Village officials: New employee handbook a must

By on February 5, 2010

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The first draft of a new employee manual, a priority project for the village, is nearly finished. The manual will reflect workplace legislation and village policies that were established since the current handbook was created 17 years ago, Village Administrator Erin Willrett said.

Trustee Jeff Walter said he pushed for the re-write of the employee manual since coming into office in April.

“I want to make sure our manual is up to date and in sync with current human resource trends and regulations,” Walter said. “I also want to ensure that we correctly define which employees are exempt (from certain wage and hour laws, i.e. overtime pay) and that the manual outlines appropriate policies for those considered exempt (management).”

Some of the other sections of the handbook that need updating relate to safety rules, computer and Internet policies, harassment policies, military leave information and jury duty, Willrett said.

The manual will encompass all village departments including police. The village has approximately 23 full-time employees and 16 part-time employees, all of whom must abide by the manual, Willrett said.

The employee handbook will be entirely new.

“We’re not just blacklining the old employee manual,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

The village is paying a consultant, Aurora-based Sikich, $6,000 to create the new employee handbook.

Sikich also will train village department supervisors about how to use the manual properly and how to proceed when an employee has a workplace concern.

During last year’s 2009-10 budget discussions, Village officials indicated that they wanted the manual to be a priority, Willrett said.