Employment & HR

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The following documents can be copied and pasted into your word processor and easily modified to meet your specific needs. They should be used as a guide and modified to meet your company policies and procedures, including the laws in your state or country. If you feel uncomfortable making modifications to these documents and forms, please seek the advice of an attorney or accountant. 

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------ Document 1 of 9  ------


THIS AGREEMENT is entered into by and between [Second Party] and [Your Company] and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively [Your Company]).

WHEREAS, [Second Party] and [Your Company] desire to exchange certain confidential information, ideas, and concepts owned by and considered proprietary to [Your Company], collectively the “Information”.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the covenants and promises set forth herein, the parties hereto agree as follows:

1. [Second Party] agrees to hold all information provided to it by [Your Company] in strictest confidence for a period of five (5) years, or until released in writing by [Your Company].  No communication of any Information to any third party and no reproduction or copies of any Information shall be made unless prior express written authorization is obtained from [Your Company].  All Information is and shall remain [Your Company]’s sole property.  Upon request by [Your Company], [Second Party] shall return all Information along with all copies of the Information that may have been authorized by [Your Company].  [Second Party] shall retain no copies of the Information.  For purposes of this Agreement, "copy" or "copies" means photographic or other reproduction by any means of any Information, in whole or in part, including but not limited to notes, summaries, or reports prepared by [Second Party] or others incorporating or referring to any Information.  No license under any patent, patent application, trademark or copyright, or other rights of use of the Information is granted whether directly or indirectly by this Agreement, nor are any rights of ownership in the Information granted by this Agreement.  This Agreement shall not be construed as creating a joint venture, partnership, or other business relationship between the parties hereto.

2. This Agreement imposes no obligation upon any party with respect to any portion of the received information that (i) is now, or which hereafter becomes, through no wrongful act or omission on the part of the party receiving the information, generally known or available; or (ii) is known to the party receiving the Information at the time of receiving such Information (and this can be demonstrated by existing documentation); or (iii) is furnished to a third party by the party disclosing the Information without restriction on disclosure; or (iv) is hereafter rightfully furnished to the party receiving the Information by a third party, without restriction on disclosure and without breach of this Agreement; or (v) is independently developed by the party receiving the information, provided that the person or persons developing the same have not had access to the Information received from the disclosing party hereunder; or (vi) is approved for release by written authorization of the disclosing party.

3. Since a breach of this Agreement may cause irreparable harm to the non-breaching party, the non-breaching party shall be entitled to seek injunctive and other equitable relief in addition to monetary damages and any other remedies that may be available to it.  The prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its attorneys' fees and court costs incurred in any legal action brought to enforce this Agreement or incurred as a result of a breach of this Agreement.  This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of _______.  The courts of [State] shall have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve any dispute arising under this Agreement. 

4. The parties agree that execution of a facsimile of this Agreement shall have the same force and effect as an executed original and shall be binding upon the parties.


[Second Party] [Your Company]

By:   By:

Print Name:   Print Name:

------ Document 2 ------



Name of Employee:

Employee’s Job Title:


Date/Time of Incident:

Location of Incident:

Description of Incident:

Witnesses to Incident:

Was this incident in violation of a company policy?            Yes             No

If yes, specify which policy and how the incident violated it.


What action will be taken against the employee?

Has the impropriety of the employee’s actions been explained to the employee?             Yes           0  No

Did the employee offer any explanation for the conduct?             Yes            No

If so, what was the explanation?

Signature of person preparing report:

Date: ____________________

------ Document 3 ------

Employee Evaluation Form

Name: Dept.

Date of Hire: Date of Review:

Supervisor: Date of Last Review:

Quality of Employee’s work _______

Comments _______________

Exercise of good judgment _______

Comments _______________

Attendance _______

Comments _______________

Employee involvement/participation in team effort _______

Comments _______________

Attention to company policies and procedures _______

Comments _______________

Interpersonal relationships and communication with co-workers _______

Comments _______________

Taking initiative to achieve goals and complete assignments _______

Comments _______________

Responsiveness to changing work requirements _______

Comments _______________

Work ethic _______

Comments _______________

Overall performance rating _______

Comments _______________

Areas of Strength:

Areas of Improvement:


Date of Last Merit Increase: ___________ Recommended Merit Increase: __________

Effective Date of Current Merit Increase:_____________________

Date: ____________________________          ________________________________

Supervisor’s Signature

Employee’s Comments:



Employee’s Signature

(To be placed in personnel file.)

------ Document 4 ------

Independent Contractor or Employee?

Which is the right one?

For federal tax purposes, this is an important distinction. Worker classification affects how you pay your federal income tax, social security and Medicare taxes, and how you file your tax return. Classification affects your eligibility for employer and social security and Medicare benefits and your tax responsibilities. If you aren’t sure of your work status, you should find out as soon as possible. 

The courts have considered many facts in deciding whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. These relevant facts fall into three main categories: 

behavioral control 

financial control and 

relationship of the parties. 

In each case, it is very important to consider all the facts – no single fact provides the answer. Carefully review the following definitions.

Behavioral Control - These facts show whether there is a right to direct or control how the worker does the work. A worker is an employee when the business has the right to direct and control the worker. The business does not have to actually direct or control the way the work is done – as long as the employer has the right to direct and control the work. For example: Instructions – if you receive extensive instructions on how work is to be done, this suggests that you are an employee. Instructions can cover a wide range of topics, for example: How, when, or where to do the work, what tools or equipment to use what assistants to hire to help with the work, where to purchase supplies and services. If you receive less extensive instructions about what should be done, but not how it should be done, you may be an independent contractor. For instance, instructions about time and place may be less important than directions on how the work is performed with training about required procedures and methods, this indicates that the business wants the work done in a certain way, and this suggests that you may be an employee. 
Financial Control - These facts show whether there is a right to direct or control the business part of the work. For example: Significant Investment – if you have a significant investment in your work, you may be an independent contractor. While there is no precise dollar test, the investment must have substance. However, a significant investment is not necessary to be an independent contractor. Expenses – if you are not reimbursed for some or all business expenses, then you may be an independent contractor, especially if your unreimbursed business expenses are high. Opportunity for Profit or Loss – if you can realize a profit or incur a loss, this suggests that you are in business for yourself and that you may be an independent contractor.

Relationship of the Parties - These are facts that illustrate how the business and the worker perceive their relationship. For example: Employee Benefits – if you receive benefits, such as insurance, pension, or paid leave, this is an indication that you may be an employee. If you do not receive benefits, however, you could be either an employee or an independent contractor. Written Contracts – a written contract may show what both you and the business intend. This may be very significant if it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine status based on other facts.

The status of a worker as an employee of a company rather than an independent contractor is important for determining who is to pay the payroll taxes or to wage withholding taxes. If the worker is considered an independent contractor, then the employer would not withhold any taxes from the independent contractor's payments. The employer would provide the independent contractor with gross sums and would submit a 1099 tax form to the IRS reflecting its payments to the Independent Contractor. It would be the Independent Contractors responsibility to maintain its own records and file its forms independently.

If the worker is considered an employee, then the employer is responsible for paying social security, Medicare, and unemployment (FUTA) taxes on the wages. The employer must provide a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement at the end of the year, showing the amount of taxes withheld from the employees pay.

Visit the IRS web site at, http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.html for more detailed information on this subject.

------Document 5 ------


TIP #1 
The Introduction
When the applicant arrives, put him or her at ease using a friendly, businesslike attitude. Let the applicant know that you're glad to meet, and that you have set aside sufficient uninterrupted time to conduct the interview.

TIP #2 
Before Getting Started
Let the applicant know some idea of what you’d like to cover today.  Example: “I want to review your background and experience so that I can decide whether the job is suited to your talents and interests. So, I'd like to hear about your job, education, interests, outside activities, how you heard about this position and anything else you'd like to tell me that would relate to the position you are applying for, including what you can offer us here.” 

TIP #3 
Work Experience 
A discussion of work experience should vary widely based, in part, on how long the applicant has been employed. Questions appropriate to a recent high school or college graduate will make little sense when interviewing a professional with 15 years of experience. For an applicant with substantial experience, a reasonable starting point would be a discussion of the most recent position. In addition to focusing on the prior positions, it might also be helpful to discuss why the applicant has changed jobs in the past, the duration of each employment, chronological gaps in employment, etc. 
When interviewing someone who has not been working long, a good place to start would be his or her work experience. What their duties and responsibilities were, their likes and dislikes, and what they felt they may have gained. Start with a brief review of their first work experiences, those they might have had part-time during school or during the summer, and then concentrate on their more recent jobs in more detail.

TIP #4 
Asking Questions
Ask specific, clear questions one at a time and let the applicant answer uninterrupted.  Resist filling in every lull in the conversation; wait to see if the applicant will do so.
Avoid either verbally or physically giving the applicant a clue as to how you regard their answers; remain neutral. To draw the applicant out without revealing what you're thinking, try using his or her own words. If the candidate says, "I like to work independently," you could respond with "Independently?" Of course, you could also use the opportunity to ask the applicant to give an example of what he or she did working independently.

TIP #5
Interests and Activities
Give the applicant the opportunity to mention some of their interests and activities outside of work—hobbies, what they do for fun and relaxation, any community activities, professional associations, or anything else they would like to mention that they think might be relevant to the position they are applying for.

TIP #6
Job Description
If you are still interested in the applicant, proceed to this phase of the interview. On the other hand, if you have already decided that the applicant isn't suitable, there isn't much point in describing a position that the applicant won't be filling. Review the job description and give them information about the organization and the job, and answer any questions that they might have. Review the pay schedule and other possible benefit packages.

TIP #7
Close the interview graciously. If you've found a promising candidate, you can continue. Example: "What is your level of interest in us at this point?" Explore any doubts or reservations the applicant might have. "Let me review what the next steps are. " Let the applicant know what's likely to happen next, whether another interview will be needed, and how long it will be before a decision is made. 

If you have already decided not to offer the applicant a job, you can let them know at this point or notify them by mail at a later date. Do so cordially and uncritically; you needn't be specific about why you've rejected the candidate, but always thank the applicant for applying. 

------Document 6 ------

Interview Questions (Legal or Illegal)

AGE - Any question that tends to identify applicants between 40-64 years of age is illegal. EXAMPLE: "Do you remember the 1940 election?" There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject. The interviewer may verify age, if necessary, to ensure legally set minimum age limits are met.

CITIZENSHIP - Any of the following questions cannot be asked: Are you a citizen of the United States? Are your parents/ spouse a US citizen? When did you acquire US citizenship? Are you/spouse/ parent native born or naturalized? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject. The interviewer may verify citizenship requirements, if they exist for the job being filled.

NATIONAL ORIGIN - Any of the following questions cannot be asked: What is your national origin? What language is spoken in your home? What is your native language? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

RACE/COLOR - Any question that directly or indirectly relates to race or color may not be asked. There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

RELIGION - The following questions cannot be asked: What church do you attend? What religious holidays do you observe? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

SEX - Any question that inquires as to one’s gender may not be asked. For example: What are your plans regarding having children in the near future? Do you mind having a male/ female supervisor? Can you work with a group of men/ women? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

MARITAL STATUS/FAMILY - Any of the following questions cannot be asked: Are you married? Divorced? Widowed? With whom do you live? Do your children live with you? What ages are your children? Is your husband/ wife in the military? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject. The interviewer may verify if other family members work at the facility to fulfill certain company requirements and benefits.
EDUCATION - Questions that specifically ask the nationality, racial, or religious affiliation of a school; the candidates education level in general, if not related to the job being filled, may not be asked. Questions concerning a candidate’s academic, vocation, or professional education may be asked as long as they pertain to the position being filled.

ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION - The following question may not be asked: To what organization, societies and clubs do you belong? Questions related to this subject may be asked if they are related to the job being filled and how the candidate’s participation in the organization may fulfill any of the company requirements.

POLICE RECORD - Do not ask: Have you ever been arrested? If the job being filled has special requirements (i.e., bonding), the supervisor may ask a question such as: In order to fill this job, you must be bonded. Is there any problem that this presents?

WORK SCHEDULE/ TRAVEL - Do not ask any questions that relate to childcare, ages of children or other non job-related areas. If the job being filled has special requirements (i.e., travel, overtime, unusual hours, etc.) these conditions may be stated. For example: In this job you would have to travel 1-week in every month. Does this present a problem to you?

MILITARY DISCHARGE - The following question may not be asked: Were you honorably discharged from military service? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject. The interviewer may verify this information if there is a requirement to do so.

ECONOMIC STATUS - The following questions may not be asked: Do you have a good credit rating? Do you have any trouble with bills/collection agencies? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

SECURITY CLEARANCE - The following question may not be asked: Do you have a secret/ top secret/ other security clearance? If the job to be filled requires a certain type of security clearance, this condition may be stated. For example: "This job requires a top secret clearance. Does this requirement present any problem?"

PERSONAL PLANS - The following question may not be asked: Do you have plans to live in this area long? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

PARTICIPATION IN CERTAIN ACTIVITIES - Do not ask the following questions: Do you plan to take savings bonds/ contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign/ join the coffee club/ join the Professional Association? There is no legal question that can be asked regarding this subject.

MISCELLANEOUS - Questions that are not job related or necessary for determining a candidate’s qualifications may not be asked. The candidate may be notified that statements, misstatements or omissions of significant facts may be cause for non-selection.

------Document 7 ------

Sample Letters of Recommendation

Letter #1


Name of Contact Person at New Company
Company Name
Address Line 1
Address 2

Regarding: Jane Jones

Dear [Contact Person]:

Jane Jones was employed by A-Z Fitness Centers as a Manager for over the past ten years. Because of a recent merger with another company, her position has been eliminated.

She is an excellent worker and has proven herself to be a willing and highly competent employee. She has been involved in many aspects of the business and I highly recommend her to fill any position that deals with the public. She has consistently demonstrated that she is well organized, energetic, and capable.

I have no doubt that Jane will be an asset to any group or organization in the public or private sector. I recommend her without reservation and would be happy to provide further information regarding her employment with us upon request.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)

Letter #2


Company Name
Address Line 1
Address 2
Attn: Personnel

Regarding: Denise Jones

To Whom It May Concern:

I’ve known Denise Jones for approximately five years. During this time, I have worked with her on a variety of committees ranging from youth sports to school functions. I’ve found Ms. Jones to be honest and straightforward. She has demonstrated time and again that she is well organized, energetic, and capable.

I am pleased to let you know that Ms. Jones has volunteered within and given back to the community in more ways than anyone will ever know, all without being on anybody’s payroll. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ms. Jones will be a tremendous asset to any group or organization in the public or private sector. I recommend her without reservations.

If any further information is needed, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I can be reached Monday through Friday at (800) 555-1234.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)

Letter #3


(If address is unavailable or if you are writing a letter that will go to multiple potential employees, omit company name and address.)

Employment Review Committee:

I am pleased to recommend Jane Doe as a candidate for the position of office manager. Ms. Doe has been a capable manager in our Springfield office since 1995.

During her tenure there, Jane almost single-handedly doubled the revenue of her division. In 1997, she implemented a restructuring of the sales force, markedly increasing sales and reducing travel expenses. Her interpersonal skills and emphasis on efficiency has made Springfield our most productive branch. I regret that she has decided to leave us.

Ms. Doe has expressed her desire to move on to a position that affords her greater flexibility and growth potential. I enthusiastically recommend her for this position. If you have any questions I can answer about Ms. Doe's exceptional record with our company, please do not hesitate to contact me.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)
Letter #4


To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to recommend John Doe as an employee in your company. I have worked closely with him for more than five years as his supervisor and have found him extremely competent and enjoyable to work with. He is bright, innovative, and dependable. Among his many accomplishments, he suggested and developed a procedure that resulted in an annual savings of over $100,000. I am sorry to see him leave, although I wish him well in his future employment.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)

Letter #5


To Whom It May Concern:

It is with pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for John Doe, with whom I have had the pleasure to work for the past five years.

From the beginning, John has steadily moved upward in the company. He began as a programmer in our maintenance department, then soon graduated to a senior position in research and development, and now holds a supervisory position.

Throughout his employment with us, he has consistently displayed a remarkable ability to cope not only in high stress situations, but to actually thrive in them. Last year, when notified of a shortened deadline on an important project, he managed his team with confidence and efficiency, despite the time constraints. We were all surprised and grateful when he produced the completed project ahead of schedule.

I am sorry that John will soon leave us, but I know that this move is important to him for personal reasons. I give you my highest recommendation with confidence that John Doe will use his experience and abilities to serve you well.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)

Letter #6


Letter of Recommendation for Jane Doe (confidential)

To: Office of Graduate Admissions, Institute of Design
From: John Doe, Industrial Designer

I'm honored to recommend Jane Doe for admission to graduate studies at the Institute of Design. Since Jane will be visiting you soon, the following information should help introduce her as well as convey my wholehearted recommendation that she be admitted to your program.

I've worked with Jane closely for three years, during which time we have collaborated on many projects. Her role has been that of a consultant to our architectural firm. Jane and I have also conversed privately on theoretical and practical matters of style, aesthetics, and philosophies of design. I've always been impressed by her know-how. She uses good design principles in all her projects – from arboretums to documents.

The hallmark of Jane's character is her honesty. This is reflected in relationships and business transactions, as well as in integrity of thought. She approaches any analytical task with an exacting eye that is scientific, thorough, and meticulous. This is the kind of care and concern I mean by integrity of thought.

As a student of the humanities, Jane pursued a course of study that could serve as a model for any general education curriculum. She has not only studied Shakespeare, but mathematics as well.

Jane is one of the most pleasant persons you'll ever meet or work with. She is forthright, but neither intimidates nor intrudes. She is genuinely friendly as well as honest. You will also be impressed with her authentic and professional manner.

Jane Doe has my unqualified professional endorsement and my deep personal respect. Please feel free to call at any time if I can be of further assistance.


(Your name)

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)
Letter #7

Describe the job:

John Doe and I have had the pleasure of working together since December 2001, when he was hired by our company to fill the role of Director of Operations. We were in strong need of a hands-on, process-oriented individual to oversee our day-to-day operations. John turned out to be just the man we needed.

Write a statement of results:

John implemented training, measurement, and efficiency procedures that significantly strengthened our overall production results. He works hard and demands significant performance from his subordinates, and will spend the time necessary to ensure that they are properly trained.

List best characteristic:

The characteristic that is most commendable in John is his desire to improve, not simply his projects or subordinates, but himself as well. We have a very different culture at Doe Corporation. As he realized the changes required to work effectively here, he went to work analyzing himself, seeking feedback and then making changes to his style, approach, and manner. I believe he was able to make significant improvements because of his commitment to do so. This and other valuable characteristics, combined with future potential, should be valuable to any organization interested in developing their staff members.

List other good qualities:

Lastly, John is a great motivator and mentor. The employees in our organization were always inspired and prepared to meet new challenges because of his motivational style of management. John is a natural born leader. He is confident and decisive. He makes everyone around him better and would be an excellent addition to any company. 


John Doe

(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)
Letter #8


To Whom It May Concern:

(Here list general description of abilities)

I would give John Doe the highest recommendation for any management or director position. John is a true people builder who has worked hard to develop his skills as a Director of Training, while working for me when I served as the Executive Vice President of Operations here. His motivation and mentoring skills are some of the best I have seen in my experience in the industry. He would surely do wonders for your organization. Here are some of the accomplishments he has achieved at Doe Corporation:

(Here give more details of the person's accomplishments with your company))

* Directed all training for the operation, which included 22 call centers throughout the U.S.

* Helped prepare for the ISO Audit and Certifications.

* Successfully opened new call centers from the ground floor in four different states.

* Performed branch manager, supervisor, and training certifications and compiled operations manuals.

* Correlated the training and implementation of new client startups.

* Helped me to initiate the ground floor of my E-commerce company in which he performed many of the same duties that he did with me at Doe Corporation.

(In the conclusion, create an overview of the person's accomplishments, according to your experience)

John is absolutely one of the most dynamic and successful individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. . If you give him the opportunity, I am confident he can offer valuable improvements in your company's procedures.

(Closing statement)

Please accept this recommendation and contact me if you need additional information.


(Don't forget to personally sign the letter between the “Sincerely” and your typewritten name.)

------Document 8 ------


The purpose for this meeting is . . .
I asked you here to discuss . . .
I want to spend some time discussing how you . . .

I have a concern about . . .
A problem has occurred in . . .

I saw . . .
When I was told, I looked into the issue by . . .

If this continues, then . . .
In looking at this situation as a customer would, it appears . . .

I am very concerned about . . .
I do not think it is right that . . .
I am upset that errors in the function keep occurring . . .

Now, that's what I know, but what is your view . . .
Is that the way you saw it?
OK, now what is your reaction?

Well, how do you know that . . .
And then what happened?
If you did that, then why did . . .

I need you to . . .
In the next meeting, as Point 4 in the agenda, you will . . .

Let’s recap, you will . . .and I will . . .

I will contact you next . . .

------Document 9 ------


Club Location ________________________________ Date _____________________________ 

Vacation requested for ___________________________  _______________________________ 
Employees Name Date Employed 

Vacation requested this year _____________________ to __________________________ incl. 

Vacation taken last year from _____________________ to __________________________incl. 


Contract and/or Hourly Rate Employee Fixed Salary Employee
1. Total weekly basic hours: _____ 1. Basic weekly salary: _____
2. Basic hourly rate: _____      2. Total days/weeks requested: _____
3. Total hours vacation requested: _____ 3. Total vacation pay requested: _____
4. Total vacation pay requested: _____   

Remarks:  _____________________________________________________________________


The original and a copy of the Vacation Request, if and when approved, will be returned to the club. The original is to be submitted to the Home Office Payroll Department with the Time Card for the week in which the vacation salary is to be paid. No vacation salaries will be paid unless supported by this request signed by the General Manager. 

Approved: _______________________________________ Date ____________________
                  General Manager  

1. One week paid after one year of employment.
2. Two weeks paid after three years of employment.
3. Money will not be substituted in lieu of taking vacation time. 

------Document 10 ------