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  • Writer's pictureMatt Devitt

The Importance of Employment and Services Policies for a Small Business Owner:

Updated: Mar 2, 2019

As Stephen R. Covey famously said “always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customer.” With the new challenges small business owners face from online competition, very low unemployment in Michigan, and continued margin pressures the hiring and retaining great employees has never been more important.

How Can an Attorney Help with the Hiring Process?

The relationship between employer and employee is one of the most important for any entrepreneur. An attorney’s primary concern for employment and service contracts is limiting entity liability by ensuring compliance with Federal and State Labor Laws. However, a thoughtful attorney can also provide a set of professional application another preliminary forms including; 1) credit report authorization, 2) certification of acknowledgement, 3) drug testing consent, and 4) offer letter among others. The hiring process is the first touch-point that great employees have with a potential employer and having a professional set of documents and process may be the differentiator.

Now that I have Hired the Right People, what Agreements and Policies do I Need in Place?

Well written employee handbooks do more than ensuring compliance with Federal and State Laws. They should also introduce employees, to your culture, mission, and values; communicate to employees what is expected of them; and help ensure that policies are clearly and consistently communicated.

Your Outside General Counsel can help with the above by creating and maintaining a broad set of policies including…

  • Rules of employee conduct,

  • Workplace harassment policy,

  • Computer network, electronic device and internet usage policy,

  • Social media policy,

  • Arbitration agreements,

  • Confidential information and invention agreement,

  • Confidentially, noncompetition, and non-solicitation agreements, and

  • Indemnification agreements.

What Happens When You Don’t Hire the Right People and Need a Reset?

The hiring process is not an exact science and most entrepreneurs will deal with amicable separations or employee terminations. Having well thought out, Michigan specific, release and other separation agreements is key to ensuring that you have properly allocated risk. While Michigan is a right to work state, it is important to have a comprehensive separation agreement and general release, settlement agreement and general release, and severance benefit agreement should the need arise.

Employees really are the foundation for a successful long tenured business. Hopefully everyone is delivering well-timed sincere words of praise for their best employees, but also consider the importance of having a professional set of employment and service documents and the impact this can have not only on risk allocation, but on employee engagement as well.

Matt Devitt Law, PLC in a Livonia, MI based firm providing a full array of legal services to small and mid-size corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other entities.

** Disclaimer - The information you obtain from this blog post is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us ( or 734-335-0713)

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