General Human Resources Policies

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, employers are responsible for protecting the rights of employees. Failure to set and communicate workplace policies could expose a company to legal liability and violate the rights of employees. Many employers create and distribute employee handbooks with general human resources policies to inform employees of their rights and responsibilities.

Recruiting And Hiring Employees
A general HR policy for recruiting and hiring employees ensures that all applicants are treated equally throughout the recruiting and hiring process. This policy may caution hiring managers to avoid discriminatory questions, ask each applicant the same questions, and complete the required background and reference checks. This policy may include guidelines for new employee orientation, required new hire documentation, and any probationary periods.

Benefits And Compensation
A general benefits and compensation policy includes the types of available employee benefits, eligibility guidelines, plan types and enrollment information. It also spells out wage and salary information, payroll processes, and the correct ways to report time and attendance. It should include instructions on how overtime pay is calculated and how to report any payroll or benefits problems.

Performance Evaluations
This general HR policy spells out the company’s policy on conducting employee performance reviews, guidelines for measuring performance, and any consequences or rewards for high or low ratings. It should include information on performance-based rate increases and how to dispute a performance rating or salary decision based on the rating.

Workplace Safety
A general HR workplace safety policy may set guidelines for workplace safety requirements and dealing with workplace violence. Employees need to be aware of emergency evacuation plans and of how to notify the fire department, police or security personnel.

Discrimination And Harassment
Sexual harassment and discrimination are covered by a general HR policy found in many employee handbooks. This policy may define sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, an employee’s rights under the law, and the process for reporting any incidents.

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