Your Guide to a Compliant and Up-to-Date Employee Handbook

An employee handbook outlines your company’s expectations and benefits to your employees.  Having an up-to-date and compliant employee handbook can be a powerful tool for your business.  Your company’s employee handbook should be created according to the particular needs of your workplace.  In addition, your handbook needs to comply with Illinois state and federal laws.  When creating your employee handbook, you should develop Illinois employee policies and procedures that reflect your company’s size and employee needs.  Having an employee handbook with outdated or incorrect policies can be just as risky as not having any policies at all.

Creating or updating employee handbooks can feel overwhelming for anyone, even lawyers and HR professionals.  You must consider employment laws at the Federal, state, and even local levels.  If you are an Illinois company looking to update your employee handbook to reflect Illinois employee policies, keep reading! 

Required Federal Policies

In order to comply with federal employment laws, your employee handbook must include the following polices:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (50+ Employees)
  • Military Service Leave
  • Jury Duty Leave

Required Illinois State Policies

In addition to policies required by federal law, businesses in Illinois also need these policies:

  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Sick Leave (for Chicago and Cook County)
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Child Rearing Leave
  • Bereavement Leave (50+ Employees)
  • Blood Donor Leave (51+ Employees)
  • Domestic Violence Leave (15+ Employees, different policy for 50+ Employees)
  • Military Service Leave (state-specific)
  • Jury Duty Leave (state-specific)
  • Voting Leave
  • Election Judge Leave (25+ Employees)
  • Witness Duty Leave
  • Civil Air Patrol Leave (15+ Employees)
  • Emergency Worker Leave (50+ Employees)
  • School Visitation Leave (50+ Employees)

Optional Illinois Policies

While not required by State or Federal law, Illinois businesses should consider including these policies in their Employee Handbook:

  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy 
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Timekeeping for Non-Exempt Employees Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Salary Pay for Exempt Employees Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Business Expense Reimbursement Policy
  • Holidays
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Crime Victim Leave

In addition to these policies, laws may vary depending on the size of your company, and the county and state in which your employees and headquarters are located.  There are also additional considerations if your employees are working remotely.  Therefore, it is advisable that an employer consults an attorney before finalizing their employee handbook to ensure legal compliance and to minimize potential liability.  

That’s where we come in, at SixFifty we created an Employee Handbook tool for the new way businesses work. 

SixFifty’s Employee Handbook Solution

SixFifty’s Employee Handbook can be customized to your business needs, with over 50 policies that account for the law in every state, and built for a workforce that’s more remote, mobile, and diverse post COVID.  

This solution was created with you in mind, so we teamed up with the top employment law firm in the nation to teach a computer to write your employment policies, for the state of Illinois,  for your company just like an attorney would. SixFifty’s Employee Handbook tool asks you the same questions as an attorney would, and then uses your answers to create the employment documents your company needs.

SixFifty Can Help 

With so many regulations it can be hard to understand just exactly what policies your handbook should include.  That’s why, SixFifty has created a helpful resource for your business to see what federal and state guidelines your company should be following on a state by state basis. 

If you are looking for more help creating your own employee handbook, SixFifty’s Employee Handbook can be customized to your business.  Our tool guides you through an employee policy assessment and then uses your answers to customize the employment documents for your business.  It’s like having the best employment lawyer by your side, helping your business!   

Still have questions? Schedule a free demo today!