When you join a new company, you're likely to receive an employee handbook. This provides a variety of information, all of which could pertain to you now or at some point in the future.
While it's important to review your employee handbook from beginning to end, here are some areas that deserve the most attention:
- Discrimination issues. Non-discrimination guidelines and protocols are set forth by the employer, but the employee handbook should also have information on federal and state discrimination laws.
- Overtime. If you qualify for overtime pay, this section should be of interest to you. It can include information on requesting overtime hours, pay rate and other key details.
- Compensation policies. This differs from company to company, but may touch on things such as payroll procedures, overtime pay and advances.
- Leave policies. For example, if your employer has more than 50 employees, they may be required to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your handbook should include information pertaining to the FMLA, such as how to request leave.
If you have any questions about your employee handbook, ask for clarification before your first day on the job is complete. This will ensure that you and your employer are on the same page.
In the event that something goes wrong during your time with the company, such as an act of discrimination against you, review your handbook for a better idea of the steps you can take.
There may come a point when you need to consult with your HR department, and possibly even take legal action against your employer.