When you plan to hire employees in North Carolina, most employment-related documents you use must comply with state and federal employment laws—including your employee handbook. Employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, but they do act as a good resource for employers and employees alike. A good employee handbook provides an introduction to your company, sets expectations, explains your company policies and mitigates your legal risk. However, if your North Carolina doesn’t comply with state-specific employment laws, you could expose your organization to significant risk.
Researching and drafting employee handbooks for all 50 states can be expensive and time consuming. That’s why SixFifty has created an Employment Docs platform to help businesses generate their own customized employee handbooks.
Here’s what you should know about making your own North Carolina employee handbook.
Required North Carolina employee handbook policies
North Carolina requires employers to implement and comply with eight state-specific policies (Note that one policy only applies to companies with 25 or more employees, while the meal and rest break policy only applies to minors):
- Disaster Response Leave
- Domestic Violence Leave
- Immigration Law Compliance (25 Employees)
- Jury Duty Leave
- Leave for Involvement in School
- Meal and Rest Breaks (minors only)
- Parent Compliance with Juvenile Court Orders Leave
- Pay Transparency Policy
If you don’t meet the requirements for the immigration law or meal and rest break policies, you don’t have to include them. However, if you’re likely to hire minors or meet the 25 employee threshold, you may wish to include them anyway.
Optional North Carolina employee handbook policies
In addition to the seven required North Carolina policies, the following optional policies may also be included in your North Carolina employee handbook:
- Affinity Group Policy
- Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
- Arbitration Policy
- At-Will Employment Policy
- Background Check Policy
- Business Expense Policy
- Cell Phone Policy
- COBRA Policy
- Code of Conduct
- 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
- Employee Referral Policy
- Employment of Relatives Policy
- Exit Interview Policy
- Gifts Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Job Duties Policy
- Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Parental Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Crime Victim Leave; and Voting Leave
- Marijuana Policy
- Off-Duty Use of Facilities
- Outside Employment 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
- Record Retention Policy
- Remote Working Policy
- Salary Pay Policy
- Smoking Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Social Security Policy
- Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
- Technology Systems Policy
- Temporary Relocation Policy
- Termination of Employment Policy
- Timekeeping Policy Overtime Policy
- Vacation/Paid Time Off
- Video Conferencing Policy
- Weapons in the Workplace Policy
- Workers’ Compensation Policy
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Workplace Visitor Policy
- Workweek and Work Schedules Policy
Don’t feel obligated to include them all: not every policy will be suited to your company type, industry, employment type and other considerations.
Required federal employee handbook policies
If you create an employee handbook for your company, you must also include required federal employee handbook policies:
- Americans with Disabilities Act and Accommodations 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 Accommodations Policy
Fortunately, federal law supersedes state law, so these policies remain the same in all 50 states. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (that is, if the organization meets the 50-employee requirement for FMLA).
How to create a North Carolina employee handbook
Researching and drafting a compliant North Carolina handbook can be time-consuming and expensive, even if you’re only including the required federal and state policies. Plus, it’s risky: if you accidentally violate employment law, your company could be held legally liable for any issues which arise.
There are a few different options to ensure your state-specific handbooks are compliant. First, you can hire an attorney. This is a safe option, but if you plan to hire employees in more than one state, you’ll rack up significant billable hours.
Some companies use one-size-fits-all templates, which is a risky choice. There’s never any guarantee that templates—or worse, copying from someone else’s handbook—will include all the required policies and language.
SixFifty’s Employment Docs platform is a better solution. Instead of drafting your own handbook, hiring an attorney or using a template, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our Employment Docs platform was designed to guide companies through every stage of the employment lifecycle, starting with offer letters and ending with termination and offboarding. Our platform makes it easy to generate top-tier employment documents, like North Carolina employee handbooks, in a quick and cost-effective manner. Best of all, our legal team closely monitors changes to employment laws nationwide. If there are any new laws or changes to the law, you’ll be notified so you can regenerate your handbooks as needed.
Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!