When an organization hires employees who live and work in Connecticut, employers must ensure that their employee handbook complies with relevant federal and Connecticut employee handbook requirements. 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.

Employee handbooks offer an introduction to the company, act as a resource for employees and managers, set expectations, explain important company policies, and mitigate your legal risk. However, if your Connecticut employee handbook fails to comply with state-specific employment laws, you could leave your company open to legal liability.

If your hiring extends to multiple states, the process of researching employment laws and drafting state-specific employee handbooks can become time-consuming and expensive. Fortunately, SixFifty has developed an employment document platform to assist employers in adhering to applicable laws across all 50 states.

Here’s what you need to know when creating a Connecticut employee handbook.

Required Connecticut employee handbook policies

Connecticut requires employers to implement and comply with 13 state-specific policies:

  • Crime Victim Leave Policy
  • Family Violence Leave Policy (for companies with three or more employees)
  • FMLA Policy (for companies with 75 or more employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave Policy
  • Meal and Rest Breaks Policy
  • Pay Transparency Policy
  • Paid Sick Leave Policy (for companies with 50 or more employees)
  • Pregnancy Leave Policy (for companies with three or more employees)
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Service Members Leave Policy
  • Voting Leave Policy
  • Witness Duty Leave Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy

Note that several of these policies have employee thresholds. If your company is unlikely to ever meet these thresholds, you may not need to include them, but if you’re approaching the threshold, it may be prudent to include them now.

Optional Connecticut employee handbook policies

In addition to the 13 required state policies, employers are free to add as many of the following optional state policies as they choose:

  • 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
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy  Leave Policies, including: Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Voting Leave; School Activity Leave Performance Review Policy
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions 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
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

Depending on your organization’s structure and needs, you may not want or need to include all of the 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 a Connecticut employee handbook

Researching and drafting state-specific employee handbooks can prove time-consuming and difficult. Even if you intend to include only the mandatory state and federal policies, it still involves some risk. Any inadvertent violation of federal or Connecticut state employment laws in your policies could leave your company vulnerable to liability.

Given these challenges, organizations have several options. One approach is to hire an attorney to handle the handbook drafting, ensuring legal compliance. However, if you need to create multiple state-specific employee handbooks, the billable hours can accumulate quickly.

Alternatively, some companies opt to use one-size-fits-all online templates, which is a more cost-effective but risky choice. There’s no guarantee that the language will comply with each state’s regulations, and you might miss out on essential state or federal employment policies.

We recognize the obstacles in crafting state-specific employee handbooks. That’s why SixFifty offers a better solution. Our employee handbook creator platform is designed to guide employers through the entire employment life cycle, from crafting offer letters to handling separation, termination, and offboarding. With Employment Docs, creating top-tier employment documents—including Connecticut employee handbooks and their specific requirements—becomes more accessible and affordable than ever before. Best of all, you can rest assured knowing that our legal team monitors changes to employment law nationwide. Should any new legislation emerge, we will notify you, allowing you to regenerate your handbooks accordingly.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.