

In Chicago, employers are generally required to follow federal, state, and local laws as well as regulations applicable to their industry. Some of the key laws employers in Chicago must include in their handbooks include the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, Candidate Physical Abilities Test Act, and Workers’ Compensation Act.

Other essential considerations include policies about working hours, pay, overtime, time off, leaves of absence, and safety. Employers in Chicago must also include provisions for employees to report discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

Employers must also include language in their employee handbook about discipline. The employer should provide clear procedures for how it will handle complaints, grievances, and discipline issues in order to create an evenhanded procedure for all employees.

What can happen if there is an issue with my employee handbook?

If an employer fails to properly comply with the laws outlined in their employee handbook, they can be held liable for any violations. For example, if a Chicago-based business fails to include the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act or Equal Pay Act in their handbook, they can potentially face serious legal issues or hefty fines.

What else should I include in my Chicago-based employee handbook?

Your employee handbook should include any additional important policies specific to your business or industry. It should also include a statement about at-will employment to confirm that all employees are employees at will without the guarantee of a specified term of employment.

Your handbook should also include a statement that the handbook is not binding or legally enforceable, and that policies can be amended at any time with no prior notice. It is also essential to include a signature page for each employee to acknowledge that they have received the handbook and agree to the policies and procedures it sets forth.


Employee Handbook Template,