A farm employee manual is not required – in other words, you won’t get into any legal trouble if you don’t have one – however, it sure can set you up for success getting work done on your farm. It can also help prevent legal trouble down the line. An employee manual is an incredibly useful tool for improving workplace communication and day-to-day operations and if you are have farm employees, you could benefit from this.
Farm Commons has a resource to help! Check out our Model Farm Employee Manual (16pgs.), which is a print guide to developing a farm employee manual, and includes a model employee manual, with helpful explanations about why you would include each of the different provisions in the manual.
A clear, consistently applied employee manual is a key part of avoiding discrimination in all aspects of employee management. For more guidance on the importance of avoiding discrimination and the role of an employee manual, please read our guide, Avoiding Discrimination in Employment for Farm and Ranch Businesses, which is applicable to farmers in any state. We also have a Minnesota-specific guide, Avoiding Discrimination in Employment for Farm and Ranch Businesses in Minnesota, and a Wisconsin-specific guide, Avoiding Discrimination in Employment for Farm and Ranch Businesses in Wisconsin, for farmers in those states.