Employment policies serve numerous purposes in the workplace. They detail the company’s practices, outline what is expected of employees, and can be used as a defense to an administrative charge of discrimination or lawsuit.
For example, employers who have equal employment opportunity policies prohibiting discrimination or harassment in the workplace, along with a reporting mechanism for employees to inform the company of any inappropriate behavior, may be able to assert what is known as the Faragher/Ellerth defense.
In addition, policies regarding the company’s management of vacation and leave are helpful to both the employer and employees. There are no laws in Florida which mandate the amount of vacation time or paid time off that employers must offer employees – this determination is based on company policy or practice. When companies do not have a written policy setting forth parameters, then the employer’s practices may be inconsistent across the company which could lead to litigation. Therefore, it is recommended that employers have a written policy which details, among other things, the amount of time off or leave employees may utilize.