One of the most effective ways to prevent discrimination is to have a sound employment manual that will clearly state both the employee and the employer's rights and responsibilities to each other.

One of the main responsibilities of employers to their employees is to create a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

By properly informing their employees about the policies regarding the subject and properly enforcing those policies, then they have taken a big step in making the people in their company happy in the workplace.

Generally, there are no two employment manuals that are the same as each other. Each company customizes their manuals depending on their:
· Type of business
· Size of the company
· Business operations
· State where the business operates
· Other factors that may affect company policies

However, even with many difference, there are many elements that are present in almost all employment manuals. Some of those are:

· Welcome statement – Usually includes brief company history, reasons for the company's success, mission and vision statements, and how an employee can contribute to the success of the company.

· Full-time vs. Part-time – This part describes the difference between the benefits, lunch and other breaks, timekeeping and computation of wages/salary between the two types of employees.

· Employee benefits – Describes the different types of benefits an employee may receive and how to qualify for such benefits.

· Discrimination/harassment policies – This part describes what kind of conduct may constitute as discrimination or harassment.

· Disciplinary measures – This part explains the types of disciplinary measures the employer may take against employees for violating polices. This includes warnings, suspensions and even termination.

· Evaluation – Explains to the employee the process of performance review.

· Promotion – Refers to guidelines on how to be promoted to a certain position or level.

· Use of company resources – Explains the limits and boundaries on the use of company equipment and other resources such as telephone, fax, printer, and email.

· Accidents in the workplace – Guidelines on how an injury incurred in a workplace accident should be handled. Includes steps on how to apply for worker's compensation.

· Confidentiality policy – This requires employees to keep certain information within the company. This includes employee information and other resources that are vital to the operations of the company.

· Grievance system – Explains to the employee the process on how they can file a report or a complaint about discrimination, harassment, illegal practices, suggestions, etc.

· Voluntary termination – Could be through retirement or resignation, this part describes to the employee the process on how to terminate their employment at-will including clearance procedures and time notice requirement.

One thing that employers should be careful about is that their policies should not be in conflict with existing federal or state laws.

If that happens, the federal or state law will take precedent over the company policy.
To make sure that it does not happen, consult an employment attorney when drafting an employment manual.