Case Study: An Assessment of the City of San Marcos Employee Handbook
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Purpose: The purpose of this Applied Research Project is threefold. First, this research develops a practical ideal model employee handbook by adapting one developed by Rebecca Short (1997) and expanded by Neftali Garcia (2002). Second, the model is used to assess the City of San Marcos Employee Handbook. Finally, based on this assessment recommendations to improve the San Marcos Handbook are presented. Methods: This research uses two methods: document analysis and structured interviews of City of San Marcos employees. Analyzing the living document allows this research to use a primary source to make a better assessment for recommendations. Structured interviews of City personnel, including Human Resources staff, allow the researcher to gauge the practical use. Findings: Overall, the Handbook is outdated and is not used as the primary tool of communication for agency policy. It is recommended that the Handbook be revised and updated to reference critical, key legislation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The Handbook should also include improvements in the areas of compensation, benefits, social media, and leave. As a primary, living document in employee-employer relations, an employee handbook should be a trusted workplace tool that effectively communicates policies to employees.