Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Employee Handbook Questionnaire

Employee Handbook

Designed with Your Unique Clinic Needs in Mind

Thank you for your interest in a custom employee handbook from VHA! This survey will take you step by step through all the areas required in an employee manual. Simply answer the questions and feel free to add questions or requests in your responses; this form is a guide but the final product should be exactly what you want it to be, while still conforming to employment law.

Please check all categories you would like included in your personal practice’s employee handbook. You will notice that certain areas are marked as [INCLUDED]. These are recommended in all employee handbooks to comply with labor laws and to reduce any potential future liabilities resulting from litigation levied by former employees. The goal of the handbook is to provide your employees and you with a clear list of policies and procedures that govern the employee relationship and to secure a signed acknowledgment of their understanding of those policies.

If you have questions, please email Melissa Weber via email at

Practice Name *
Street Address *
Street Address Line 2
City *
State *
Zip Code *
Contact Name *
Contact Email *
Annual Revenue
Number of Employees
Inclusions and Exclusions

Welcome Statement

This is your chance to "sell" the practice philosophy to a captive audience. Your new employee is still evaluating their decision to join your practice and is eager to learn about what you do there. If you have a Mission or Vision Statement, this is a great place to outline it, as well as basic practice philosophies. A disclaimer about the nature of the handbook is [INCLUDED] in this section as well.

Please choose one of the following:
If you'd like to provide your own welcome statement, please enter it here:
My Vision or Value Statement Is...

Practice Hours

What days and hours is your practice open?



Please check if the following is true:

The Work Week

Minnesota Law states that employers must pay overtime after 48 hours per week, not 40, but the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] requires some employers to pay overtime after 40 hours. So which applies to your practice? If your practice has gross annual sales of more than $500,000, the FLSA 40 hour standard applies.

Even if your particular practice is below this sales level, you should seriously consider offering overtime pay at 40 rather than 48 hours. Since nearly all veterinary practices fall into the >$500K revenue category and must pay overtime at 40 hours, matching that helps to make your employment packages competitive.

When is the start of your work week for payroll purposes?
Please check all of the following if true:

Definition of Full- and Part-Time

[INCLUDED] For benefit and payroll purposes you need a clear definition of how many hours per week are considered to be Full Time.

Forty [40] hours per week is technically "full time", but if your support staff works flexible schedules and is not allowed overtime, they may work an average of 35-39 hours. It's important in those situations that you establish an equitable definition of full time that is realistic and attainable for your practice.

Furthermore, if you offer health insurance or a retirement plan, your group insurance contract or retirement plan documentation may include a definition of full time as well. Be sure all of these definitions match one another.

One of the benefits of employing part-time staff is the cost savings on benefits. There is no law or regulation requiring you to offer benefits to both full- and part-time employees, but if you choose to do so, it's important that you spell out the differences to your employees so there is no confusion later.

Hours per week to equal full time are:
Are benefits offered only to full-time employees?
I require a dress code for: (check all that apply)
Please explain the dress code for Associate DVMs:
Please explain the dress code for Veterinary Technicians:
Please explain the dress code for Veterinary Assistants:
Please explain the dress code for Veterinary Receptionists:
Please explain the dress code for Kennel Assistants:
Personal Calls and Cell Phones
Are employees allowed to use their personal cell phones while on the clock?
Firearms Policy
Please explain your firearms policy.

Drug and Alcohol-Free Policy

This may seem obvious to you, but if not explicitly explained, employees terminated for drug use may have an opening for a wrongful termination suit. It is particularly critical in practices that carry schedule one controlled drugs. Please check any of the following that apply.

Drug and Alcohol Policy
Please check all that apply. Personal pets are allowed on the premises...
Please explain the boarding policy for employees:
Where is your timeclock located?
What is the policy for correcting a timecard if an employee forgets to punch in or out?

Lunch Breaks

In Minnesota, employers are required by law to provide restroom breaks and sufficient time to eat a meal. Any breaks that are shorter than 20 minutes must be counted as paid time. If an employee works more than 8 consecutive hours on a shift, they must be allowed to take a meal break. It can be unpaid, as long as it is 30 minutes or more in duration and the employee is completely relieved from duty during that period.

Some clinics have their staff "eat lunch on the fly" or ask that employees continue to answer phones or perform other tasks during their meal break. In those cases, the time must be paid as hours worked.

Please check all of the following if true:
Please explain your lunch break policy (hours, details):
Do you have a kitchen, breakroom, or other dedicated area for employee breaks?


The Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act requires designated smoking areas if smoking is allowed.

Do you allow your staff smoking breaks?

Attendance Details

Please describe the following:

Staff Schedule Location:
Doctor Schedule Location:
When are schedules posted?


How frequently are staff meetings held?

Benefits Available

Insurance is available for (check all that apply):
Health, Dental and Other Insurance
nsurance Provider
What other insurance, if any, do you offer?
401(k) or Other Retirement Contribution
What is your 401(k) match or other retirement contribution?
Paid Time Off
Please share more information about your PTO plan:
Paid Holidays
Which paid holidays do you offer? Are part-time employees included?

Leaves of Absence

The federal government requires certain leave of absence protections for employees with 50 or more employees. The State of MN has other protections for employers of any size.

These state and federal standards will be included, but if you offer any additional leave benefits, please indicate them below.

Additional Leave of Absences

Facility Shutdown

In the event of a facility shut down due to fire, flooding, weather damage, construction, terror attack, or other reasons, some businesses will offer to reimburse employees for lost pay. This is not required and is completely optional.

Some loss-of-business insurance policies will cover some or all of this benefit.

I reimburse lost pay for facility shutdowns to (check all that apply):

Continuing Education Benefits*

*Do not include continuing education benefit details for associate veterinarians unless they are non-contract employees.

The CE dollar amount offered to full-time employee varies greatly, but on average:
- 64% of practices offer CE allowances to Technicians at an average of $445 per year.
- 58% of practices offer CE allowances to Managers at an average of $750 per year.
- 29% of practices offer CE allowances to Other Staff at an average of $352 per year.

CE benefits for non-contract employees include:
What is the annual allowance for CE benefits and when does it renew? (i.e. anniversary, fiscal year start)

Uniform Benefits

71% of practices offer up to four sets of uniforms annual to full-time technicians, 54% to managers, and 53% to other staff.

I offer uniform allowances to (check all that apply):

Employee Purchase Discounts

If you offer employee discounts, be advised that any discount greater than 20% must be reported to the IRS as taxable income for the employee receiving the benefit. The tax law states that you may sell inventory at cost plus 10% to cover shipping, handling, taxes, etc. but discounts on services cannot exceed 20%.

I offer employee purchase discounts to: (check all that apply)
The employee discount for inventory items is:
The employee discount for services is:

Disciplinary Actions

The primary purpose of documenting disciplinary actions taken against employees is to create a record of your efforts to improve or correct the employee's performance or behavior. These documents can be of critical value to your position if the employee is ever terminated.

Best practice is to document and sign verbal warnings and to have a witness present when delivering a written warning or termination. This individual can then sign the warning if the employee refuses to do so.

Please check any of the following practices you employ:


Building keys are given to:
Alarm system passcodes are given to:


Where are employees required to park?


Please check any of the following systems you possess or utilize:


Please let me know any additional questions, requests, or comments you have regarding your employee handbook:
VHA Logo

Current VHA members, please fill out the form below to register a user account on the VHA website. Each account MUST have a unique, valid email address.

Once we have verified your clinic’s VHA membership, you will receive an email confirming your new account and containing your username & password. Everyone is encouraged to register for their own unique username and password rather than a single clinic username & password.

Note: When you first log in to your new account, you will be prompted to reset your password and invited to fill out your profile.

Next: Clinic Info
Last Page
First Name *
Last Name *
Title/Position *
Choose a Username *
Email Address *
Create a Password *
Must be at least 8 characters long
Confirm Password *
*Please fill required fields.
Clinic Name *
Street Address *
Address (optional)
City *
State *
Postal Abbrv.
Clinic ZIP Code *
Clinic Phone *
Stay logged in
Check box to remain logged in for 14 days
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Email Newsletter

Spam is bad medicine. We don’t practice bad medicine.