If you own a veterinary practice, it is absolutely imperative that you have an employee handbook in place. An employee handbook is a resource that every veterinary practice should have, regardless of the number of employees. A handbook is important because the key to healthy relationships between veterinary employers and employees is clear communication. With a handbook in place, employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. This can help reduce workplace dissatisfaction, tension, and even litigation. In this article, we discuss the importance of employee handbooks for veterinary practices.
The Parts of an Employee Handbook
A typical employee handbook includes the following information:
- An introduction to the veterinary practice’s culture, values, and mission
- An explanation of employee rights and the steps to take if an employee believes that a violation of his or her rights have occurred
- An understanding of what is expected of employees regarding job performance, attire, punctuality and attendance, client and patient interactions, and workplace communications
- Information about employee benefits and how to use them
- Information about how employees can communicate with ownership or management
Benefits of an Employee Handbook
The different parts of an employee handbook provide employees with valuable information. In addition to serving as a useful tool for employees, an employee handbook helps ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws, and it can serve as evidence in litigation.
Every practice should review its employee handbook at least annually. However, certain significant events may warrant an immediate review, such as:
- Changes in local, state, or federal laws: Laws are continually amended and created. Therefore, every practice should review and update its employee handbook when laws are changed and enacted. Not only does this keep the handbook current, but it can help practices avoid inadvertently violating the law.
- Changes in staff size: Many employment laws are based on staff size. Therefore, as a practice grows (or shrinks), it may be necessary to update the employee handbook to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Location changes: When a practice changes its location or opens a new location, it may be necessary to revise the handbook to address laws specific to the new location.
- Changes in procedures or practices: Finally, any time a veterinary practice implements new procedures or practices, this should be reflected in the employee handbook.
Contact our Experienced Veterinary Attorneys
If you are a veterinary practice owner, you need a knowledgeable veterinary attorney on your team. At Mahan Law, our veterinary professionals understand how to succeed in the veterinary industry. Whether you need assistance with a specific legal issue, or you want to improve the overall performance of your veterinary practice, Mahan Law is on your side. When you come to us for assistance, our experienced veterinary attorneys will work hard to ensure that your professional and personal goals are met. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.