Creating an employee handbook is a smart business move. While there’s no requirement for companies to have an employee handbook, it protects organizations against employment lawsuits, provides guidance to new and established employees, and reinforces the company culture, values, and mission. An employee handbook’s cost is a good investment in your organization on several levels..

However, employee handbooks need to be tailored to state and federal employment laws. When you’re hiring workers in more than one state, the employee handbook for one state might look considerably different than handbooks for other locations. Employers must research all applicable state employment laws to ensure that they’ve included all required notices and that the handbook is compliant with local laws.

Unfortunately, all that research is time-consuming—and expensive. How much do employee handbooks cost? How can you comply with each state’s laws without racking up billable hours? Read on to learn more about the cost of creating an employee handbook, and how SixFifty can help.

How much does an employee handbook cost?

The cost of an employee handbook depends on how you create it. Because handbooks serve such important purposes, like communicating company policies and required notices, they need to be legally compliant with state law. Therefore, one of the most prudent ways to create your handbook is to have a lawyer draft your handbook from scratch.

That can be quite expensive, depending on whether they charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. Typically, however, employee handbooks cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. You’ll also need to factor in costs for each additional state, since state laws can be so different.

If you’re wondering, “Can I write my own employee handbook?” the answer is yes. You can create your own employee handbook, if you feel comfortable with researching laws and drafting your own handbook.

To ensure that your handbook meets all legal requirements, you’ll still need to hire a lawyer to review each policy and notice. That’s a less expensive option, but you’ll be sacrificing your own time instead.

There are also one-size-fits-all templates online, which are cheaper, but those aren’t recommended. There’s no guarantee that the policies and notices included will comply with state and local laws. Because this can expose your organization to significant risk, you’d still need to hire a lawyer to review and edit the template as needed.

What should be included in an employee handbook?

The contents of your employee handbook will vary, depending on your company size, mission, values, culture and employee location. They usually include a welcome statement, information about the company, your mission statement, certain policies and procedures, and other useful information that will help employees succeed at their new job.

Federal policies remain the same across the board. These policies include:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (organizations with 50 or more employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

In addition to those required federal policies, you’ll need to meet state-specific requirements as well. For example, states like California have extensive worker protections, while others have fewer regulations, which favors businesses.

Each state-specific employee handbook must comply with your legal requirements, while providing necessary information about your organization and expectations. This can be a daunting task when you’re hiring workers in more than one state.

How to develop an employee handbook with SixFifty

Developing a compliant employee handbook is a major task, especially when you have employees in multiple states. Because hiring a lawyer can be so expensive, and writing your own handbook requires hours of your own time, companies often look for ways to reduce costs while remaining compliant.

On the other hand, relying on generic templates to create a handbook could expose your organization to significant risk—and you’ll still need to hire a lawyer to review each handbook anyway.

That’s why SixFifty has developed a better way to create employee handbooks. Our Employment Docs platform is designed to guide employers through each stage of the employment life cycle, from hiring and employee handbooks to termination letters and offboarding. It’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to generate legally compliant employee handbooks for your organization.

Best of all, our legal team keeps a close eye on employment law developments across the nation. If the laws change, we’ll notify you so you can regenerate your employee handbooks or other employment documents.

Employee handbook cost shouldn’t keep you from creating a customized, compliant handbook—let SixFifty do the hard work for you.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a product demo today!

Looking for the employee handbook requirements for your state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.