When hiring employees in Arkansas, your employee handbook must adhere to both federal and Arkansas law. While employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace.
Employee handbooks are a good resource because they allow employers to easily document the required policies and show that they have complied with applicable law. A tailor-made, state-specific employee handbook can also introduce your company and guide employees, covering essential policies and procedures while establishing clear expectations. In addition, well-crafted employee handbooks act as a safeguard for the company, mitigating potential legal risks.
Failure to meet all federal and Arkansas employee handbook requirements could expose your company to legal risk. Unfortunately, undertaking the task of researching and drafting custom employee handbooks for all 50 states can be quite challenging. Fortunately, SixFifty’s employment documents platform empowers employers to develop state-specific employment handbooks in a fast, cost-effective manner.
Here’s what you need to know about creating your own Arkansas employee handbook.
Required Arkansas employee handbook policies
Arkansas requires employers to implement and comply with five state-specific employment policies:
- Crime Victim Leave Policy
- Jury Duty Leave Policy
- Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave Policy
- Public Service Leave Policy
- Voting Leave Policy
All employers must implement these policies, regardless of industry, company size, employment type, and other factors.
Optional Arkansas employee handbook policies
Employers are also free to include any or all of these optional Arkansas employee handbook policies:
- Affinity Group Policy
- Arbitration Policy
- At-Will Employment Policy
- Background Check Policy
- Business Expense Policy
- Company Property Policy
- Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
- Desk Hoteling Policy
- Direct Deposit Policy
- Dress Code Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
- Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
- Employee Benefits Policy
- Employee Classification Policy
- Employee Dating Policy
- Employee References Policy
- Employment of Relatives Policy
- Exit Interview Policy
- Gifts Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Immigration Law Compliance
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Parental Leave; Bereavement Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; Witness Duty Leave; School Activity Leave
- Marijuana Policy
- Off-Duty Use of Facilities
- Outside Employment Policy
- Overtime Policy
- Payment of Wages Policy
- Payroll Deductions Policy
- Performance Review Policy
- Personnel Files Policy
- Pets in the Workplace Policy
- Progressive Discipline Policy
- Public Relations Policy
- Punctuality and Attendance Policy
- Salary Pay Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
- Technology Systems Policy
- Telecommuting Policy
- Temporary Relocation Policy
- Timekeeping Policy
- Vacation/Paid Time Off
- Video Conferencing Policy
- Workers’ Compensation Policy
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Workplace Visitor Policy
- Workweek and Work Schedules Policy
Depending on your company size, type, employment type, and more, you may not want or need to include all of these optional policies. For example, if your employees are fully remote, an off-duty use of facilities or pets in the workplace policy is unlikely to be necessary.
Required federal employee handbook policies
If you choose to create an employee handbook, you should include these policies that are required by federal employment law:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
- Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
- Jury Duty Leave
- Military Service Leave
- Sexual Harassment Policy
- Lactation Accommodation Policy
- Religious Accommodation Policy
Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they do business. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy).
How to create an Arkansas employee handbook
Creating state-specific employee handbooks demands careful research and drafting, even when focusing solely on incorporating required federal and state policies for a single state. The stakes are high—any violation of federal or Arkansas state employment laws in your written policies could leave your organization open to liability.
To ensure handbook compliance, companies have several options. One approach is to hire an attorney or ask the company’s internal legal team to draft the handbook, which is a good way to minimize risk and ensure legal compliance. However, if you’re hiring in multiple states, the billable hours can become expensive.
Some companies resort to using online templates or copying and pasting content from existing employee handbooks. This is not advisable, as the handbooks you use as models or the templates you find may lack essential state-specific policies. Copying and pasting could also be a copyright violation.
Fortunately, SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform is expressly designed to guarantee your Arkansas employee handbook aligns with all legal requirements. Our platform guides employers through every stage of the employment life cycle, starting from offer letters and continuing through separation and offboarding. The result is top-tier employment documents, created in a fraction of the time and cost that would be required otherwise. Plus, our legal team diligently monitors changes to employment law nationwide. If any new legislation passes, we’ll notify you so you may regenerate your handbooks as needed.
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