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Have you read your employee handbook?

As an employee, it's imperative that you review the employee handbook the first chance you get. Conversely, every employer should be serious about providing employees with a handbook that provides a variety of high level information.

Employees and employers both have rights. Along with this, there are times when disputes come to the forefront.

With a comprehensive employee handbook in place, all parties involved will know what is expected of them and how to deal with any issue that comes to light.

When reviewing an employee handbook, first pay attention to the mission statement. This will give you a better idea of what your employer is trying to accomplish, as well as how you can get on the same page.

Moving forward, there is nothing more important than understanding the company's policies on the following:

-- Compensation

-- Work schedules

-- Safety

-- Benefits

-- The use of computers and technology

-- Leave

As you can imagine, every employer takes a different approach to these things. For this reason, you shouldn't assume that you understand what the handbook says. Instead, you should read it from front to back and then ask any questions that come to mind.

At some point, you may have a dispute with your employer. In this case, you should first visit your handbook to see where things stand in regards to your issue. From there, search for language that provides advice on what you should do next.

If you have a dispute that can't be resolved with your employer, it may be time to consider legal action.

Source: American Employer Group, "How to Write An Employee Handbook Your Employees Will Actually Read," accessed Oct. 24, 2016

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