Updates to Educational Resource Packet Released: Personnel Policies – Standards for Excellence Employee Handbook

January 26, 2015

By Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern, Maryland Nonprofits

Issela Sono currently serves as the Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at Maryland Nonprofits. She has volunteered for various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.


Maryland Nonprofits is proud to announce the release of the fifth edition of its Model Employee Handbook, revised with the help of experts in the human resources field to provide organizations with a guide to create and execute appropriate written personnel policies. The purpose of developing an employee handbook is to provide clear and consistent guidelines on how to proceed in the event complicated situations arise in employee-employer relationships.

The new Standards for Excellence Personnel Policies educational resource packet and its accompanying Model Employee Handbook feature changes in the areas of personnel policies development, drafting of an employee handbook, and distribution of the handbook (including the importance of employee orientation). Additionally, references such as websites, articles, and book resources have also been updated. 

Below are a few of the updates made to the Model Employee Handbook:

The section pertaining the use of the Model Employee Handbook has been revised and updated. The updates:

  • Highlight the importance of adding an introductory statement regarding the utilization of the information contained in the document.

  • Include a disclaimer to provide protection to the organization in the event of a misunderstanding.

New sections have been added covering the following topics:

  • “Reasonable Accommodations” under Workplace Practices

  • “Attendance” under About Your Job

  • “Solicitation and Distribution” under Communication

The following sections have been removed:

  • “Compensation Time” from Leave Policies

  • “Consecutive Unauthorized Days of Absence” under Career Development

  • Changes were made to the Equal Employment Opportunity section to reflect Maryland law requirements.

  • The subject of “Prohibition of Retaliation” is expanded upon under the Harassment & Discrimination Policy section.

  • A new statement regarding personnel information disclosure among employees is added, which include the National Labor Relations Board requirements.

  • The “Hours of Work and Overtime” section has been revised to more precisely state what constitute working hours, exempt and non-exempt employees, and the specifics of flextime programs.

  • A section on the subject of “Telecommuting” has been added to the body of the Model Employee Handbook. It explains the subject in detail, how it applies to nonprofit organizations, eligibility, equipment and software, expenses and reimbursement, roles and responsibilities, supervisor responsibilities, monitoring, intellectual property and confidentiality, taxes, and health and safety.

  • The “Annual and Sick Leave” section has been renamed. It is now “Paid Time Off”.

  • The “Excused Absences” section now includes a policy on Jury Duty.

  • Changes were made to the language of the “Vacation Leave” and “Sick Leave” sections.


We are scheduled to release additional updates to educational resource packets later this month on other related nonprofit management and governance topics. These resources are available for download at our website, free of charge, to Maryland nonprofit organizations!


Join us for the Quality of Life Summit March 24th at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, MD. 

Connect with Maryland Nonprofits
on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+, tell us what you think and what kind of topics you would like to see more of on our blog!

Start the new year with a rewarding nonprofit career, follow @MDNonprofitJobs